Men ‘over-represented’ as news subjects and as journalists in Cyprus media monitoring

Men ‘over-represented’ as news subjects and as journalists in Cyprus media monitoring

The rise of digital news platforms has not brought “tangible positive change towards a more gender-balanced” representation in stories by Cyprus media, according to the latest Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) research.
Women’s representation on Twitter news and online news was only 17%, even lower than that of the traditional news media (21%), said the GMMP-Cyprus team in its report. The Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS) monitored 515 news stories on television, radio, print, news websites and Twitter on GMMP monitoring day, September 29, 2020.
The research showed that “women’s representation in the news continues to lag behind that of men’s,” said the report. It noted that data revealed just a 0.4% annual increase in women’s presence in the news since the last GMMP in 2015.
Overall, men were over-represented as news subjects and as journalists in both traditional media (79%) and in digital news media (83%), said the report.
Women make up only 11% of people in news about politics and government, “a percentage dramatically lower than that recorded in the previous GMMP in 2015 (30%),” it said.
The percentage of women represented in news about the economy was 13%, slightly higher than the 10% recorded in 2015.
The data also showed an over-representation of male experts: 80% in traditional news media, and 100% in the electronic media.
“However, there has been an increase in women experts and commentators
in the news media, with a presence of 20% compared to 9% in 2015,” it added.
Women are more likely to be represented in less prestigious roles such as expressing personal experience (45%), or as eyewitnesses (33%), said the report.
The most significant change in the GMMP data was seen with respect to women and men journalists across media channels. “Women represented 42% of journalists in newspapers, a medium that was heavily male- dominated in the previous GMMP 2015.”
On television, the data revealed a 50/50 gender balance among presenters and reporters. “However, the issues reported by women and men were different: whereas 32% of women reporters presented science and health issues, only 13% presented news on the economy and 11% presented news related to politics and government.”
Since monitoring took place at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the stories were about it or related to it.
Despite the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women, only 32% of those featured on issues related to the pandemic were women, said the report.
This was the third time that Cyprus participated in the GMMP. MIGS received support from the Cyprus Radio Television Authority and the National Machinery for Women’s Rights in conducting the research.
Organized by WACC Global, the GMMP has taken place every five years since 1995. It is the largest and longest longitudinal study on gender in the world’s media. It is also the largest advocacy initiative in the world on changing the representation of women in the media.

Download the GMMP Cyprus national report

Download the 6th GMMP Global Report 

Tess Sison
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