Gender Setting: New Agendas for Media Monitoring and Advocacy

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9781856498456: Gender Setting: New Agendas for Media Monitoring and Advocacy
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In an age of global information structures, what scope exists for independent citizen action in media and cultural policy formation? How can audiences effectively voice critiques of media content? In an increasingly market-centred and consumer-oriented media world, what is the potential for monitoring, lobbying and advocacy?

This book argues that despite the breakdown of traditional patterns of regulation, there is a role for local action to promote diversity in the media. Focusing on media portrayals of gender, more particularly the media’s role in reproducing and reinforcing patterns of discrimination against women in society, the book aims to unify the hitherto disparate strands of academic research and feminist activism in the form of gender media monitoring aimed at policy critique and practical change.

Research findings and monitoring experiences from both North and South are brought together to demonstrate how, with varying levels of resources and expertise, women’s groups have developed monitoring models that can be effective in widely different media contexts. Drawn from countries as diverse as Canada, India, Spain, Jamaica, Australia and South Africa, these approaches will have lessons for everyone concerned about media democracy and diversity in the new information age.

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About the Author:

Margaret Gallagher is an international media consultant and researcher. Since her first book, Unequal Opportunities: The Case of Women and the Media (Paris, Unesco Press, 1981), she has authored numerous analyses of gender patterns in the world's media. Her consultancy work has included projects for the United Nations Statistics Division, UNIFEM, UNESCO, the International Labour Office, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the European Audiovisual Observatory and the World Association for Christian Communication.

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'An admirable book. Margaret Gallagher has collected her vast knowledge of women and the media into a volume that was long overdue. Creativity and persistence appear to be the core features of feminists' struggles all over the world against the onslaught of demeaning images in contemporary media cultures. The book will be an inspiration to activists and theorists, reminding us of the ongoing necessity to combine theory with practice.' - Professor Liesbet van Zoonen, author of Feminist Media Studies, and Gender, Politics and Communication

'Across the globe the media disempower people. Among the tools of this disempowerment are stereotyped and damaging images of the human condition including gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, physical and mental illness and disability. Media disempowerment reduces the capacity of ordinary people to control the decisions that others take about their lives and to shape their own futures. This disempowerment affects women in particular. Against the forces of disempowerment, strategies for self-empowerment are essential. Among the creative and effective tools for such strategies are media monitoring and advocacy.

Margaret Gallagher's excellent book demonstrates with a wealth of data and analysis how this is and can be done. The book is a must-read for all those committed to a "gender shift" in the media. It is also essential reading for all those communication researchers and media activists who are concerned about a future which respects the human entitlement to dignity, equality and liberty' - Professor Cees Hamelink, Professor of International Communication, University of Amsterdam

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