Women vs. Journalism

“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.” – Getting the balance right: Gender equality in journalism

In the journalistic community, discrimination due to gender is still evident, and many women are often found reporting on lifestyle and social issues, rather than “hard” news (International Federation of Journalists, 2009, pp.3). Despite the fact that statistics prove that more and more women are continuing to enter the field, the amount of women in senior jobs (International Federation of Journalists, 2009, pp.4) within journalism are surprisingly low compared to that of men.

The pay gap between male and female journalistic voices is also alarmingly wide, and research in the UK found that political news, opinion writing and sports journalism are areas which hold very few female voices. Sport is perceived to be a male dominated industry, and a 2011 survey in Germany concluded that only 8% of the sports related articles were written by women. In the UK the number is even smaller, and less than 5% of sports journalism was written by females.

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Jodi Enda of Nieman Reports claims, “We no longer sit in the balcony, but neither do we have the best seats in the house.” Enda suggests that women have changed the face of news, as there is now more focus on education, welfare, and children. She claims that without females in positions of authority in the field, female journalistic voices have a much more difficult time being heard and respected, and there is much less chance of them having the ability to report on “hard” news.

Although we can see a increase in the presence of women in the journalism field, it is evident that it is difficult for women to achieve senior jobs or higher positions, proving that gender inequality is still very evident in the field.

References:

International Federation of Journalists. 2009. Getting the balance right: Gender equality in journalism | UNESCO. Belgium. Available at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001807/180707E.pdf [Accessed 30th May 2014)

There is no escape from bias.

In our world of journalism, it is practically impossible to find an article completely and utterly free of bias or bias intentions. Although it is not always necessarily the writer’s fault, it is important to remember the impact of bias’s influence when reading an article or news story. The term ‘media bias‘ refers to the way in which news reporters and various other journalistic voices report and cover their story. Since it is not possible to report absolutely everything, selectivity is practically inevitable in journalism, and therefore bias is born. The Rhetorica Network claims, “There is no such thing as an objective point of view.” However, The Rhetorica Network also states that although objectivity is not always reached in journalism, journalists generally try to do the right thing.

FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Journalism) suggests that in attempting to detect bias in journalism, it is important to decipher the sources that the journalists are utilizing, as many claim to receive their information from “official” sources, such as government and corporate sources. FAIR also suggests that in order give a fair and accurate report or story, journalists must ensure that they are receiving their information from a variety of sources, including progressive, female and minority voices.

The Conversation discussion the apparent gender bias within the journalism field, claiming, “The pay gap between male and female journalists remains stubbornly wide, and older women – especially if they have taken a career break – find it difficult to retain a place in the industry,” and also states that it is not as common for women to rise to senior positions. Gender bias is also evident within opinion writing, as research conducted by The Guardian found that women count for a mere 26% of opinion pieces.

Therefore, it is clear that although journalists may have the right intentions, circumstances and life experiences of journalistic voices will inevitably contribute to the bias of the media.

The life of a baking extraordinaire and pun lover

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Anca Milosescu, lover of baking and creator of brilliant puns, began studying a double degree of a Bachelor of International Studies and a Bachelor of Commerce – hoping to soon switch to a Bachelor of Psychology –  in 2014 at the age of 18. Besides her sometimes stressful study load, Anca’s hours are full of a range of activities, including baking, reading, listening to music, partying or spending time with family and friends.

Originally from Romania, Anca moved to Scotland with her mum, dad, and brother, Tudor, at the age of eight, and in November 2011, they migrated to Sydney, Australia. Anca attended Kirrawee High School for years eleven and twelve, completing her HSC in 2013. She was quick to establish a close group of friends at her new high school, and was welcomed with open arms. However, when adjusting to live in Australia, Anca found that there were quite a few things that she missed about Scotland, such and the food she has become accustomed to, her favourite shops and – let’s not forget – Irn-Bru.

