Gender Inequality In The Practice Of Journalism

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Gender Inequality In The Practice Of Journalism


Abstract


Journalism is considered an exclusive preserve of men with salutation phrase of ‘Gentlemen of the press’ an indication of gender discrimination or men profession only. Religion, culture, gender disparity, role as mother and insecurity among others are factors influencing the performance of women journalists in Nigeria. The core objective of the research is to appraise the gender inequality in the practice of journalism with a case study of Enugu State National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ). Survey research method was used while 200 copies of questionnaires were administered to 200 respondents who were purposively selected with 100respondents from the print media and another 100 from broadcast media respectively.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

One of the greatest challenges facing journalists, both men and women, is to resist the culture of casual stereotype in our everyday work. Fair gender portrayal is a professional and ethical aspiration, similar to respect for accuracy, fairness and honesty. It is the other side of the coin that says women need to be more present at higher levels of the news business, both at work and in the unions. In a world where hard news is still mainly reported and presented by men journalists need to stand up for gender equality. This equality is not just a women’s’ issue; everyone benefits from eliminating discrimination.( http://media-diversity.org). If media are a mirror of society as they should be, they certainly need to reflect better the fact that gender equality is a fundamental human right. It is about equal treatment of men and women, and encompasses issues such as equal pay for equal work, equal access to decision making bodies, employment, pensions, health care, promotions, maternity and paternity leave. In journalism it also means fair gender portrayal in the news, the use of neutral and non-gender specific language, and women not being pigeonholed as ‘lifestyle’ or ‘soft’ news reporters. It is essential that the media promote gender equality, both within the working environment and in the representation of women. Media should open this debate and highlight the issue in the news agenda to better inform society and to overcome gender stereotypes. Journalists’ unions and associations have a key role to play in this work, not least by ensuring that equal treatment for all media workers remain on media’s agenda. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), UNESCO and other United Nations agencies all promote these principles, yet nowhere in the world so far has true and total gender equality been accomplished. “We still have a long way to go, says UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. “Women are still severely hampered by discrimination, lack of resources and economic opportunities, by limited access to decision-making and by gender-based violence. (http://unesdoc.unesco.org). Journalism is no exception. Inside media and in the work of journalists we see evidence of how much still needs to be done to achieve equal rights for women. This booklet provides guidelines to journalists and union activists on ways of bringing gender equality into the mainstream of our profession. The booklet is divided into four sections. Section One, ‘women journalists in the media’ sets out the current status of women media professionals, the level and areas of inequality and measures that are used to address them. Section Two ‘stereotypes in the media’ examines media performance in portrayal of women and reinforcing or breaking down existing stereotypes and raises some of the key professional challenges facing journalists in their reporting. Section Three ‘women in the unions and associations’ examines the role unions, professional organisations and union activists can play in promoting equality and ensuring women are properly represented in their decision making bodies Section Four ‘ resources and contacts’ points to the tools that will get the job done- the resources that tackle gender equality in the media and in the workplace, as well as a set of useful contacts who promote women’s rights and gender equality in the media. (http://unesdoc.unesco.org).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Fair gender portrayal is a professional and ethical aspiration, similar to respect for accuracy, fairness and honesty. It is the other side of the coin that says women need to be more present at higher levels of the news business, both at work and in the unions. In a world where hard news is still mainly reported and presented by men journalists need to stand up for gender equality. This equality is not just a women’s’ issue; everyone benefits from eliminating discrimination. If media are a mirror of society as they should be, they certainly need to reflect better the fact that gender equality is a fundamental human right. It is about equal treatment of men and women, and encompasses issues such as equal pay for equal work, equal access to decision making bodies, employment, pensions, health care, promotions, maternity and paternity leave(http://media-diversity.org)


1.3 Objective of the Study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain whether gender affect journalism practice
  2. To ascertain whether audience discriminate gender in journalism
  3. To ascertain the benefit of gender equality in journalism
  4. To ascertain the best among man and woman journalists

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: gender does not affect journalism practice
    H1: gender does affect journalism practice
  2. H02: there is no benefit of gender equality in journalism
    H2: there is benefit of gender equality in journalism

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study will give clear insight on gender inequality in the practice of journalism. The study will be beneficial to students, Nigeria union of journalist and the general public. The study will also serve as a reference to other researchers that will embark on this topic


1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers gender inequality in the practice of journalism. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities


1.7 Definition of Terms

Gender:

Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity. Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological sex, sex-based social structures, or gender identity

Inequality:

Difference in size, degree, circumstances, etc.; lack of equality.

Practice:

The actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it.

Journalism:

Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information. It is also the product of these activities. Journalism can be distinguished from other activities and products by certain identifiable characteristics and practices


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain gender inequality in the practice of journalism. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing challenges gender inequality in the practice of journalism


5.2 Summary

This study was on gender inequality in the practice of journalism. Four objectives were raised which included: To ascertain whether gender affect journalism practice, to ascertain whether audience discriminate gender in journalism, to ascertain the benefit of gender equality in journalism, to ascertain the best among man and woman journalists. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 members of NUJ, Enugu state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made production chairmen, secretaries, new members and old members were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


5.3 Conclusion

In the last decades journalism is characterized by an increased work pressure, shorter news cycles and a high demand for functional flexibility. Researcher addresses the impact of these changes on the barriers for gender inequality in journalism. They should be no discrimination in journalism


5.4 Recommendation

It should be equal right to male and female journalist with no discrimination no matter what and they should act according to their capability


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