FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A1. What does GMMP stand for?
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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.
The last GMMP report (published in 2015) showed that news paints a picture of a world where women are virtually invisible. A comparison of the results from the four 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 is to be reflective of our world, it is apparent that these patterns need to be transformed. We believe that the GMMP can be a step towards that change.
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.
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.
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. It is important to hold the GMMP in 2020 in order to ensure continuity in tracking progress towards gender-just, gender-balanced news media. GMMP 2020 will help reveal whether the world news media are any closer to gender equality now than they were five and 25 years ago, what the long-term trends and patterns are, and where more efforts are needed to advance fair and balanced gender representation in print, broadcast and digital news media.
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 country 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. Watch this space for more information and the contact details of the coordinators for your country and region.
We hope that more than 130 countries will be represented in the GMMP 2020. Watch this space for the list of regional and country coordinators.
Certainly! There are numerous ways to get involved. Find out how at http://whomakesthenews.org/gmmp-campaign. On this page you will find out how to join a monitoring team, how to spread the word about the GMMP, how to contribute to the crowdfunding effort at https://fundly.com/global-media-monitoring-project. If you are just interested in finding out more about the results, do stay tuned. We are more than happy to have you on board.