Media can be difficult for women to be taken serious in the workforce and their works can be hard to recognize. The world of media has been so male driven that the women have been pushed to the side. It is hard to women to be express their thoughts because they are constantly undermined by the way they appear. Their opinions are not taken seriously and are used as a sex symbol to drive ratings up by using their appeal to draw the attention of the audience. This is completely unfair to women, there are organizations that help boost women and make them feel apart of media rather than bring them down.
I chose The Women’s Media Center to show that women do actually play an important role in media. The Women’s Media Center was founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem and has the goal of making women visible and powerful in media. Media influence is one of the most powerful economic and cultural forces today. By deciding who gets to talk, what shapes the debate, who writes, and what is important enough to report, media shape our understanding of who we are and what we can be.
The organization shows statistics regarding different news companies and showing the number of women journalists verse men journalists. Female journalists most often reported on life style, culture, and health than politics, criminal justice, or technology. Yet some news organizations have made progress in the representation of women in news. Overall, the research is about much more than just one woman in an anchor seat, it is about making sure that who defines the story, who tells the story, and what the story is about, represents women and men equally. Women are more than half of the population, but we don’t see or hear them in equal numbers to men. This holds for bylines by gender and for sources quoted in stories, for women in front of the camera and behind the camera.
While the number of radio newswomen spiked 8 percent from 2012 to 2013 narrowing a relatively wide gap that has resulted in women, currently 34.2 percent of radio news staffs elsewhere in broadcast news either the status quo prevailed, recent gains were lost or slight gains were made. That’s according to a Radio Television and Digital News Association annual survey that also showed that in radio, 47.1 percent of local stations in the country had women workers. Among news directors in local radio, 20.6 percent were women, the report found.
Women in film has been a difficult subject to understand because most of the time they are used as a sex symbol. A 2013 New York Film Academy special report noted that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, a cinematic blockbuster with a female led cast, gained three quarters of all box office receipts for movies premiering during Hunger’s opening weekend in November 2013. The report also noted the following that women get 30.8 percent of roles requiring the character to speak. 28.8percent of women in film wore sexually revealing clothing. For men, the figure was 7 percent. In 10.7 percent of films, the cast was equally balanced, half male and half female. A statistic that jumps out to me is that Angelina Jolie, the highest paid female actor, made $33million roughly the same amount as the two lowest paid male stars in Hollywood. “The more nudity or sexual reference depicted, the greater the sales generated in an exploitative and profit-driven media industry.” According to Peerbux, Bibi Oonaizah. Even as women regained ground in terms of sheer numbers of speaking roles, women with speaking parts tended to be considerably younger than men as 30 percent of men but 19 percent of women were in their 20s. But 22 percent of men and 14 percent of women were in their 40s. Hollywood wants younger women to play these roles and use them to draw the attention of the male viewer.
As far as jobs are concerned a slightly higher rate than men, women media graduates landed more full time jobs in 2012. That continues a years long trend during which women, more than men, have opted for non newsroom positions, according to the University of Georgia James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research. That long-standing trend owes to several factors, Indiana University School of Journalism professor Radhika Parameswaran told the Women’s Media Center. The problem among them is the lack of flexibility of many journalism jobs. The media field has been a hard road for women but in the last few years women are seeing increased roles in the media field.
The Women’s Media Center produces the annual Status of Women in U.S. Media Report to provide an overview of the role of women in media and thereby in society. The center is a roadmap that tells us where women are and where they need to go for women to achieve an equal voice and equal participation. The numbers tell a clear story for the need for change on every media platform.
Peerbux, Bibi Oonaizah. “Women as Sex Objects.” Le Mauricien. LE MAURICIEN, 15 Mar. 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.