FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


A. Questions about The Global Media Monitoring Project in general

A1. What does GMMP stand for?
A2. Why is the GMMP important?
A3. Why media monitoring?
A4. What is “media monitoring from a gender perspective”?
A5. Why GMMP 2020?
A6, Who is involved in the GMMP?
A7. How many countries are taking part in GMMP 2020?
A8. Can I or my group participate?
A9. What should national coordinators translate before submitting for analysis?
A10. Will I be compensated for my work on the GMMP?
A11. How and where should the monitoring results be submitted?
A12. What is the short monitoring about?

B. Questions about media bands / or, how many of each medium to monitor

B1. How many media should I monitor?
B2. Our country is not listed on the Media Bands Chart!
B3. Our country media bands are too high/low.
B4. We have a large monitoring team and would like to monitor more media than the numbers recommended. Can we exceed the maximum number of media?

C. Questions about the country and monitor codes

C1. What is my 'country code'?
C2. What monitor code should I use?

D. Questions about the monitoring methodology in general

D1. In the question about the ‘scope’ of the story, how do we differentiate between code 3 ‘sub-regional and regional’, and code 4 ‘foreign, international’?
D2. Our team cannot meet on Global Monitoring Day. Can we still participate?
D3. Are individual countries permitted to add certain parameters to the coding tool?
D4. Are individual countries able to use the data collected in the GMMP for their own media monitoring initiatives?

E. Questions about Newspaper monitoring

E1. Some tabloids have many anonymous sources, even directly quoted. How shall we code?
E2. Some papers have a teaser of the story on the front page and the full story inside. Shall we code as 2 stories or one?
E3. How should newspapers be selected?
E4. The headline of the main story in  the front page takes half page, but the story is placed in page 5 and it takes the whole page. How should we code the space covered, one page or half page?
E5. When the story takes two-thirds of the page, what should we answer? There is no such choice.
 

F. Questions about Television News monitoring

F1. How should television newscasts be selected?

G. Questions about Radio News monitoring

G1. How should radio newscasts be selected?

H. Questions about Internet News monitoring

H1. How should the websites to be monitored be selected?
H2. When a major online news site exists in a print version, should the website be included in the list of Internet news sites to be monitored?

I. Questions about Twitter News monitoring
I1. Are Twitter news feeds required to have a certain number of followers before they can be included in the sample?
I2. How should the Twitter feed be selected?
I3. Facebook is more popular than Twitter in our country. Can we code Facebook instead?

 

AI. What does GMMP stand for?

The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) is a worldwide grassroots media monitoring, research and advocacy project. It was initially inspired by the concern of women activists to bring the issue of media accountability to the forefront of the debate on gender inequalities. Its subsequent implementation was guided by the concern of researchers to ensure comparable and accurate analysis of data collected in different settings by different individuals. The GMMP aspires to news media that is professional from a gender-ethics perspective, that understands and upholds the central tenets of professional practice through a gender lens.


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A2. Why is the GMMP important?

The GMMP reports show that news paints a picture of a world where women are virtually invisible. A comparison of the results from the five GMMPs in 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 revealed that change in the gender dimensions of news media has been small and slow across the 20-year period. Only 24% of news subjects are female. Women’s points of view are rarely heard in the topics that dominate the news agenda.

Even on topics that affect women profoundly, such as gender-based violence, it is the male voice that prevails. When women do make the news it is primarily as ‘stars’ or ‘ordinary people’, not as figures of authority. If our media are to be reflective of our world, it is apparent that these trends need to be transformed. We believe that the GMMP can be a step towards that change.

 

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A3. Why media monitoring?

The importance of media monitoring as a tool for change for gender equality was officially recognized by the United Nations for the first time in Section J of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action.  Monitoring is a tool for collecting quantitative and qualitative evidence on the gender dimensions of media content, illuminating gender biases, stereotyping, sexism, etc., but also journalism that is exemplary from a gender professional ethics perspective.

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A4. What is “media monitoring from a gender perspective”?

