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Advancing gender equality in the media industries through the use of mobile journalism as innovative practice

Conference contribution
Authors Maria Edström
Torbjörn Fraenckel
Published in World Journalism Education Congress (WJEC) Paris July 9-11, 2019
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Links www.wjec.paris/programme/
Keywords Mobile journalism, gender equality in the media, peer learning, AGEMI -Advancing Gender Equality in Media Industries
Subject categories Pedagogy, Gender Studies, Media and Communications

Abstract

This paper explore the advantages on using mobile journalism an innovative practice to renew journalism education when focusing on a certain topic, in this case gender equality in the media. It investigate how mobile journalism (MoJo) may teach students to consider ethical boundaries when working on smartphones as well as deepening their understanding of creating gender-aware news stories. The project Advancing Gender Equality in Media Industries (AGEMI) is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme of the European Union and is a set of tools aiming to combat gender stereotypes and promote an equal, diverse and inclusive media sector. The target users are teachers, students, journalists and media organisations. AGEMI has been developed by a group of researchers and practitioners from three universities (Newcastle, Padova, Gothenburg) and two associations of media professionals, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Permanent Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators (COPEAM). Students are involved through the process of building the online platform and its resources, they also contributes with their own stories to the platform. During one week in August 2018 students from three European universities met in Gothenburg, Sweden to exchange ideas on how to advance gender equality in the media at AGEMI Summer School. The students learned how to use their smartphones to do stories on gender equality and to give feedback, both to the student work and to the online modules in process created by AGEMI. The students also got a chance to meet gender equality skilled editors and journalists from various parts of Europe. The theme of gender equality in the media is especially topical today since there is a substantial democratic deficit in the media when it comes to gender, both due to lack of women in the news (24 percent of the news subjects are women according to Global Media Monitoring Project 2015) and to the gendered news room cultures with horizontal and vertical divisions. So the problems with gender inequalities in the media still remains, as well as in society. Recent development also suggests that gender equality as a core value in is being contested by many nationalist movements in Europe. The ethical challenge is then to educate future journalist to hold on to human rights, freedom of expression and gender equality as core values in society and to make journalism more inclusive. This study is exploring the extent to which a tool such as mobile journalism is a useful/effective way to develop self-reflexivity around a particular issue, in this case, gender equality, arguing that asking students to demonstrate their understanding through their own research and filmmaking embeds their learning in a way which is more meaningful to them than simply sitting in a classroom being lectured at. In other words, focusing on ‘learning by doing’ rather than ‘learning by being told stuff’. Mobile journalism is this paper is defined as working with your smartphone; filming, interviewing, editing and uploading journalist stories on the web.

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