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Sweden: Women Reach Parity but Gender Troubles Persist

Conference contribution
Authors Maria Edström
Published in IAMCR Conference: Women Journalists and Media structures in Time of Crisis.
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Subject categories Media and Communications


Neoliberalism – the process of economic restructuring that has favored privatization and corporate expansion – has been a disruptive force across media (Byerly 2011, Freedman 2008, McChesney 2004). Concentrated ownership and layoffs are two effects of these policies, but there are many more. Content has also suffered with the loss of critical dialogue in mainstream news (Couldry 2009). Less explored is women news workers’ relationship to these crises. This session will bring a gendered analysis of neoliberalism’s impact on women’s news making practice and the environments in which women work. Leading critical and feminist scholars will advance an informed dialogue about how neoliberalism has affected women journalists in their professional standing and explore whether neoliberalism has (or not) shaped company policies with respect to gender equality. Discussants and contributing scholars will take a feminist political-economy approach to to answer these questions: 1) Have media concentration and other structural outcomes of the neoliberal economic crisis affected women’s status in newsrooms? If so, how? If not, why not? 2) Do today’s company policies advance gender equality or ignore it? 3) Are women journalists in a better or worse position today to give women a public voice? Session format: Discussants will give a brief (5-minute) report on the status of women journalists in their nations with respect to these questions. The moderator will then elicit additional comments from contributing scholars. Both were researchers for the Global Report on the Status of Women in News Media study and/or are contributors to a forthcoming edited volume extending the research of the Global Report. (The Global Report study surveyed 522 news companies in 59 nations.) Both discussants and contributing scholars have specific knowledge of his/her nations and regions, with respect to journalism, the status of women in journalism, and the broader political, economic, historical and cultural factors that shape the media landscape today.

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