Milestones in History of Media and Politics

In the 1970’s during Nixons’ Presidency, two events brought the press a new prominence: the Pentagon papers and Water gate.  At the same time, Television news was expanding rapidly.  By 1990, more than half of American homes had cable systems, nationally oriented newspapers expanded their national reach, and with the introduction of technological changes in the news room (including the internet), a new emphasis on computer-assisted reporting and a new blend of media forms emerged, with one reporter preparing the same story in print, on-line, and on camera for a newspapers cable station.

The media are among the main if not the most important institution that can change attitudes regarding gender and raise awareness about gender issues.  The Media and Television in particular, currently constitute the real public space through which citizens understands the political.  If the media articulate the political, their access to media, and their visibility as political agents in the media certainly matter.  The media represents not only a potential , their access to media, and their visibility as political agents I the media certainly matter.  The media represents not only a potential cure for gender inequality in society  and politics but also a source of this gender sickness.

Media and television in particular, constitute our major source of the information  that people use to shape their conceptions of self, others and the world. On the other hand, media products, such as news, are cultural artefacts that are deeply embedded in cultural, social, and economic structures, journalists and other media professionals are not necessarily aware of using dominant gendered frames, that is persistent patterns of cognition, interpretation, and presentation, of selection, emphasis, and exclusion, by which symbol-handlers routinely organize discourse whether verbal or visual.

The challenge for the project Gender, and Politics and Media: challenging stereotypes, promoting diversity, strengthening Equality is to build awareness of the need for diversity in Media content and to stimulate new approaches to media portrayal of women and men in public life by producing and disseminating an audio – visual training tool kit that can be included in journalism training.

Gender biases disseminated by the Media are significant because they can have electoral consequences, at a time when politics is thoroughly mediatised, voters respond to candidates largely in accordance with information received from mass media.  The media have become the public sphere in which the identity of the politician as a person of qualities is constructed, and the strength of these media performative criteria are often such as to disqualify certain candidates either from becoming public political figures at all or at least from competing for high office.  The relationship between the media, in particular television, and politics has developed a new type of politician who uses the media as a content.  A crucial question is whether one type of performer is favored over others. The Cultural Model of potassium is much closer to the ideas of masculinity than of femininity,which will make a successful performance more complicated for women.  The cultural model of the politician as male, and of politics as an essential male pursuit, affects the ways in which politics is reported.  What they are saying is that the image and language of mediated politics supports the status quo and regards women politicians as novelities, or as others.  The political field can be affected in the ways in which politics is reported..


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