Media Bias on Women’s Issues

700 Words3 Pages
Media Bias on Women’s Issues Detecting bias in news media is a challenge that every person who watches, reads, or listens to the news should accept. Subtle changes in the details of a story can change the entire focus of an event and affect all members of the audience. Applying the gender-based critique analysis process to the media coverage of the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington, D.C. provides an excellent exercise in identifying news bias. The article, “Muting the Women’s March: Media Lose Focus When Women Protest in Washington” by Julie Hollar provides the background for the following information. Source of the Bias The source of the bias that has been identified in the news reporting at the time is sexism based on…show more content…
This reporting discrepancy downplays the importance of the event, causing discouragement for supporter and detractors disregarding the issues. The coverage by media outlets was limited, a comparison of the 2004 march and the coverage of the Promise Keepers march in 1997 show that Promise Keepers, an evangelical, anti-feminist, anti-gay men’s organization had roughly three times the media coverage (Hollar, 2004). By limiting coverage, news media effectively controlled how the march was viewed and remembered by not only the United States audience but the world media audience. Because of this bias the official points of the march were overlooked almost entirely (Hollar, 2004). This is a tactic that is used over and over to control women and the supporters of women’s rights. Bias on the Production Side The identified concept that might be used to identify bias on the production side of this issue is gender-based critique. According to Denis McQuail (2010) gender-based critique was originally about the stereotyping and marginalization of women, however in the more current environment this critique is more about challenging the continuing sexism of the media. The bias can be displayed as the misogynistic content of many media stories that portray women as somehow faulted for supporting rights of women like abortion, health care, education as well as the concerns of women of color (Hollar, 2004).
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