ARTICLE: Journalism produces its own kind of gendered institution

Picture: Auditorium by Mikael Kristenson, license CC0 1.0

Many previous studies on journalism have overlooked journalism as a gendered institution, argue Iiris Ruoho and Sinikka Torkkola of the University of Tampere, in a new study.

The gendered institution of journalism can be seen either as an externally or internally constructed object. Journalism and gender should not be kept apart, but their relation can be investigated systematically as a multidimensional object, the authors state.

Researchers aim to highlight the historical and institutional intertwining of these concepts. Depending on the specific research focus, varying aspects may be highlighted. Ruoho and Torkkola use their earlier study on Finnish journalists and their career development as an example. From this context, they identified nine different ways of how journalism and gender are connected:

  • cultural terms and conditions: organisational symbols, professional ideals, gender expectations
  • structural terms and conditions: media management, professional practices and social conventions
  • practical agency: organisational specialisation, daily routines and individual reflectivity.

“Gender criticism would benefit tremendously from using the multidimensionality of journalism as a methodological standard”, the authors conclude. Multidimensionality helps to highlight gender conventions that female or male journalists adopt when they perform their daily work, consider career options or specialise in reporting certain areas.

The article “Journalism and Gender – Toward a Multidimensional Approach” was published in Nordicom Review and is available online (open access).

Picture: Auditorium by Mikael Kristenson, license CC0 1.0

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