It’s Not the News, It’s You

Author: Karen Byrne, writer and editor, Chemonics International*
Karen Byrne

Source: The Compass blog

Even when the news is discouraging, it is important to unpack the facts, the frame, and the feelings to see the true story.

"If you follow media reporting on women in Afghanistan — I do, but only in English — you probably experience a flood of violent emotions. Shock and revulsion at the seemingly endless string of brutal domestic and public attacks against women and girls. Fury that the police and courts often do nothing, or even protect the attackers. Disgust at the government’s capitulation to conservatives who want to roll back legal protections for women. Indignation that women are still a tiny minority of legislators and decision makers. Disillusionment, perhaps, that foreign intervention was supposed to fix all this but didn’t, and probably never could have. Fear that a Taliban resurgence could be just around the corner. Helplessness and hopelessness. Frustration at feeling helpless and hopeless. A twinge of relief that you’re not a woman in Afghanistan, followed immediately by guilt and shame for having such a thought.

Feeling beat up? Me too. It led me to take a closer look at why media stories on women in Afghanistan often throw me into such emotional turmoil."


* Chemonics is an international development company that partners with local and international organizations to promote social and economic change around the world.

26/09/14 | General | (0) Comments

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Advancing gender equality in media

In my opinion, the most effective strategy to achieve gender-sensitive media is:

Increased gender-awareness training of media professionals
Greater action by audiences to hold their media accountable
Stricter enforcement of gender-focussed media codes and policies
More female journalists, editors and media house managers


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