Media monitoring from a gender perspective involves studying the media to collect gender-desegregated data on various dimensions of media content and practice. For instance, how similar or different media portrayal of women and men is, or to what extent women and men see their gender concerns reflected in media content, or even, to what extent practices in media houses sustain or dismantle gender-based discrimination. Media monitoring in the context of the GMMP studies four sets of indicators of gender in news media, broadly: Representation and voice of women and men as news subjects; News delivery – characteristics and responsibilities of journalists and reporters; News content – gender stereotyping and gender inequality in news, and; Journalistic practice – reinforcing or challenging stereotypes.

 

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A5. Why GMMP 2020?

There has been a growing interest, willingness to engage on issues of gender in the media and commitment to propel change towards media that affirms women’s rights and gender equality objectives. Media monitoring over 5 successive GMMPs in 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 revealed extremely slow progress in bringing women’s voices to bear in public discourse taking place through the news media. A consultative meeting agreed it was important for the GMMP to continue in order to track progress towards gender-just, gender-balanced news media.  GMMP 2020 will not only reveal persistent and emerging gaps in gender portrayal and representation in traditional and new media, but also contribute to the collection of gender data on a global scale.

 

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A6. Who is involved in the GMMP?

The GMMP involves all kinds of participants from grassroots community organizations to university students and researchers to media practitioners, all of whom participate on a voluntary basis. Each country has a national coordinator who is in charge of all the volunteer media monitors in their country. Each region has a regional coordinator who coordinates the countries in their area.

 

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A7. How many countries are taking part in GMMP 2015?

More than 120 countries will be represented in the GMMP 2020. 

 

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A8. Can I or my group participate?

Certainly! There are numerous ways to get involved. We are always looking for volunteer media monitors in all participating countries. To volunteer, please write to us gmmp@waccglobal.org to put you in touch with the GMMP coordinator in your country, or to explore how a media monitoring team for your country can become a reality! We are always looking for help in spreading the word about the GMMP. Like us on Facebook and tell your friends, colleagues and networks to like us too! Follow us on twitter @whomakesthenews. If you are just interested in finding out more about the results, please stay tuned. We are more than happy to have you on board.

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A9. What should national coordinators translate before submitting for analysis?

The monitors will send to their coordinators the stories they think are interesting for further analysis. The coordinators select some of these for inclusion in their qualitative analysis. Coordinators need to send the original stories as well as summaries in English, French or Spanish of the case studies they select.

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A10. Will I be compensated for my work on the GMMP?

The success of the GMMP owes to the spirit of voluntarism and a commitment to gender justice in and through media. The monitors across the world and national coordinators are all volunteers, motivated by an understanding of the invaluable contribution they are making towards gender-fair, gender-just media. Monitors make reference to the experiential benefit of being involved in such a far-reaching and collaborative initiative. Volunteers from previous GMMPs have thoroughly enjoyed their experience and have repeatedly expressed how much they learned by being involved in the process.

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A11. How and where should the monitoring results be submitted?


1.    Internet-based submission: An online database will be provided to facilitate easy capture of the monitoring results.

2.    Submission via courier: Where electronic submission of the materials is impossible participants are invited to courier their monitoring packs to the address communicated to the national coordinator.  

3. Submission via email: Participants may also scan and send their coding sheets via email to the address communicated to the national coordinator.

Further, scan and email the following materials:
•    The originals of the completed coding sheets.
•    Newspaper pages: the front page from each newspaper you coded.
•    Photographs of you and your group at work.
•    If possible, promotional material from television and radio stations (e.g. station logos).

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A12. What is the short monitoring about?

The short monitoring option has been introduced to allow for participation of potential media monitors who may not have sufficient time to complete the full monitoring. At the same time, it allows the GMMP to increase the volume of data collected on key indicators, and enables inclusion of countries that would otherwise have opted out due to the time it takes to code all the indicators. National coordinator may allow some volunteers to implement the short monitoring but only for news that are not being coded using the long questionnaire. Caution: Short and long monitoring should not be applied to the same news article; it is either one or the other. Monitors should always seek clearance from the national coordinator before applying the short monitoring on a specific news item.  

