A project on “Promoting Gender-Awareness in Chinese Mass Media” has kicked off in Beijing with a two-day workshop on 27 and 28 November 2012, organized by the UNESCO Chair on Gender and Media at the Communication University of China (CUC), and attended by about 80 media managers, journalists and scholars.
The opening session was also the occasion to launch the Chinese translation of the Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM) and of the handbook Getting the Balance Right: Gender Equality in Journalism. Both texts were translated by the CUC’s Media and Gender Institute, which benefited from a grant from UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).
The translations will be further used in the coming months during the IPDC project implementation, which envisages a 6-month observatory exercise to monitor news reporting and programmes from a gender-sensitive perspective, based on applying GSIM, in collaboration and partnership with media organizations and professionals.
Speaking at the project's workshop, Professor Liu Liqun, Director of the Media and Gender Institute and UNESCO Media and Gender Chair holder, highlighted that in her analysis three major gender-based inequalities appear in mass media. These were marginalization, stereotyping and the alienation of women and female characters. Therefore, she stressed, raising the awareness and knowledge of media professionals as well as the public at large was key to tackling such gender-based inequalities.
Prof. Hu Zhengrong, Vice-President of CUC, delivered opening remarks, together with Ms Yang Hua, Deputy Director of the CCTV’s News Center, Prof. Tan Lin Secretary-General of the Women’s Studies Institute of China, and Andrea Cairola, the Communication and Information Advisor at the UNESCO Beijing Office.
Among the workshop participants, were senior managers from Beijing Public Service Radio, Hainan Yangpu Zhuanchen TV company, and CCTV’s Broadcast News Center. The two-day workshop included sessions and case sharing on women and the media from an occupational perspective, and on professionally producing gender-balanced and gender-sensitive news and contents.
The UNESCO Office in Beijing has been working on promoting professional standards in the Chinese media community. Recent activities included:
- The localization to the Chinese journalism education context of UNESCO’s Model Curricula for Journalism Education, through the translation and revision of the Curricula by Tsinghua University in collaboration with other universities. The revised Curricula was then disseminated to 147 journalism schools and institutions. Nationwide training courses and presentations were conducted and a textbook based on the Model Curricula was developed.
- The capacity building of journalists and reporters, in collaboration with the State Authority on Radio and Television (SARFT) and national academic partners, on emergency broadcasting, professional reporting on food safety, and investigative journalism.
- The promotion of Media and Information Literacy (MIL) through the translation of UNESCO’s MIL Curriculum for Teachers and its introduction to more than 60 media education experts from 20 universities in China at the Third International Conference on Media Literacy Education, held in August 2012 in Lanzhou, Northwest China.