If you wanted any proof that the media is male oriented, that predominately male issues are the norm, and that men’s sports get masses more coverage, you can find plenty if you look at how the news was reported on Tuesday 22nd April 2014.
One item took over BBC news programmes. Interruptions to ‘normal’ news were made and it was headline news with hurried phone calls being made to get pundits on the air. I was astonished. Had a head of Government resigned? Had there been a coup d’etat somewhere in the world? Had there been a terrible weather event affecting countries?
No, none of the above.
A football manager had been sacked.
That fact merited full blown, instant coverage on the BBC, the UK’s national broadcaster.
I tweeted my disgust:
I was very quickly reminded that he had been sacked, not resigned. Then that also women liked football too, and finally that football was a very big business.*
All true, and nothing to do with my despair at the level of reporting. I expect newspapers to report it, I expect sports pages to be full of it, I imagine there will be more considered reports soon in the business sections.
The fact that a man in sport losing his job excites so much excitement and speculation and becomes the lead item on our news bulletins is indicative of the sexism in our media. On most days you can pick up any newspaper in the land, flick through and see images of men playing sport and men talking about sport. On any given day about 80% of the coverage is given over to men , and I’m being generous because on many days no women at all appear.
These messages are so powerful and so insidious that most of the time they are not questioned or even noticed. People, both genders, frequently tell me it doesn’t matter, to “get a life”, or to “just ignore it”.
Well, I can’t. Gender inequality is a big problem for all of us. Because it is so ‘normalised’ in our society for much of the time we don’t spot it at all. I have to call it when I see it.
As you can see in a few previous posts:
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* I should mention that I also had lots of retweets of my comment and of my subsequent one “I cannot understand why a football manager bring sacked is HEADLINING @BBCNews . It’s just sport!” 9:02am · 22 Apr 14. Retweeted by both men and women.
Posted on April 22nd, 2014 by Jane