On the weekends, Anca often bakes cookies and brownies with her mum, and spends time with her family and friends. She often combines her baking with movie marathons, some of her favourite movies being Shutter Island, The Goonies, Silver Linings Playbook, The Great Gatsby, 10 Things I Hate About You and the new Disney motion picture, Frozen.

Anca also reads a range of books and magazines, but claims to prefer books. She also enjoys a wide variety of music and finds enjoyment in many different genres. Her favourite songs include ‘Stay With Me’ and ‘Nirvana’ by Sam Smith and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana. Along with Sam Smith and Nirvana, she also has a wide range of favourite artists, including Kings of Leon, A$ap Rocky, Paolo Nutini, Frank Ocean, Sticky Fingers, Tame Impala, Arctic Monkeys, Haim, Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey, Beyoncé, Lorde and The 1975.

On the weekends, Anca also enjoys attending house parties or going clubbing with her friends, whether they are keeping it local or journeying into Sydney city. You can find her either on the dance floor, dancing to ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, or sipping on a vodka orange or piña colada – or two.

Anca claims to not travel much, but states that occasionally she may take a trip around Australia with her family. So far, she has mainly travelled around New South Wales, but in the recent summer holidays, Anca also journeyed to New Zealand with her family and also spent New Year’s in Perth with a close friend from Scotland. She hopes to one day travel to the Netherlands – perhaps on cultural exchange – and also visit her family and friends in Romania and Scotland.

Once she has completed her degree, Anca hopes to establish a career within the psychology field, due to her passion for helping others and interest in the field.

 

When ‘Vogue’ becomes vogue.com

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With the continuous advances in technology and the rise in social media, many journalistic outlets are choosing to establish their own online presence, sparking debate among both readers and those who work within the journalism field. Upon interviewing five journalism students at the University of Wollongong, I was able to gather their opinions regarding the debate over online journalism. Four of the five students interviewed believe that online journalism is useful in the distribution of news, whereas one interviewee believes that online journalism defeats the purpose of traditional or print journalism.

Many believe online journalism to be more accessible than traditional journalism, as you can access online articles and stories from home. Liv Gee, an aspiring investigative journalist, also finds online articles to be useful in following other articles for further information on the chosen subject, and also shows where the writer gathered their information for their story. Liv claims, “If I’m reading something and am feeling a bit iffy about the writers perspective or credibility, it’s easy to look up another article on the same topic, or look at comments on the original article and see if there’s a raging argument.” However, Brittany Rogers – a student hoping to be a feature writer, travel writer or editor – believes that online journalism defeats the purpose of traditional journalism, claiming, “I think it takes away a lot of jobs from traditional journalists… if we didn’t have online journalism we’d have more print journalism.”

The majority of the interviewees believe that online journalism will – for the most part – dominate the industry, as technology continues to advance and we become able to access journalistic articles from a wider range of devices. Tisha Rabe, an aspiring fashion and beauty editor or head editor for magazines such as Cleo and Cosmopolitan, states, “with technology on the rise and the cut back on the use of paper for environmental reasons I do see journalism being more online in the future.” Caitlyn Ellender hopes to one day work in the marketing and advertising field of media, and agrees that the takeover is almost inevitable. However, she also adds, “I believe people still enjoy a physical copy of a magazine or newspaper.” Jarrett Wall, who is undecided between sports and music journalism and teaching, suggests that some aspects traditional journalism will survive, but also predicts, “they’ll have a changed role.”

The credibility of online journalism can also be questioned, as the rise of citizen journalism is apparent. Brittany suggests that it can depend where you gather your information when it comes to online articles, as blogs may not be as credible as, for example, The New York Times. Jarrett believes, “…there will always be a need for trusted news sources and with the lack of reliability on the Internet, traditional sources that we trust become more important…”

Despite the rise of online journalism, all interviewees agree that it can be more relaxing or pleasing to actually have a newspaper or magazine in front of them, and it was suggested by Caitlyn that online journalism is more a more useful and easier alternative in researching for assignments or essays.