A look at elections coverage cross 47 of South Africa’s biggest news media sources shows that men were quoted almost two times more than women over a period of two months.
This is according to an analysis by civil society group, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), which has been analysing elections media coverage since 1994.
MMA looked at the news sources and the elections-related news stories they ran between 1st June and 31st July.
“The people quoted in the media play an important role in defining and shaping the elections agenda. It is from their lens that we view, engage and interpret the electoral process. In that regard, it is the role of the media to access diverse voices (including marginalised voices) that reflect the different views in society. Thus this section examines whether the media is living up to this mandate by exposing the people who speak about the elections,” MMA said.
According to the study, 78.3% of all the people who were quoted across all the sources were male, while 21.7% were women.
Independent site GroundUp, showed the most balanced quoting from both men and women.
Bigger, more traditional sources tended to lean more towards quoting men.
IsiZulu SABC radio station Ukhozi FM, had the most men quoted at 89.9%, with women only being quoted 10.1% of the time.
“Although this is a reflection of societal imbalances across gender, it suggests that media favours the views and opinions of men than women in our society,” MMA said.
“This further entrenches the dominance of patriarchy where men often speak about and on behalf of women as if they understand how women are affected by different issues. The problem with this is that it means that these elections are seen through the eyes of men yet women outnumber men both in terms of population and the number of registered voters,” it further explained.[Source – Media Monitoring Africa. Image: CC Information is Beautiful]