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Front-page of South Asian newspapers

under gender lens

Solutions@CNS (solutions.citizen-news.org), a specialized media and communications division of Citizen News Service – CNS (www.citizen-news.org), and Vote For Health campaign of Asha Parivar (www.ashaparivar.org), jointly conducted an initial pilot research study comprising a month-long news monitoring, aggregation and gender analysis of the first page of prominent English newspapers in five South Asian countries.

Indicators:     

How many female journalists, compared to their male colleagues, got news stories with their bylines published on front page of English newspapers How many front-page news headlines carried names of female newsmakers compared to those featuring male newsmakers How many female experts were quoted in the news on front-page compared to those featuring male experts How many women were featured in the front-page news content as compared to men How many photographs of women were there on front-page as compared to those of men

Newspapers monitored:     

The Times of India, New Delhi, India The News, Islamabad, Pakistan The New Nation, Dhaka, Bangladesh The Kathmandu Post, Kathmandu, Nepal The Daily Mirror, Colombo, Sri Lanka

These newspapers were chosen randomly and in no way reflect whether news reporting in other newspapers is more, less or similarly balanced based upon above indicators

Duration: One month (29 October 2012 – 28 November 2012) Summary of our analysis This CNS gender analysis yielded some startling results, with the data painting an overall picture of the dismal presence of women in front page media, as compared to their male counterparts. Barring very few cases (4 out of 25 to be precise), their presence (as per the above mentioned 5 indicators) ranged from 0% to 20%. Overall, Sri Lanka featured maximum number of females (27%) in one category or the other (based upon above mentioned indicators), followed by India and Bangladesh (19%), Pakistan (9%) and Nepal (9%).

Country Wise Analysis: Sri Lanka, which has the best sex ratio of 1034 among these 5 nations, also topped the list in 3 of the 5 above mentioned indicators - with 17% experts quoted being women, 44% of the persons mentioned by name in the news being women and 31% of all the photos

Photos of women

31%

Women quoted as experts

Sri Lanka

17%

Women mentioned by name

44%

Women in Headline

15%

Byline of female reporters

15% 0%

50%

100%

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Photos of women Women quoted as experts

13%

Women mentioned by name

20%

Women in Headline

17%

India scored the maximum in the first indicator Byline of female reporters category, with 30% of its front-page news articles with by-lines credited to female reporters. 0% However it stood at 2nd position in case of women mentioned in headlines (17%) and women mentioned by name somewhere in the news (20%), and slid to 3rd position in the other two Photos of women indicator categories with only 13% experts quoted being women and only 18% of photographs on first Women quoted as experts page belonging to females. Interestingly India’s sex Women mentioned by name ratio is 940, which is the lowest in all these 5 countries. Women in Headline

Nepal, with a sex ratio of 1014, did not have even a single woman mentioned in the headlines. It also came last in the categories of women either quoted as experts (1.6%), or mentioned by name somewhere in the news (6%). Only 3.5% of its byline articles were written by women and 17.5% of the front-page photographs were of women, assigning it the 4th place in these two categories. Pakistan not only has a poor sex ratio of 943 (very similar to India’s 940), but a mere 10% of the frontpage photographs featured women. It stood 4th in the categories of women mentioned by name in the news (10.6%) and quoted as experts (4%). It fared slightly better by standing 3rd in terms of news articles with female by-lines (9.5%) and women mentioned in headlines (16%).

Byline of female reporters

-5%

30%

25% 15%

Bangladesh

50%

20% 23%

0% 5%

15%

25%

Photos of women Women quoted as experts Women mentioned by name Women in Headline

18% 2% 6% 0%

Byline of female reporters

4%

-10%

10%

Photos of women Women quoted as experts Women mentioned by name Women in Headline Byline of female reporters

35%

Nepal

Bangladesh, which has a woman Prime Minister, and a sex ratio of 978, unfortunately did not have any news item credited to a female reporter on the front-page in the newspaper we scanned. However, at 22%, it had the maximum number of females mentioned in headlines, as compared to the other 4 countries, and stood 2nd in terms of quoting females as experts at 15%, as well publishing their photographs on the front-page (25%).

India

18%

30%

10% 4% 11% 16% 7%

-15%

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35%

Pakistan

published on the 1st page belonging to females. However it dropped to 2nd position under the Byline indicator category with only 15% of 1st page articles with a by-line contributed by female reporters, (India’s 30% was the highest), and came down to the 5th position with only 15% of the persons mentioned in its headlines being women, (Bangladesh topped this category at 22%).


