Women’s voice suppressed in journalism, survey confirms

There are times when it is hard to be a woman. Like today when Colin Sparks, Journalism Professor at the University of Westminster, pulled out the ‘Global Media Monitoring Project 2010‘ (GMMP) and told all the female journalism students that theoretically they do not stand a career chance.

The 2010 GMMP shows: Women are still underrepresented in the news media.

This survey involves media in 108 countries all over the world, who have had a closer look at their media and especially the number of women in them.

Even though there is something like universal human rights like equality between all human beings, male journalists stand a 45% chance to become editors during their first five years, while it may take twenty years for a woman.

The only media area in which the number of women is higher than that of men is in TV presenting.

‘Appearance matters,’ Colin Sparks commented sourly on this fact, also pointing out that these presenters would be young women who get pushed out as soon as they reach their late 30s.

No change in sight

There has been a constant ‘deep denial of women’s voices in the world’s news media’, the gender expert, Margaret Gallagher says in the GMMP’s foreword.

Family plans and the dominating males that want to preserve their power are the reasons for that Colin Sparks muses. ‘Only if women accept male norms and become ‘one of the boys’ the industry gives them chance’, Sparks thinks.

‘At the current rate of change it will take more than 40 years to reach parity’, the GMMP states. Even though the majority of journalism students are female, most of them do not make it into the job.

Well, let’s just hope that it will not take anything close to 40 years until we female journalism students find a job and show male journalists that there are no female features whatsoever that keep us from doing a great job.

But I guess they already know that: Why else would they be fighting so hard to keep women out?

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