Journalism and gender equality

14. What is the gender checklist for? /

Gender-sensitive journalism consists of establishing balance, gender equality in news handling, taking into account the equal voice of men and women – in other words, journalists must ensure an equal opportunity to speak for both men and women.

The Gender Sensitive Journalist’s Checklist is a vade-mecum, a guide to keep with you and consult at any time.

A list to keep as a reminder

The checklist should be at your desk and displayed in your newsroom. Before giving you the list, let’s recall, as we did at the beginning of the series, the definition of a gender-sensitive journalist.

Firstly, gender equality is a fundamental right and journalists who are also citizens must abide by it.

Secondly, because of the impact of news on human life, it is important for journalists to shoulder their profession’s moral responsibility, which requires them to give all components of society an equal opportunity to express themselves.

The “gender-sensitive” journalist checklist has been designed with this in mind.

Whether you are a staff or freelance journalist, you now know what gender-sensitive journalism means and how to practice it.

So here is the Checklist or Gender Consideration Checklist that will serve you in your magazine and radio programme production, and can also be adapted to print and television.

You will see that there are questions to ask yourself at all stages news handling the news or programme production.

Make a note of the steps and questions to ask yourself.

Pre-production or deliberation stage

 Is the topic of interest to men/women?

What are the gender analysis conclusions in relation to theme and context?

We saw gender analysis in Episode 6 – refer to this episode for a better understanding of the concept.

What is the best way to approach the topic with men/women?

What are the gender-specific views on the topic?

After deliberation comes the Production stage.

Questions to ask yourself.        

Should you talk to men and women at the same time or separately?

What is the best way to approach the subject with a man/woman?

How can you take into account the sensitivities and points of view of men and women?

How can you balance the experiences of men and women in the programme?

Does the interviewee’s spouse need to sit in on the interview?

Do you need a chaperone during the interview?

Do you use language that is gender-inclusive?

Have you found or created words in your language that are gender-inclusive?

Do you avoid adjectives that are irrelevant or reinforce stereotypes?

Once the story has been recorded, check the following before broadcasting.

This is the Scheduling / Broadcasting stage. 

Have you given equal attention and treatment to the views of men and women?

Have you avoided replicating negative representations and other stereotypes?

Have you put together the information in such a way that it is of interest to everyone?

Have you portrayed the interests of some as threats to others?

Have you chosen transitional music that values and brings men and women together?

Does the scheduling of the broadcast take into account the listening hours of men and women?

Many newsrooms are in the habit of debriefing after broadcasting the news, news stories or magazines.

This is the Monitoring and Evaluation stage. It is important and will allow you to validate your gender approach.          

How many men and how many women were involved in the programme?

What are the reactions/feedback from men and women? Is there a difference?

Radio management      In addition to gender mainstreaming in programmes, it is important to think about how gender is taken into account in radio management.

How many men and women work in your radio station?

Why are there more men than women, or vice versa?

In radio management, is it men or women in the decision-making positions?

Does the station have a gender-mainstreaming policy for programming?

Are your presenters sufficiently gender-sensitive?

What could you do to make radio operations more gender-equitable?

Print out the checklist and carry it with you at all times to make sure you practice gender-sensitive journalism

This is the last episode in the series devoted to gender-sensitive journalism.

Feel free to view the episodes of your choice whenever and in any order you wish.

A CFI project in partnership with France Médias Monde

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