05 Feb 2018

Gender gap in Maltese media remains a burning issue

The absence of 50+ female presenters on tv, the fact that over 60% of journalists in newsrooms are men and the prevalence of 'myths' on domestic violence contribute to the poor state of gender equality in the Maltese media, reports found. 

Daiva Repeckaite
Daiva Repeckaite NewsMavens, Malta
Gender gap in Maltese media remains a burning issue - NewsMavens
Female reporter. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

As a female journalist in Malta, you quickly become accustomed to being the only woman in an all-male cohort of photographers and reporters waiting outside of government buildings to interview key politicians. "Manterruption" is a daily occurrence. Just like getting shoved by tall male reporters with bulky cameras at press conferences.

It seems that someone finally surveyed these personal experiences and turned them into concrete data showing that gender imbalance is a persistent pattern in Maltese media. 

An article in the Times of Malta cites several reports, including reporting guidelines on domestic violence and a comparative study, to prove that, at the beginning of their careers, women hold over a third of reporting jobs but disappear from the spotlight in their thirties. The reports also emphasize that women are seldom featured on main media channels as experts or change-makers.

The observations can now open up space for debating how the media are missing out on stories due to gender bias.

media, gender

Details from the story:

  • The Global Media Monitoring Project examines media patterns and publishes reports every five years. The latest overview is from 2015.
  • According to the report, over 60% of journalists in Maltese newsrooms were men.
  • The study also found that women were reported on in a different way than men -- eg. on screen, they were presented with information such as age and marital status. Other reports on gender-related issues confirm this pattern, the Times of Malta reports.
  • Significantly, there has been no progress in the subject between 2010 and 2015.
  • Male news presenters over 50 years old are still present on tv, the GMMP report found, but women are absent.
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