, 12 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
At #QuoteThisWoman, we are working to get women’s voices heard in the media. And we’ve been debating a question: does excluding women amount to #fakenews? Thread follows…
Every day, media managers/journos make choices about what will and what will not make news – choices affected by their conscious and unconscious beliefs about where women should be in society.
Women are invisible, the media overlooks them (see @MediaMattersZA study: bit.ly/2CWLvra). Some categories are especially under-represented: elderly women, women from minority religious groups, poor women, women with different sexual orientations.
When women do appear in the media, they tend to feature as sex/beauty objects or victims (of violence, poverty, natural disasters, war etc.) Or they become news when they do things society frowns upon – hurting their children, for example.
Research shows that regardless of the reporter’s gender, men and women are treated differently by the press. With almost no exceptions, people are portrayed in terms of long-standing gender stereotypes.
If the news media mainstreams men’s voices and views and makes invisible the stories and voices of the other 51 per cent of the population (source: bit.ly/2UjMY5i) – are we dealing with fake news?
What is the definition of fake news? Trump’s definition - all the news he doesn’t agree with? Or the misreporting of actual fact in the news? Let’s discard Trumpism and say fake news mostly goes to the accuracy or not of the report.
Information gathering is one thing (for instance, does the report reflect accurately what the politician said?). Issue-based journalism, on other hand, needs to be as deep and broad as it can. Journalists have a duty to bring in as many voices as possible.
We’re living in a post truth society which means the power of impact holds more water than the power of truth. It’s important to look for as much of the story as we can!
Not doing so is irresponsible and biased - and gives you 'thin' reporting. Which is of no use to readers and is eventually damaging to journalism itself.
It’s crucial to seek out women’s voices – otherwise this kind of unbalanced reporting can be dangerous in a society where we are already besieged by fake news, distortions and propaganda.
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