 

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B1. How many media should we monitor?

The number of media to be monitored varies depending on the media density in each country. Monitors in countries that have higher media density will code more media than those in lower density countries. Consult the media bands chart on the Methodology guides and coding tools page to determine how many of each medium should be monitored in your country.

  

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B2. Our country is not listed on the Media Bands chart.

 

Do not panic. Just let us know immediately you discover your country is missing. The data analyst will allocate a country code and recommend the number of each medium to monitor. Help us proceed quickly by sending us as well the number of national TV, Radio and Newspapers in your country.

 

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B3. Our country media bands are too high/low.

 

Do not panic. Let us know which medium(s) are banded too high or too low. The media density data available is often outdated or incorrect, which is the information on which the media bands are assigned. Send us the number of national TV, Radio and Newspapers in your country and the data analyst will revise the bands.

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B4. We have a large monitoring team and would like to monitor more media than the numbers recommended. Can we exceed the maximum number of media?

 

Absolutely, only be sure to alert us if you plan to monitor more media. This information will ensure that we do not miss to make the adjustment in the data analysis.

 

 

 

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C1. What is my 'country code'?

The country code is a unique identifier for each country participating in the GMMP, intended to facilitate the data analysis. The code is located in the media bands charts on this page. To find your code, locate your country on the chart and note the 3-digit number in the cell to the left of your country name.

 

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C2. What monitor code should I use?

The purpose of the monitor code is to make it possible to track individuals later if necessary.

How to create a monitor code:

1. Use three digits starting from 000, then the first three initials of the monitor's name. For example:

•   Amina Hussein
•   001AHU

2. The list of names is kept by the national coordinator.

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D1. In the question about the ‘scope’ of the story, how do we differentiate between code 3 ‘sub-regional and regional’, and code 4 ‘foreign, international’?

Code 'sub-regional and regional' if the story “involves your sub-region and region”. For example, if you are coding in Nigeria a story that is of importance in a sub-region or region which Nigeria is a part of, for instance, West Africa, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), or Africa.

Code 'Foreign, international' if the story involves spaces in which Nigeria is not a part of. For instance, a story taking place in Latin America, or Europe, or the Caribbean.  

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D2. Our team cannot meet on Global Monitoring Day. Can we still participate?

Absolutely! It is possible to capture the news items for the global monitoring day and arrange to code as soon the team can get together with the aim to submit the data sets by end of April.

 

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D3. Are individual countries permitted to add certain parameters to the coding tool?

No, not for the GMMP. The tool is applied uniformly across the world and therefore needs to remain as is. It is not uncommon however for groups/individuals/organisations to adapt the tools for their own purposes, outside the GMMP, AFTER the GMMP.

For instance, in 2014, Women for Women’s Rights (WFWR) in Palestine adapted the methodology to monitor the representation of women in Palestinian media.   The project changed how participants read and observe the media. They gained a new perspective about gender dimensions of media content, from an erroneous idea that gender was about women’s photos or reports of activities by women’s organisations in media, to a holistic understanding of gender in media as women`s representation and voice across all media content. Benefits of the new knowledge and skills gained are spilling over into other areas of WFWR’s work including its advocacy programs. See their report here.

During the same year, the activist women’s organisation Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS) adapted the methodology to understand media representation of rural women. BNPS shared the monitoring report and advocacy brief with media, students and representatives from three government Ministries – Agriculture, Information, and Women and Children Affairs. The monitoring report captured the attention of the Ministry of Information who noted the dearth of reporting on women’s land ownership, inheritance and discrimination of women farmers in allocation of farmer cards. The Minister took note of the policy relevance of the monitoring findings and announced that the findings would help direct formulation of new media policies and guidelines. See the report executive summary here.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the grassroots organisation Sauti ya Mwanamke Kijijini (SAMWAKI – Woman’s voice in the village) adapted the methodology to monitor media reporting on rural poverty. Their research sought to create greater awareness of the roots of poverty and potential solutions, and to establish an association of journalists sensitive to the needs of the rural population. The monitoring uncovered an almost exclusive focus on urban poverty, when poverty made the news. Out of the project came an agreement for collaboration between rural and urban media to relay reports focussed on rural poverty. See the report here.

