"Mirror on the Media" is a follow up monitoring project to the Gender and Media Baseline Study (GMBS), led by Gender Links and MISA.The Swaziland report's findings fall into three categories: representation, portrayal and examples of gender awareness:
The study found that on the whole, women's voices are still under represented in the media in the form of both sources and reporters; gender issues hardly feature in the news and they tend to be marginalized in the way they are treated and placed. Specifically the study found:
* Some overall improvement in women sources: Women constituted 26 percent of news sources which is up from up from 17 percent in the GMBS that took place in September 2002.
* But there is considerable variation between media: With 34 percent women sources, the Times of Swaziland led the way in the July monitoring followed by Swazi TV at 31 percent and The Voice at 30 percent. However, The Voice had no female reporters and the Times of Swaziland came third with 30% female reporters. With 13 percent, 19 percent and 22 percent women sources respectively, the Swazi Observer, Radio Swaziland and the Times Sunday scored lowest in the July monitoring.
* Forwards and backwards: Of the seven media houses in the study that were also monitored during the GMBS, only one, Swazi TV, registered a decline in women's sources in the July monitoring while the other six registered increases. This increase has been particularly marked in the case of the Times of Swaziland that doubled from 17 percent women sources in the GMBS to 34 percent women sources in the July monitoring.
* Gender as a topic: Gender specific stories constituted 20 percent of the total in the monitoring for July. However, gender specific stories constituted 52 and 50 percent of the stories in the Times of Swaziland and Weekend Observer respectively.
Files to download:
Swazi Mirror Report - 188883 KB