On 10 November 2009, an ‘ordinary’ day of almost one year ago, teams of volunteers belonging to universities, media research centers and civil society organizations in 108 countries around the world monitored 1,365 newspapers, radio and television newscasts and internet news websites with the objective to find out what was the world portrayed in the media from a gender perspective point of view. They analyzed 17,795 news stories and 38,253 people in those stories.
“The idea of the Global Media Monitoring Project was mooted at the conference ‘Women empowering communication’ the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) organized in Bangkok in 1994 in collaboration with the International Women’s Tribune Centre (based in New York) and Isis-Manila conference”, remembers Sarah Macharia, Programme Manager for Media and Gender Justice at WACC. “Several months after the first Gender Media Monitoring Project (February 1995), coordinated by the Canadian NGO Media Watch, media monitoring was officially recognized as a tool for change towards gender equality in the Beijing Platform for Action. WACC took up the challenge to coordinate all subsequent GMMPs, which fall well within the organisation’s overall goal to promote communication rights, in particular the rights of marginalized groups”.
The 2010 GMMP, which covered 55% of the world’s countries with 82% of the world’s population and whose results were published recently, shows that only 24% of news subjects – people who are interviewed or whom the news is about – in the traditional media are women. In the internet news, monitored as a pilot basis in what was the forth edition of the project, females turn out to be even less present (23%).
Three out of four of the people in the news are therefore males.