GMMP data included in Swedish research study
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GMMP data included in Swedish research study


From Gender Matters, a group exhibition created in 2014 by International Museum Studies masters students across three museums in Göteborg, Sweden. Photo: Stacey Marie Garcia.

The WACC-supported Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) will be part of a research project at the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden that is a cross-national study of the qualities, causes and consequences of gender inequality in and through the news media.

Launched in 2015, the project is bringing together global and regional data produced from gender and media research into one comprehensive database that can be used by researchers in the field of media and gender studies.

The GMMP has taken place every five years since 1995 and data from the media monitoring projects from 1995 through 2015 will be included in the Swedish project. The GMMP is a one-day survey of print, broadcast and Internet news media stories in order to identify gender bias. The 2015 GMMP took place on March 25 in 114 countries and discovered that overall, while women represent 50% of the general population, they appear in 24% of news stories, a proportion unchanged since the 2010 study.

Speaking of the Swedish research, Dr. Sarah Macharia, WACC Manager, Gender & Communication, and coordinator of the GMMP, said, “The GMMP will provide comprehensive time-series data collected since 1995 from a broad range of countries. Other datasets will come from the International Women’s Media Foundation’s (IWMF) glass ceilings study on women in news industries in 59 nations, and another from the European Institute for Gender Equality.”

According to the university, the project addresses three key questions:

  • Qualities: How has gender equality in news media content, media organizations and media access and use developed over time and across different countries and how are the different aspects related?
  • Causes: To what extent can differences in gender equality in the media be explained as a result of variations in economic, political, social, and cultural factors in society, as well as factors pertaining to differences in media systems?
  • Consequences: To what degree is gender equality in the media related to other aspects of a good society, such as democracy, media freedom, economic and social development and good government, the latter particularly with regard to freedom from corruption?

“The GMMP has always been prominent in the field, widely cited and accessible to a wide variety of users. The GMMP network collects a lot of data, of which only a fraction makes it into the final reports. The project will systematize the data and place it in the public domain. Further, the project will enhance the value of GMMP data for academic inquiry by enabling correlations and other statistical tests, in combination with the other datasets within the database,” Macharia said.

The aim is to make the database publicly available in approximately two years’ time. It will allow researchers to understand:

  1. The shape of gender equality in the media, how this plays out at the levels of content, the media industry and audiences, and how this compares across countries and time,
  2. How gender inequality in the media relates to cultural, economic and political dimensions of everyday life,
  3. The consequences of gender inequality in media. For instance, what is the relationship between media sexism and sexual violence against women?
  4. Comparative research that employs statistical tests of gender & media data, against data generated from other fields of research. The ability to derive empirical evidence on the causes and consequences of media gender (in)equality will expand the evidence base for interventions to advance gender equality in and through the media.

The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council and led by Prof. Monika Djerf Pierre of the University of Gothenburg. Read more about the project here.

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