Vol. 41, No. 4, Fall 2013
UNESCO Calls for Intervention to Bring Internet to More Women, Girls
The Internet gender gap demands immediate and comprehensive attention, according to a report published in September 2013 by UNESCO and the International Telecommunications Union.
“Doubling Digital Opportunities: Enhancing the Inclusion of Women & Girls in the Information Society” frames the challenges and opportunities involved in achieving gender equality in an era of rapid technological change. In 66 pages, illustrated with charts and fact-laden sidebars, the report examines critical gender issues with respect to new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and broadband.
More than 20 years after the birth of the Internet, two-thirds of the planet’s population still do not have regular access to the Internet, and a greater proportion of these unconnected global citizens are women.
The entire report can be accessed at http://www.broadbandcommission.org/Documents/working-groups/bb-doubling-digital-2013.pdf
Connecticut Editor Unrepentant in Blaming Unmarried Mothers for Newspapers’ Decline
“Social disintegration,” exemplified by the decline of the two-parent family and the rise in illiterate women having babies with too many men, leading to developmental disabilities, means that the daily newspaper isn’t the important family commodity it was in the good old days of Ozzie and Harriet, Luci and Desi. This fustian notion was tossed out to readers of the Manchester, Connecticut, Journal Inquirer by Managing Editor Chris Powell in a column published Sept. 28. A firestorm of dissent followed.
A Feminist Has Her Reporting Analyzed And Finds Gender Balance Wanting
Hats off to Adrienne LaFrance, who had a math whiz at the MIT Media Lab analyze a year's worth of her own reporting for gender bias in sourcing. A feminist alert to the widespread pattern of male voices dominating news sourcing in every medium, she put her own work to the test -- and came up dissatisfied with her performance. In 136 articles, LaFrance mentioned or quoted 2,075 persons, of whom 25 percent were female, she says. That put her right at the average for reporters worldwide, according to the Global Media Monitoring Study, which has been tracking these numbers for two decades, as have other groups before it.
LaFrance writes a thoughtful piece on the problem: https://medium.com/ladybits-on-medium/a16c31e1cdf
Handy Internet ‘Autocomplete’ Feature Reveals the Dark Side of Internet Search
A series of ads, developed as a creative idea for UN Women by Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai, uses genuine Google searches to reveal the widespread prevalence of sexism and discrimination against women. Based on searches dated March 9, 2013, the ads expose negative sentiments ranging from stereotyping as well as outright denial of women’s rights. The culprit: Google’s “autocomplete” feature, which comes up with word combinations and search suggestions after you begin typing in the first few words of a search.
For example, type in “women should” and autocomplete offers these possibilities: “women should stay at home… should be slaves… should be in the kitchen…should not speak in church.”
These searches indicate that the sentiments they reveal are so widespread that Google’s autocomplete will predict them.
Research in Depth: Primetime Feminist Strategies in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” by Erika Engstrom
Research in Depth: Constructing African-American Women’s Identities in Reality TV Programming by Adria Goldman
Commentary: Another Banned Book, Another Failure to Crush the Human Spirit by Sheila Gibbons
Plus News, People, Books, Flicks, etc.!
Media Report to Women has hard copies of back issues dating to its founding in 1972 and PDFs from more recent years. Indispensable for research!