Global Media Monitoring: Who Makes the News?
By Glory E. Dharmaraj*
“The meaning of media messages is constantly being created, negotiated, and constructed between the producer of the text and the receiver of the text. The locus of meaning is the viewing experience.” Adán M. Medrano in Belief in Media: Cultural Perspectives on Media and Christianity
- What is the role and representation of women in media?
- Even when women are present in the media coverage, are their perspectives reflected?
United Methodist Women & Media Monitoring
You are invited to take part in monitoring news media on November 10, 2009 to identify the role and representation of women.
Media monitoring is not new to United Methodist Women members. Since 1976, we have been monitoring the image, role, and representation of women in media. The results were published in a booklet, Prime Time Television: The United Methodist Women’s Television Monitoring Project. This monitoring project began in 1975 in a National Seminar in Norman, Oklahoma.
In 1990, we had a mission study on Mythmakers: Gospel, Culture and the Media by William F. Fore. This book tells us how media shape our culture and how we should exercise our critical thinking in viewing media. Medium is not the message, but life is, Fore reinforces.
Since 1995, the World Association for Christian Communication has been sponsoring the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) in order to analyze how media represent women and their perspectives. United Methodist Women members have taken part in the GMMP in 1995, 2000, and 2005.
The results of the 1995 were tabulated and released in the Non Governmental Organization forum in the UN World Conference on Women in Beijing. GMMP results from 1995, 2000, and 2005 consistently show that significant gender imbalances in newsmaking and news practice.
Last year, we did peace monitoring the day after the International Day of Peace to analyze whether peace is front-page newsworthy.
Communication as Mission
The results of Global Media Monitoring on the role and representation of women on November 10, 2009 will contribute to two key events in 2010. That is, the 15-year review of Beijing Platform for Action for the Advancement of Women (Beijing plus 15), and the Millennium Development Goals Review Summit.
Communication as mission is an area where we need to ask whether all the voices are represented at the table. This activity is a key tool. Using the results of the monitoring, a study guide from a Christian perspective will be written and posted on the web by Glory Dharmaraj for use in the local units.
Newspaper, Radio or Television
This year, along with 110 countries in the world, we will be taking part in the media monitoring activity.
You are invited to decide on one particular news medium, or more than one media (newspaper, radio, or TV news) ahead of time. I invite you to buy a daily newspaper in your area on the set day of monitoring, and monitor it. You can tape prime time news on radio or television on that day and monitor it, too.
Take time to review the materials ahead of time, with a small group of persons or a partner. Buy the newspaper on Nov. 10, and if you are not able to gather as a small group or with a friend on that day, save the newspaper and fill out the monitoring/coding form later. The newspaper should be a newspaper from Nov. 10. The taped radio or TV news should be from that day.
If there are questions, please contact Glory Dharmaraj at 212-870-3760 or GDharmar@gbgm-umc.org or PPollard@gbgm-umc.org
Please take pictures of your monitoring and send them, also.
The deadline to send the completed form with the front page of the newspaper, taped radio news, or TV news is NOVEMEBR 30, 2009.
Address to send it:
Glory E. Dharmaraj
Women’s Division, Global Ministries
475 Riverside Drive, Room 1504
New York, New York 10115