Yesterday I participated in the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP). GMMP is an initiative of ‘Who makes the news’, a knowledge, information and resource portal on gender and the media. GMMP studies gender in the news.
Every five years since 1995 a GMMP takes place. On March 25th volunteers in 144 countries around the world gathered together to research national newspapers, television, radio and internet news broadcasts. Goal is to measure the balance of men and women in the news: how many times, in what role, their function and the subjects talked about.
So I travelled to Hogeschool Utrecht and found the classroom I had to be at the faculty of Journalism. I felt a student again! Such a long time ago that I went to college…We were with 25 people and one of them was an older man. At least tonight we were well represented.
After the introduction and instructions we started to collect the data. I researched national newspaper Metro. Till then I didn’t realize the overwhelming portrayal of men in the news. When I worked at ANP, the news agency in the Netherlands, I never paid attention if the portrayal of men and women was balanced. Little did I know…But the gap is enormous!
We researched 7 national newspapers, 4 new websites, 2 television news broadcasts and 2 radio news broadcasts. Of the 346 persons who appeared in the news (and the gender was known), 273 were male and 73 were female. So men still dominate the news. After collecting the results a press release was written and spread. You can read the press release here.
A lot of pictures were made and someone included a picture of me in her blog. She wrote about the astonishing results and the discussions we had afterwards.
I was shocked about the fact that men are dominating the news. 79 percent of the people in the news are male. The difference is unacceptable. I think it’s time for change!