Gender Women’s issues not making the news - NMC

The National Media Commission (NMC) has bemoaned the inadequacy of media coverage for issues that concern women.

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  play The National Media Commission (NMC) has bemoaned the inadequacy of media coverage for issues that concern women, and blames the nature of media ownership and editorial positions as a contributing factor to the current situation. (Stacey Knott)
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The National Media Commission (NMC) has bemoaned the inadequacy of media coverage for issues that concern women.

According the commission’s executive secretary; George Sarpong, the nature of media ownership and editorial positions was a major contributing factor to the current situation.

“The media across the world, particularly in Ghana, is, in terms of ownership and leadership, heavily gender-biased against women” – he told Accra-based Class FM.

According to Sarpong, this affects the kinds of issues that are selected as news for the papers and bulletins. While men favoured conflict and drama, women leaned towards “development, education, health, sanitation” issues.

“The concern that the commission has is that once this generally may explain the phenomenon, it does not entirely excuse the media…every media house has a certain degree of choice in determining who to source content and news from and how to handle questions of selection.”

He thus called on the media in Ghana to make a conscious effort to address the imbalance.

A study of over 500 media organisations worldwide by the International Women’s Media Foundation in 2011 found that men occupied 70 percent of management positions.

The role of the National Media Commission, set up by an act of parliament in 1993, is to ensure and promote free, independent and responsible media. Attempts made by the commission to have direct influence on media content have been halted by the Supreme Court.

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