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Monitoring of gender balance in online media for December-2019

20.12.2019, 17:25

Crime, show business, politics are the top three topics where the women have been the most frequently mentioned are in Ukrainian online media. These are the results of a December 2019 monitoring survey held by the NGO "Institute of Mass Information".

According to the monitoring data, women protagonists happen four times less frequently in publications, than men. On average, this index is 26% of women against 74% of men.

As to the number of females experts in online media, the number was decreased. Only every sixth publication had female expert comments, an average of only 15% . For comparison, in February 2019, the presence of female experts in online media was 24%.

Most of the mentions of women as experts were recorded in the following media: TSN (28%), Znay (28%) and Tyzhden (22%). The women protagonists of the journalistic stories most often were seen in TSN (49%), Znay (41%) and The 24th Channel (34%).

Females protagonists in online mass media

Most often, women were mentioned in the news of the criminal record and emergencies - 28% of the total number of articles mentioning women. There were news on volunteer Marusya Zverobiy and former Office of the President of Ukraine’s employee Svitlana Konzel (who was accused of bribery). However, usually the criminal news mention women protagonists as victims of crime or victims of road accidents.

Almost there was the same number of mentions of women in show business materials - 27.3% . Most often they mentioned singers Tina Karol, Ani Lorak and Nastya Kamensky. There have also been some signle mentions of Russian and other foreign female celebrities.

There was a little less news about females politicians : 10.4% of the total number of mentions about women as heroines of the publications. Among the heroines there were mentions of Yelyxzaveta Yasko (MP  from the "Servant of the People"), Iryna Gerashchenko (MP from the EU) and Anna Skorokhod (MP, ex MP from "servant of the people"). For example, in February 2019, the politics were top- theme: it accounted for 37% of the total number of mentions of women as heroines of materials.

There were significantly fewer mentions of women as heroines of sports-stories (6.6%), life-style (6.1%), international (4.5%) and human rights materials (4% of total heroin mentions) ).

 FEMALES AS EXPERTS IN ONLINE MASS MEDIA

 Most often, the women who have been cited in the online media as experts were spokespersons or press secretaries. In particular, the monitoring noted that 24.7% of all mentions of women as experts in online media came from spokespersons. State Bureau of Investigations (SBI)’s spokeswoman Angelika Ivanova took top position as the females experts.

Political females experts accounted for 13.7% of the total number of mentions. The deputy head of the "Servant of the People" faction, Yevgenya Kravchuk, and the MP from the "European Solidarity" faction, Iryna Gerashchenko, often commented on political issues.

Unexpectedly, 12.3% of mentions of women experts were up to the meteorological forecaster Natalia Didenko.

9.6% of the publications had cited the human rights females experts. They mentioned the head of the Crimean Human Rights Group, Olga Skrypnyk, and Minister of Social Policy, Yulia Sokolovska.

There was much less mentions of females experts in international and criminal subjects (5.5% each).

Over the past 10 months, the women mentionnings in online media has significantly decreased. Yes, experts have noted that these figures have fallen by 9% and were now only 15%. The last time, we recorded such low figures is in 2017. The percentage of mentions also decreased by 2% and now stands at 26%, the order of the top topics where the females heroines and experts are mentioned has changed slightly, but this can be justified by the fact that other topics were relevant in the monitoring period, unlike the previous ones. Another key issue is the fact that most of the monitored media outlets simply ignore and do not use feminitive suffixes in their materials ,  as IMI media analyst Yana Mashkova said.

* The study was conducted in 17 nationwide online media: obozrevatel.com, segodnya.ua, 24tv.ua, tsn.ua, strana.ua, pravda.com.ua, rbc.ua, unian.com, gordonua.com, nv. ua, liga.net, ukrinform.ua, interfax.com.ua, censor.net.ua, tyzhden.ua, znaj.ua, dt.ua. The sample consisted of 1,700 news items (100 news items from each media examined, taken simultaneously, in December 2019). The methodology of the study can be found here.

This research was made possible by the support of the American people provided through the USAID Media Program in Ukraine, implemented by the international organization Internews. The content of this material is the sole responsibility of the Institute of Mass Information and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government, or Internews.

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