Women and men in the news

Report on gender representation in Nordic news content and the Nordic media industry

image of Women and men in the news

The media carry significant notions of social and cultural norms and values and have a powerful role in constructing and reinforcing gendered images. The news in particular has an important role in how notions of power are distributed in the society. This report presents study findings on how women and men are represented in the news in the Nordic countries, and to what extent women and men occupy the decision-making positions in the media. The survey is based on the recent findings from three cross-national research projects. These findings are supported by national studies. The results indicate that in all the Nordic countries women are underrepresented in the news media both as news subjects and as sources of information. Men also dominate in higher-level decision-making positions. The report includes examples of measures used to improve the gender balance in Nordic news.



Good practises of addressing gender inequality in the Nordic news

Some Nordic newsrooms are aware of the gender bias in the news, and the most common initiative to tackle the problem is to actively and regularly keep track of how many women and men are heard and seen in the news and in what kinds of roles and contexts. This is often done by simply counting heads and names and by actively planning who to interview in each situation. Web tools such as Genews (2016) and Prognosis (2016) can be helpful for newsrooms to create the statistics. Genews (Swedish data) and Prognosis (Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian data available) analyse news articles automatically and look for names and words that refer to women or men. Prognosis also analyses whether names sound local or international. The web tools do not recognise all nuances in written text, but the benefit of using automated systems is that they can simultaneously process large amounts of data.


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