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BOOK: Female patients, ministers, and emotions in news

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A new open access e-book on gender and media has been published by the University of Minho’s Communication and Society Research Centre. The book contains 11 chapters, many of which are of interest to journalism scholars.

Cláudia Àlvares, of Lusófona University, and Adalberto Fernandes, of University of Lisbon, write about the way Portuguese press depicted the cases of Terri Schiavo and Eluana Englaro. Both Schiavo and Englaro were young women diagnosed as being in a vegetative state, and the controversies over whether to terminate their life support caused much publicity.

Maria João Silveirinha, of University of Coimbra, writes about the use of emotion in news journalism. Emotionality is often associated with femininity, and seen as an antithesis to good, objective journalism. Still, journalism often evokes emotion, Silveirinha writes. Journalism should reconcile with this paradox by accepting and assimilating affective rhetoric into journalism, the author concludes.

Núria Fernandez-Garcia, of Autonomous University of Barcelona, writes about how Spanish newspapers cover female cabinet members compared to their male peers. The author analyzed nearly 2 000 news pieces from four newspapers, from a time period spanning from 1996 to 2011. According to Fernandez-Garcia, female cabinet members receive less coverage and their gender is highlighted more often than that of male cabinet members. In contrast, both male and female ministers are evaluated in equally positive terms.

The book Gender in focus can be freely read and downloaded online.

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