Building Trust: Amplifying Women’s Voice in Media
United for News is committed to increasing the extent to which newsrooms around the world quote female subject matter experts in their stories. By amplifying women’s authoritative voice in the news, the coalition seeks to fight gender bias, provide healthy role models for women and girls, and build trust for media. The work is guided by the understanding that news that reflects the makeup and viewpoints of the broad community generates greater trust.
United for News coalition partners are kicking-off the conversation with a panel conversation at the World Economic Forum at Davos, 2019.
Trust in media begins with inclusion. When people feel that their issues are covered and their voices are heard, trust can flourish. However, women are underrepresented across the board in media, in newsrooms and in the news. Worldwide, only 27% of the top management jobs in the media sector are occupied by women. Globally, women hold just one third of full-time media positions, and even fewer work in ICT and media management positions.
Women and girls’ voices are often ignored and their lives are rendered invisible in the information spaces we all use to navigate our lives, make choices, and influence policy. Only 24% of the people we read or hear about in print, radio, or television news stories are women or girls, while even fewer are showcased as authorities or subject matter experts in news stories. Roughly 80% of the “experts” interviewed by the news media are men.
The Initiative: Amplifying Women’s Voices
Building on the work of our multi-stakeholder coalition, United for News is working to increase both the demand and supply of female sources in news. On the demand side we are providing best practices, tools and targeted assistance for newsrooms to source more female subject matter experts in news. On the supply side we are raising awareness about this important issue globally and providing women with the support and resources they need to step forward.
In 2019 newsrooms in Canada, Ukraine and Iraq will put the work of United for News into action. Canada’s top media outlets are launching a program to track and increase the number and frequency that they source women sources, building out additional best-practices and approaches to benefit newsrooms everywhere. Internews will test United for News tools and approaches in diverse media markets around the world, starting with pilot projects in Iraq and Ukraine. See the announcement >>
United for News coalition partners guide program design. Bloomberg advises the work with best practices developed through their New Voices program, an internal initiative to increase the extent to which Bloomberg newsrooms globally source diverse experts. Edelman lends communication support and knowledge from their Global Women’s Executive Network. The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers’ (WAN IFRA) Women in News program provides guidance for newsroom engagement. The 50:50 Project is sharing their methodology for benchmarking and tracking the gender of news sources in content. The Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) lends support through their Women in Media Working Group. Internews is piloting the approach in countries around the world, leveraging their global network of media development programs in more than 100 countries.
The challenges excluding women’s voices from news are complex and require the cooperation of diverse stakeholders. United for News is seeking media and industry partners around the world to join us in a global effort to ensure that women’s voices are heard.
This work is constantly evolving. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on United for News’ initiatives and pilot markets.