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Author Topic: Women's lowly news status a global insult
Babbler # 2534

posted 24 February 2006 10:00 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This women's e-news story on the small place women occupy in newsrooms - whatever the country or culture - caught my eye. Women's lowly news status - a global insult. I was hesitating about whether to put it here, in media, in feminism or in rabble-related content. I knew Michelle had talked about phasing out the related fora, and thought the media forum mandate "what you are being told, and by whom" was a better fit - but of course the mods can decide otherwise!

It has certainly struck me - and I daresay, not only in mainstream media, but also in a fair number of alternative, left and labour media I'm familiar with or have contributed to. (Rabble is a noteworthy exception!) I'd also add that the problem is not limited to "reporters", but also to columnists, feature writers (except for fluff), and all the behind-the-scenes staff in print and electronic media.

From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 478

posted 24 February 2006 11:02 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The problem is: to take this kind of campaign anywhere, even to get good discussions going, we need concrete examples. Maybe we could start to collect them here.

The paper I read most regularly (the Grope and Flail) would probably claim that they are giving a number of women high-profile columnist/op-ed spots, and there's some truth to that - Margaret Wente, eg, plus a roster of regular op-ed contributors (Sheema Khan, Lorna Dueck, etc) - not that the women they've chosen always seem to feel they have any feminist responsibilities at all - quite the contrary.

It's maybe the editors behind the scenes, and therefore the stories that are assigned and the reporters who are assigned to them, that would be of interest. In other words, a campaign like this needs inside info.

Apart from that, what can we do but make observations about the finished product?

From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 10099

posted 24 February 2006 02:41 PM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Olympic coverage is certainly representative - in the Canadian MSM, the low-key if not lukewarm response to the impressive medals won by female athletes is certainly indicative of bias. On Indicatif Présent this morning, a commentator observed that the FIRST question asked to a Canadian women's team player following their win was: "What do you think of the men's team chances of winning?" Huh?
From: missing in action | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 4348

posted 24 February 2006 04:29 PM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have noticed too the lukewarm praise for the women's success.
One show with Kathleen Petty and a male coanchor whose name escapes me discussed the success of the women yesterday and it seemed to really get under the skin of the man. Today when the men's curling team won gold, he said something like 'yeah for the BOYS" which I thought was hilarious and so childish. You don't see the women athletes doing anything but fully supporting their male counterparts at the games, too bad the lunkheads in the media couldn't learn a lesson from our athletes.

From: vancouver | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 4090

posted 24 February 2006 05:50 PM      Profile for Sharon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I hope everyone is linking to this Women's eNews story from the front page of -- it's good for our stats.

(Rabble is a noteworthy exception!)

lagatta, I wish this were true but I fear you are being polite. For every 10 queries/proposals/submissions I get from male writers, I'm lucky to get one or two from women. We've tried to figure out why this is -- women are busier, can't afford to write for a site with not much of an editorial budget etc.

My own theory is that women feel -- perhaps not consciously -- that what they/we have to say is not valued in the same way or we just don't have the same confidence/arrogance that what we have to say is worth hearing.

audra often quotes Judy, as perhaps you know, who said that while she -- Judy -- was hosting Face Off on CBC-TV, no able-bodied white man ever turned down an invitation onto the show by saying he "didn't know enough" about the subject. But women did, all the time.

(audra quoted this most recently in the current issue of This Magazine.)

Are there other theories about this?

From: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged

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