Female candidates for the European Parliament face media bias

A report has found that women do not receive media coverage equal to their male counterparts when running for the European Parliament. 

Eliza Archer
Eliza Archer NewsMavens, Europe
Female candidates for the European Parliament face media bias - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

European Parliamentary elections are fast approaching. However, are all candidates equal in the race for the top? A European Parliamentary report would suggest not. According to the report, women running for a position as an MEP face one significant hurdle their male counterparts do not; namely, the media. 

The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) reported "the rate of progress towards media gender parity has almost ground to a halt".

A report released by the European Parliament has shown that female candidates do not receive media coverage proportional to the number of candidates. According to the GMMP women only account for 25% of the individuals pictured and heard in the traditional media (radio, television and newspapers) in general. The situation worsens with political based content, with women only making up 19% of people featured.

This is not the only disadvantage women face. While they appear less frequently, when they do appear in the news, they are more likely to fall victim to media bias and sexism. They are less likely to be asked about the "male" fields (such as finance and defence) and are more likely to have their appearance and clothes commented on. 

Some attribute the difference in media coverage to a difference in political presence of the genders; thereby suggesting the disparity in coverage is a natural occurrence.

Details from the story:

  • Italy has introduced laws that require a balanced representation of both male and female candidates in elections.
  • Other Member States have stated that public broadcasters should be equal in their coverage but have not written this into law.
  • The 2019 European Elections will be held between the 23rd and 26th of May. 

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
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