KRYSS Network decided to undertake a research on “gender and media” in 2019 in view of the considerable freedom that media has begun to enjoy under the Pakatan Harapan government. This research, which was supported by UNESCO, and conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Journalists Malaysia, highlights how media is very sensitised and consciously active about diversifying media ownership, but not as equally committed to encouraging a healthier public discourse on gender inequality issues. This in turn is strongly related to what extent media sees its role and responsibility as serving public interest. Some of the research findings include:
• What is news retains a traditional understanding.
• Media coverage on gender issues – no emphasis to write on the root causes of the issue, and instead, leverages on the sensationalist elements of cases/issues.
• Interest of media journalists is becoming a key factor on whether gender equality issues remain in the public eye.
• Media journalists who want to write about human rights issues, for e.g. like rights of migrant workers or refugees, or about freedom of opinion and expression issues, or about economics, are usually unable to pinpoint gender issues as a key angle.
• Higher consciousness of women’s political participation BUT low interest in pursuing special stories about women politicians in Malaysia, especially those who are in decision-making positions as Members of Parliament, as Ministers or Deputy Ministers, and as State Assemblypersons. Yet, pursuant from the 14th General Election, more women are elected representatives and hold key portfolios in government.
To access/download the report, Voice, Visibility and Influence: Towards Mapping Media Agents of Change for Gender Equality in Malaysia.
The access/download the report in the Malay language, Suara, Keterlihatan dan Pengaruh: Ke Arah Pemetaan Ejen Perubahan Media untuk Kesaksamaan Gender di Malaysia.