Dr. Sarah Macharia, WACC Programme Manager for Media and Gender Justice, presented a workshop at the Religion Communicators' Council (RCC) convention in Indianapolis, which ran from April 4 to 6, exploring the concept of critical media practice.
The workshop drew insights from the Global Media Monitoring Project, suggesting that a critical approach could be part and parcel of everyday journalism.
Since 1995, the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) has systematically monitored the performance of the world news media to track changes in women’s presence, gender portrayal and representation in the news, Macharia noted.
While the core concerns of the GMMP are the gender dimensions of news media content, the initiative offers directions for critical journalistic practice on issues impacting or relevant to groups located at the peripheries of power structures, she said.
The GMMP research points to gross inequalities in voice and representation. It expresses in hard statistics the extent to which the news media perpetuate stereotypes that consequently lock into place a status quo of inequitable power relations -- dominance of one group and relative subordination of another.
Critical media practice makes visible the less obvious truths that would otherwise remain hidden from view, she said.
"It is perceptive in identifying the segments of society that have a stake in an issue, and seeking these groups out to make their voices heard. It presents a multi-dimensional view of the world, instead of one seen through the eyes, voices and experiences of dominant groups," according to Macharia.
Macharia's paper and essential questions for editors may be found here.