In Costa Rica, women represent 38% of people in online news

In Costa Rica, women represent 38% of people in online news

The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) team in Costa Rica is highlighting the need for journalism trainings focused on  gender sensitivity and gender ethical reporting after its latest study showed that gender inequality persists in Costa Rican news.

Women constitute 32% of persons seen, heard, or written about in newspapers, radio, television, online news, and Twitter news, according to data gathered by 50 volunteers from Costa Rica.  The highest representation of women was in online news (38%) and the least, in newspapers (27%), according to the GMMP Costa Rica report.

The report noted that despite reports that women bore the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact, including being on the frontlines, underemployment, more unpaid workload, and caregiving, this was not reflected in the stories monitored during the GMMP monitoring day, September 29, 2020.

For instance, only 4% of Covid-19 related stories about the economy challenged gender stereotypes or addressed gender inequalities, and none about Covid-19 stories related to politics and government — two news topics that figured prominently during the pandemic.

In terms of story assignment, the data showed that women were more likely to cover health and science (26% of women reporters) and economic (24%) news, while men report largely on the economy (32% of men reporters) and crime & violence (20%).

Data also showed that all journalists regardless of gender lean towards men as subjects and sources; almost seven out of 10 persons in stories by men as well as those by women reporters, are men.

Women also continue to be relegated to the role of personal experience providers or secondary roles (61%), while only 27% were tapped as spokespersons and experts, said the report. They are relatively invisible as leaders in all spheres of community and local development, it added.

The report emphasized the need for women communicators, analysts and activists to establish alliances, promote the findings of the GMMP report, and advocate for gender equality in the news media.

It urged Costa Rica’s Gender and Media Observatory to find creative ways to work with female and male journalists and leaders to help advance gender equality in the news.

This is the third time that the Costa Rican team has participated in the GMMP


Tess Sison
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