Leading in a Different Language: Will Women Change the News Media? Condensed from the Report Published by the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF). (Media Section)

Women in Action, August 2001 | Go to article overview

Leading in a Different Language: Will Women Change the News Media? Condensed from the Report Published by the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF). (Media Section)


If there was ever any doubt about the power of the press, consider the experiences of Peruvian journalist Cecilia Valenzuela. In the last decade, Valenzuela has been arrested, fired from several jobs and has received countless death threats, some from her own government.

Valenzuela's offense has been her steadfast reports on politics and the military in her country.

Most recently, in September 2000, this 1993 IWMF Courage in Journalism Award winner published a report charging the Peruvian national intelligence service with trafficking in drugs and weapons. Her reward for careful investigative reporting was a physical assault.

Valenzuela has become a lightning rod because her reports are substantial, documented and, most important, have the power to sway public opinion.

Still, she is not the only reporter to suffer reprisals for telling the truth. And though many editors stand behind crusading reporters, others --including some who fired Valenzuela in an effort to silence her--are controlling the news.

Though this may be a stark example of the power that media leaders have to shape the news, it is still instructive. Whoever controls assignments, whoever decides how a story is going to be covered, whoever decides what placement that story gets in a newspaper or over the airwaves, is not only shaping content of news, but is deciding what readers and listeners know and how they know it. Media leaders are not just industry leaders, they have the power to shape society's attitudes.

And in most newsrooms around the world, most media leaders are men. Though women are more than half the world's population, men routinely decide what news they should hear and read. What is the impact on women when the news is constantly reported from a male point of view?

To explore what happens in the news when women are absent from decision-making positions, the IWMF brought together 100 of the top women in the news media from 60 countries in May 2000. The forum also provided the opportunity for discussions on the status of women in the media, the role of women as media leaders and the potential of women managers to influence news content and news audiences.

WHERE WOMEN STAND

The overall number of women journalists employed in the media around the world has decreased by two percent in the last five years, according to a recent study by the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC). Today, women are 41 percent of working journalists; they were 43 percent in 1995.

For all women employed in the media--which includes those working in administrative and support positions--the figures are even lower. The only international analysis of women's employment in the news media was conducted in 1995 by Margaret Gallagher for UNESCO. Gallagher's report, An Unfinished Story: Gender Patterns in Media Employment, found that in all regions of the world, women are not a significant part of the media workforce. In Asia, women are 21 percent of the total media workforce.

In Latin America, they are 25 percent. In Southern Africa, they are 27 percent. In Western Europe and the United States, they are 35 percent. In some countries, the figures for women in the media are astonishingly low. A Nepalese journalist speaking at the UN Beijing Plus 5 Conference in New York in June 2000 said that in her country, women are only six percent of media workers. According to UNESCO figures, in Japan women are only eight percent of media employees; in India and Malawi they are 12 percent; and in Argentina and Mozambique women are 16 percent of the media workforce.

Worldwide, women are 79 percent of all part-time workers in the news media, wrote Gallagher in the 1995 report. Since part-time work is seldom an avenue to promotion, women in these positions rarely transition to full-time positions, much less leadership posts.

A majority (nearly 60 percent) of the women journalists from around the world who responded to a 1997 IWMF survey said that not even one out of 10 decision-makers in their companies were women. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Leading in a Different Language: Will Women Change the News Media? Condensed from the Report Published by the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF). (Media Section)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.