Gender Inequality in Indian Media: A Preliminary Analysis
This 2019 report discusses women’s representation in the newsrooms of English and Hindi news organisations in India. It was published by UN Women in collaboration with digital media platform Newslaundry and Teamwork Arts, a Delhi-based production company working with artists and festivals worldwide.
The report studies 55 organisations – 14 television channels, 13 newspapers, 12 magazines, 11 digital media websites, and 5 radio stations operating in 10 cities. Print and digital media articles were categorised as per their writer’s gender to ascertain the proportion of women’s representation. For broadcast media, the gender of the anchor or debate panelist was noted.
The seven chapters of this 40-page report are Executive Summary (chapter
1); Introduction (chapter 2); Methodology (chapter 3); Research Limitations
(chapter 4); Sections (chapter 5); Appendix (chapter 6) and Project Team
(chapter 7). Chapter 7 – ‘Sections’ – is further divided into English Newspapers
(section 1); Hindi Newspapers (section 2); English Television News (section 3); Hindi Television News (section 4); Digital Media (section 5); Magazines
(section 6) and Radio (section 7).
From the 55 news organisations studied, women held 13.6 per cent of the leadership positions in magazines; 20.9 per cent in news channels; 26.3 per cent in digital media outlets and none in newspapers. ‘Leadership position’ includes such designations as editor-in-chief, managing editor, executive editor, bureau chief, and input/output editor.
Among the six English newspapers reviewed, the percentage of women journalists was 29.4 per cent in Hindustan Times; 28.5 per cent in The Indian Express; 22.1 per cent in Times of India; 22 per cent in Economic Times; 21.9 per cent in The Hindu and 18.2 per cent in The Telegraph.
Women wrote 27 per cent of all front page articles in these six English newspapers. They wrote 33.3 per cent of the articles on science and technology, 32.8 per cent of those on entertainment and culture, 32.6 per cent of those on public life, 19.8 per cent of those on politics, 10.5 per cent of those on national security, and 5.9 per cent of sports articles.
Economic Times published the most number of articles by women journalists (28.2 per cent of all articles), followed by Hindustan Times (24.7 per cent), The Indian Express (20.9 per cent), Times of India (20.4 per cent), The Hindu (15.5 per cent), and The Telegraph (11.8 per cent).
Nearly 76.2 per cent of articles on gender issues were written by women in Times of India; 59.1 per cent in Economic Times; 50.9 per cent in The Indian Express; 43.1 per cent in Hindustan Times; 24.1 per cent in The Hindu; and 17.9 per cent in The Telegraph.
Among the Hindi newspapers reviewed, Navbharat Times had the highest percentage of women journalists (23.8 per cent), followed by Hindustan (22.7 per cent), Amar Ujala (21.1 per cent), Dainik Bhaskar (19.7 per cent), Prabhat Khabar (9.6 per cent), Rajasthan Patrika (8.4 per cent) and Punjab Kesari (7.7 per cent).
Women wrote five per cent of all front page articles, and 2.7 per cent of all sports stories, in these seven Hindi newspapers.
Only three per cent of the 205 Hindi newspaper articles examined covered gender issues.
Over 53 per cent of debates on the seven English news channels studied – CNN News18, India Today, Mirror Now, NDTV, Rajya Sabha TV, Republic TV and Times Now – featured all male panels. A small number of female panelists were bureaucrats, defence experts, financial experts, or a think tank representatives.
Over 70 per cent of debates on the seven Hindi news channels studied – AajTak, News18 India, India TV, NDTV India, Rajya Sabha TV, Republic Bharat and Zee News – featured all male panels. Only 3.2 per cent of all ‘flagship’ debates were on gender issues; in these, women constituted 47.8 per cent of the participants.
Women constituted 35.4 per cent of journalists, and wrote 39.8 per cent of all articles, in the 11 digital media websites studied: Firstpost, Newslaundry, Newslaundry Hindi, Satyagrah, Swarajya, The Ken, The News Minute, ThePrint, The Quint, The Wire and Scroll.in.
Women constituted 27.1 per cent of journalists, and wrote 25.8 per cent of all articles, in the 12 reviewed magazines: Business Today, The Caravan, Femina, Frontline, India Today, India Today (Hindi), Organiser, Outlook, Outlook (Hindi), Sarita, Sportstar and Tehelka.
Across stations, women outnumbered men as radio jockeys in only 2 of the 10 cities covered in this study: Bhopal and Guwahati. The other cities were Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Patna.
Focus and Factoids by Rohan Datta.
UN Women; Newslaundry; Teamwork Arts, New Delhi
UN Women; Newslaundry; Teamwork Arts, New Delhi