Indicator-wise‌ Women mentioned by name in the news

Women mentioned in headlines

16%

Pakistan

5%

0%

Articles with byline of female reporters

Bangladesh

17%

Sri Lanka

4%

2%

Nepal

0%

15%

Bangladesh 10%

Pakistan

10% 20% 30% 40% 50%

Women quoted as experts

15%

Nepal

20%

India

10% 15% 20% 25%

Sri Lanka

11%

Pakistan

17%

India

20%

Bangladesh

23%

Bangladesh

0%

6%

Nepal

0%

Nepal

44%

Sri Lanka

15%

Sri Lanka

4%

Pakistan 30%

India

13%

India 0%

0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30%

5%

10%

15%

20%

Photos of women 31%

Sri Lanka Nepal Bangladesh Pakistan India

18% 25% 10% 18% 0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

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Results At A Glance 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%

Byline of female reporters Women in Headline Women mentioned by name Women quoted as experts Photos of women

Overall 27%

30% 25% 20%

19%

15% 10%

19%

9%

9%

5% 0%

Indicator

Overview

How many female journalists get news stories with their by-lines on front page of English newspapers compared to their male colleagues How many front-page news headlines carried names of female newsmakers compared to those featuring male newsmakers How many female experts have been quoted in the news on front-page compared to those featuring male experts

maximum in India (30%) followed by Sri Lanka 15%, Pakistan 9.5%, Nepal 3.5%% and Bangladesh 0% maximum in Bangladesh (22%), followed by India (17%), Pakistan (16%), Sri Lanka (15%) and Nepal (0%) Women quoted as experts on front page news: maximum in Sri Lanka (17%), followed by Bangladesh (15%), India (12.5%), Pakistan (4%) and Nepal (2%) Women mentioned by name in the news: maximum in Sri Lanka (44%), followed by India (20%), Bangladesh (20%), Pakistan (10.6%), and Nepal (6%) Women in Photographs: maximum in Sri Lanka (31%), followed by Bangladesh (25%), India (18%), Nepal (17.5%), Pakistan (10%) Sri Lanka 27%, India 19%, Bangladesh 19%, Pakistan 9%, Nepal 9%

How many front-page news content featured women compared to those that featured men

How many photographs of women were there on front-page than those with men Overall

Persons (M/F) based upon above-mentioned five indicators on front-pages of newspapers: by-line headline featured expert photograph total M F M F M F M F M F M F India 86 37 109 22 240 59 147 21 179 40 761 179 Pakistan 123 13 58 11 186 22 179 7 120 13 666 66 Bangladesh 56 0 76 22 133 33 94 17 146 49 505 121 Nepal 56 2 28 0 134 9 129 2 169 36 516 49 Sri Lanka 192 34 33 6 79 62 40 8 293 130 637 240

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Recommendations: 

This initial pilot research study was a very small attempt to look at very few newspapers (one randomly chosen from each of the five south Asian countries) and in no way is a comprehensive or accurate reflection of gender balance in news media of South Asian nations. But it does give some sense and initial trends that are alarming and may have stronger implications in shaping public opinion and how women related news are profiled. This analysis is also very limited in scope, having evaluated only the first page of newspapers. Because of the sensitive nature of initial findings in terms of gender equity, perhaps a longer duration research study of more incountry newspapers (English and local vernacular media, and if possible, other forms of media such as radio or TV), with more indicators may give a better trend analysis.

It is also important to study further of the impact of having female media personnel in decisionmaking positions in media organizations on gender balance in news media.

Based upon initial trends, and if we gather more data to have a stronger case, it might be prudent to work with different media regulatory authorities, management teams of media houses, and other stakeholders on: o Incorporating gender training and sensitization of journalists at all levels - for not only news reporting but also on how news is framed, positioned and by-lined among other indicators o Including gender sensitive reporting in the journalism curriculum o Doing more advocacy for better gender diversity at workplaces o Pushing gender diversity in news positioning on all pages/ airtime

Team: CNS lead on analysis, content and editing: Shobha Shukla News monitoring, aggregation and data trends: Rahul Kumar Dwivedi

For more information, please contact: Shobha Shukla Managing Editor, Citizen News Service – CNS Email: shobha@citizen-news.org | Phone: +91-94157-85055 Websites: CNS: www.citizen-news.org | Solutions@CNS: solutions.citizen-news.org

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Front-page Of South Asian Newspapers Under Gender Lens: Report