In December 2020, EJN began a research project to determine how journalists in Asia who have received grant support and mentorship from EJN include women in their reporting, or fail to do so. EJN worked with researchers in four countries – Pakistan, India, Indonesia (Okky Madasari) and the Philippines – to assess how reporters think about gender and what kind of barriers they face when seeking to include women’s voices in their stories. Further, how do social and cultural views of women create challenges to inclusion?
Researchers conducted dozens of interviews with journalists and experts about the barriers women face, both as journalists and as sources for the media.
A few of the report’s key findings:
- Women are often seen as “less credible” sources than men.
- When pressed for time, journalists often don’t feel they can put in the effort to seek out new sources, returning to the same male-dominated lists.
- Women journalists face safety concerns that can make field reporting more challenging.
- Men still hold most leadership positions in newsrooms, leading to less awareness of the absence of women’s voices and/or a lack of support for reporters seeking to include women more.
- A pay gap remains between men and women journalists.
- There are often fewer prominent women experts, particularly in environmental fields or in high-level government positions.
- One common thread through all four countries was the role social and cultural norms play in terms of where women can go and who they can speak to, both as journalists and as sources.
Download the report: Where are the Women