For the GMMP research however, the tool must be applied without any adaptation. This way the results can be compared across countries and across previous iterations of the GMMP.


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D4. Are individual countries able to use the data collected in the GMMP for their own media monitoring initiatives?

Certainly! We get news frequently about how the tool is being used in different ways across the globe. Most users adapt it to the theme they are interested in monitoring. Do let us know how you use it so we can share your experience with others in the GMMP network.

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E1. Some tabloids have many anonymous sources, even directly quoted. How shall we code?

Unnamed people are not coded. The guide instructs that the following be coded:
•         Any person whom the story is about, even if they are not interviewed or quoted.
•         Each person in the story who is interviewed
•         Each person in the story who is quoted, either directly or indirectly*
Persons to be coded therefore will either be explicitly named e.g.“Greta Thunberg” or their designations provided e.g. “The Duchess of Sussex” for obvious/well-known personalities.

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E2. Some papers have a teaser of the story on the front page and the full story inside. Shall we code as 2 stories or one?

Certainly in many cases ‘teasers’ about the story are contained on the front page and the full story appears in the inner pages. Code the entire story across all the pages it appears as one story.

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E3. How should newspapers be selected?

The answer is in the guide. It states:

Select national dailies first. Then select regional or local daily newspapers. (Therefore, not limited to national papers only)
Select the most important daily newspapers, for example:
Those that seem to have the largest circulation
Those that have the strongest reputation for news
Select newspapers that reflect diversity and balance. ...
Further,” Code 12 to 14 stories on the main news pages of each newspaper.
Begin with the main news page (usually Page 1). Code all the news stories on this page. Then go to the next major news page.

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E4. The headline of the main story in  the front page takes half page, but the story is placed in page 5 and it takes the whole page. How should we code the space covered, one page or half page?

Code as one page for stories that cover more than 1 page. Stories that continue over several pages should be coded as one story as indicated in page 2 of the guide: If a story begins on one page and continues elsewhere, code the entire story.

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E5. When the story takes two-thirds of the page, what should we answer? There is no such choice.

A story whose space falls between 2 codes should be coded in the higher code. That is, code stories taking up space between one half and one full page as ‘1. Full Page’

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F1. How should television newscasts be selected?

The answer is in the guide. It states:

Select newscasts only. ....
Do not select current affairs magazines, documentaries, infotainment programmes, programmes that are mainly about sports, etc
First select newscasts from your own country. Choose newscasts that are produced in your own country. ....
Then select transnational newscasts. If there are international or regional news channels broadcasting in your country, choose a newscast from one or more of these channels....
Select the most important television newscasts,...
Select newscasts that reflect diversity and balance....

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G1. How should radio newscasts be selected?

The answer is in the guide. It states:

Select newscasts only. ...
Do not select current affairs magazines, documentaries, infotainment programmes, programmes that are mainly about sports, etc.
Select newscasts from your own country. Choose newscasts that are produced in your own country. They may contain stories from other countries, but the newscasts themselves should be produced within your own country.
Select the most important radio newscasts, for example:
Those that seem to have the biggest audiences
Those that have the strongest reputation for news
Select newscasts that reflect diversity and balance. ...

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H1. How should the websites to be monitored be selected?

