Media monitoring is an important strategy to gather data on how men and women are portrayed in media content, as well as to raise awareness and advocate for change. This page outlines best practice methodology used for gender-based media monitoring, tips on how to use the data gathered, and examples of how it is implemented in different countries.
The most well-known methodology for gender-based media content monitoring was developed by the Global Media Monitoring Project. The project monitors newspapers, radio, TV and online news, counting the numbers of male and female journalists and sources. Gender portrayals are analysed by examining the roles and positioning of men and women within the media content. News stories are also assessed on whether or not they challenge gender stereotypes or address issues of gender inequality and human rights.
Global Media Monitoring Project 2020In 2020, the Global Media Monitoring Project will conduct the 6th edition of the global study. Find out more about the 2020 edition on the GMMP website.
Online platform – Mediascan
In collaboration with Free Press Unlimited, the Tuwindi Foundation developed an online platform for media content monitoring called Mediascan. This platform enables users to submit data through an online collection form or app and automatically presents the data in graphs.
Media monitoring data can be used for multiple purposes:
Data can be used to demonstrate gender inequality in the media and to call on media organisations to change their reporting practices.
In Nepal, quarterly media monitoring by Freedom Forum sparked concerns among media practitioners. Meetings were set up with media organisations to present the findings of the monitoring and to discuss plans for improvement. As a result, two media organisations have already improved their media content with regard to gender representation. Read the story here.
Learn moreThe gender and media advocacy toolkit, by WACC gives practical guidelines on how to use the data of the gender media monitoring for advocacy.
Monitoring is an effective way to raise awareness about exactly how and why gender inequality exists within media organisations.
For example, BBC initiated the 50:50 project, where editorial teams monitored the number of male and female contributors to their own programmes. This has resulted in a sharp increase of contributors who are women.
If you are working with media organisations to improve content, regular gender monitoring will help them understand how gender inequality manifests within their programs and show the progress of journalists and media outlets over time.
Some examples of media content monitoring reports published in cooperation with Free Press Unlimited are:
Media monitoring in Mali by Tuwindi Foundation
Media monitoring in Democratic Republic of Congo by Ucofem