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Gender in Journalism Education and Training

Despite a rising number of female journalists, women continue to be neglected in the media around the world.

Der Begriff Gender [ˈdʒɛndɚ] bezeichnet das soziale oder psychologische Geschlecht einer Person im Unterschied zu ihrem biologischen Geschlecht (engl. sex). Der Begriff wurde aus dem Englischen übernommen, um auch im Deutschen die Unterscheidung zwischen sozialem (gender) und biologischem (sex) Geschlecht treffen zu können, da das deutsche Wort Geschlecht in beiden Bedeutungen verwendet wird. Er dient vor allem als Terminus technicus in den Sozial- und Geisteswissenschaften

The preference of male sources over female ones holds true for newspapers, cable television, network news and the online world. Many topics which are relevant from a female perspective are thus excluded from media coverage or do not reach the relevant target groups. Predominantly simplified stories either on sexual abuse and domestic violence or on family life and fashion shows are reported, which are far from providing a comprehensive picture of women's role in society.

In order to reduce this gender gap, journalists need to be familiarized with gender-sensitive reporting from the outset. Training must focus more on raising awareness for gender issues as a most relevant aspect of political, socio-economic and environmental life in society. This is of particular importance for developing countries, in which women are often the driving change agents on the ground. But it also holds true for the developed world. However, gender-sensitive reporting has so far played merely a minor role in journalism education. Unlike economic reporting or even sports, gender sensitivity is not a compulsory part of the curricula in most journalism schools around the world. Therefore gender-biased media coverage is common even among young, up-and-coming journalists.

The panel will discuss how gender issues could and should be integrated into journalism education, especially in developing countries. It will also identify ways to increase women's access to the media, and especially to media management, in order to include their point of view in the agenda-setting process. Examples of best practice in training will be provided to demonstrate how the growing media industry in developing countries can benefit from addressing the gender gap.

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