The answer is in the guide. It states: Select major news websites... those that “you are reasonably sure are viewed on a regular (ideally, daily) basis by at least 50% of the internet subscribers in your country”.
Alexa ranks the top websites in some countries including  blogs, ecommerce sites, social media sites , etc, that fall outside the GMMP selection parameters outlined in the ‘Planning and Preparation’ section of the online news monitoring guide. If you choose to use Alexa, ensure that you select only sites that fit the criteria.
Telling the usage statistics. A number of web analytics tools exist to show the numbers and frequency of visitors to a given website, for instance, www.compete.com and www.websiteoutlook.com. At the same time, it is important to take into consideration that the use of web optimization technologies make the numbers not always reliable. Professional media houses will tend to remain professional online, and to steer away from practices that inflate web traffic statistics. Make use of the analytics websites for rough indications of traffic to the sites but do not rely solely on these. Brainstorm with your team to agree on the final selection.

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H2. When a major online news site exists in a print version, should the website be included in the list of Internet news sites to be monitored?

Absolutely. News posted online is designed to cater to an online audience. Online stories will tend to be shorter, have a different emphasis, carry catchier/more active headlines, contain audio/video clips and more/different photos, etc.  Some stories will appear online only and not in the print or broadcast channels. Some stories in print will not appear online.  Some stories are posted as soon as the event happens, long before they appear in any other news delivery channel of the media house. The monitoring will reveal what happens, from a gender perspective, when a story shifts to an online platform.
In selecting the internet news sites, make sure to include online-only important news channels as well, and the coding sheet has a space to indicate whether this is an online-only publication.

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I1. Are Twitter news feeds required to have a certain number of followers before they can be included in the sample?

There is no minimum number of followers however the guide instructs to “Select only major Twitter news feed providers. This means Twitter feeds that you are reasonably sure are viewed on a regular (ideally, daily) basis by a significant number of real Twitter users in your country. Make use of Twitter analytics tools such as https://www.twitteraudit.com/ to ‘clean up’ the data on number of followers in order to ensure that your reasons for including a feed are based on real statistics.

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I2. How the Twitter feeds to be coded be selected?

The answer is in the guide. It states:

"Select only national (and if necessary, local) media house Twitter feeds. The GMMP is concerned with your national and/or local news only. Select country-specific media house twitter feeds. Do not code regional and international news media Twitter feeds such as those of BBC International @BBCWorld and Al Jazeera... . Where international news networks also provide local or national news of the country in which they are based, do not code the international news twitter feeds of such a provider. Restrict coding to the national and/or local news media Twitter feeds. For example, a monitor in the United States of America coding the CNN Twitter feeds would code the American edition @CNNAmerica, and not the CNN International Twitter @cnni.
Select only major Twitter news feed providers. This means Twitter feeds that you are reasonably sure are viewed on a regular (ideally, daily) basis by a significant number of real Twitter users in your country. ....
Select only Twitter feeds concerned with news. This means that the main function of the Twitter feed selected must be to deliver news and NOT celebrity gossip, “how-to” journalism, advertising, quizzes, puzzles or other interactive components, etc. Just as you would not code editorials or letters to the editor in a newspaper, do not code reader commentary under the tweets....
Select national Twitter news feeds first. Then select regional (in-country) or local daily Twitter news feeds".

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I3. Facebook is more popular than Twitter in our country. Can we code Facebook instead?

Facebook monitoring is not planned for GMMP 2020. Twitter monitoring is only for those countries where Twitter is an important news delivery channel. 2015 is the first time that social media has been included in the monitoring, and on a pilot basis. Perhaps in a future edition of the GMMP it will be possible to integrate new forms of news delivery.

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Beijing +20: In my opinion...

The most important contribution that the Beijing Platform for Action has made to advancing gender equality in and through the media is:

Setting global standards to which governments and the media can be held accountable
Bringing coherence to and greater understanding of civil society initiatives on gender, women and media
Raising the profile of work on 'women and media' as important for addressing gender inequalities in women's lived experiences.


 
Watch the video here.

.

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

Who reports the news?

What percentage of stories in print, television and radio newscasts are reported by women?

27%
37%
47%
57%

Women's centrality in the news

What proportion of news stories focused centrally on women in 2010?

13%
23%
33%
43%
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