NEW PROGRAM TO COMBAT GENDER DIVERSITY ISSUES IN NEWS REPORTING

On 23 January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, United for News, a global multi-stakeholder coalition of media, private industry and NGOs, which includes GFMD, is announcing pilot programs in Canada, Iraq and Ukraine to address the deficit of women in news reporting.

Globally, only 24% of people heard, seen or read about in newspaper, television and radio news are women and only 19% of experts sourced in news stories are women (according to the Global Media Monitoring Project, 2015 report). These alarming rates have changed very little in two decades.

Women are unseen for their expertise and relevance in the conversations that inform and shape our daily lives. At the same time media is undergoing a crisis in trust worldwide. From the boom in disinformation operations to the imminent spread of misinformation online, readers don’t know where to turn for balanced, objective news. This has dire consequences for the media industry’s ability to inform the public, hold governments to account and support healthy communities and economies. Changing this deficit will help build trust in the news media, by making news more reflective of the communities it serves.

United for News is working on the demand side to provide newsrooms with the resources necessary to increase the number and frequency of female subject matter experts that are sourced in stories.  On the supply side, the coalition is working to raise awareness around the issue and provide support for women experts to step forward.

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