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Media

Hello :-) My name is Daniel. I'm a journalism student from Brisbane, Australia. I'm currently researching for an assignment about the media coverage of feminism. I was wondering if I could get some opinions from you on the subject? I'd like to know what you think of the portrayal of feminists, and feminism, in the mainsteam news media? Is it positive, or negative? Has the depiction of feminism changed over the past years, and in what direction? Must feminists work for the mainstream, as opposed to 'alternative' independent media, to properly reach the general public, thus promoting the women's movements for the best possible exposure?

Any comments about feminism's coverage in the news media are most welcome. I *greatly* appreciate any assistance you could give me with my assignment. Unfortunately, I've been having trouble researching this in the libraries, since most books deal with the media in the sense of TV and film, not journalism. Thank you for your help, I look forward to your reply.


 

I think that you could pick up any mainstream publication--newspaper, magazine--or watch the nightly news--to get an understanding of how limited the media's coverage of feminism is. As for generalities, they spend far too much time putting feminism in a negative and an incorrect light and too little time giving accurate attention to everything that feminism has accomplished. The media also treats feminism---as if "all feminist are alike"--and, therefore, only rarely weighs in on the individual accomplishments of feminism.

I often hear people say "all feminists are man haters; hairy legged or lesbians....." this comes primarily from the media's mischaracterization of feminism--and also wrongly makes "lesbian a bad word." Furthermore the media rarely gives credit where credit is due. For instances, in the U.S., feminists were responsible for opening and funding the first battered women's shelters and for making children's rights a national issue. However, now that both of these are nationally recognized issues, they forget that they were feminists who fought hard to make them such.

Also, feminism has never been about the "domination" of men. However, too many people see that as its goals. This comes from the representations in the media of "women taking over." The media also does a disservice to feminism by focusing on the "women breaking through the glass ceiling" but not on the women who are still in the pink collar ghetto.

As for feminists participating in the mainstream and the alternative media.......I think the answer is that we need feminist participation in both. We still need "alternative" media, since the mainstream has yet to "catch on." And until it does, we need feminist input in the mainstream media. However, the media needs to understand that "every issue is a feminist issue" so feminists shouldn't be covering purely the "women in politics section" but also adding a feminist perspective to "how do we deal with our deficit?"

Sorry to ramble, but I hope my rambling contributed something.....good luck and here's to more feminist-friendly media coverage.


Amy

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