Media Development Foundation, MDF hold the discussion, Gender Stereotypes in Georgian Media, at Frontline Georgia club today. Expert Ketevan Mskhiladze and Executive Director of MDF Tamar Khorbaladze presented the media monitoring final report of the coverage of gender issues by Georgian media. The study, Covering Woman’s Issues in Georgian Media was conducted by MDF within the frames of the project, Media Monitoring – for Professional media, supported by the Open Society – Georgia Foundation, OSGF. Media experts, journalists and students of journalism faculties participated in the discussion.
Media monitoring revealed that stereotypical thinking and attitudes prevail in Georgian media Gender balance is not observed, and the frequency of in-depth reporting on woman’s issues is very low. The coverage of violence against women, and stories about female criminals and suspects are mostly limited to simple descriptive news. In addition to plain, superficial coverage of issues, monitoring implemented by Ketevan Mskhiladze revealed the traces of stereotypical thinking. Journalists often unreasonably identify the criminals’ or suspects’ gender as a result of unawareness of the principles of equality and stereotypical attitudes. Sexist language was also revealed by the media monitoring. "Due to the lack of education on gender issues, journalists unintentionally strengthen gender stereotypes. Of course, journalists do no act on purpose. The reason is that they themselves are the carriers of these stereotypes, often sharing them, and spreading existing stereotypes among society. We believe that improved gender education of journalists is the key with this regard,” Ketevan Mskhiladze said. She also noted the examples of the neutral coverage of gender issues.
Media Development Foundation, MDF implements the project since March, 2011. The goals of the project are the assessment of media performance within the context of legislation and professional standard of media, identification of ethic and professional problems, and promotion of public discussions. Media Development Foundation, MDF plans the publication of manual intended for journalists, students, and any wider audience interested in the field.
Discussion: Gender and Media October 12, 2011