Methodology of gender-related media monitoring
In early April 2021, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), as part of the Project “Promoting Equality and Combating Discrimination in Ukraine”, launched by Sweden, submitted to the National Council a methodology for monitoring gender issues in the media. The document was drafted by the Project at the request of the Regulatory Authority.
Unfortunately, today the Ukrainian legislation on gender-related issues does not fully correspond to European trends in the context of establishing gender equality in all areas of public life. However, there are some recent changes at the legislative level: the anti-discrimination law has recently been adopted, changes have been introduced to the election legislation: to prohibit discrimination and sexism, and to require the mandatory number of women on party lists, some changes have been introduced in the advertising legislation.
The National Council, within its powers and remit, seeks to update this issue and does its best to make the media be more sensitive and accountable for the spread of discrimination, sexism and stereotypes.
In order to reverse this situation, the National Council has requested the international community to develop a methodology for monitoring gender issues in the media.
In early April 2021, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), as part of the Project “Promoting Equality and Combating Discrimination in Ukraine”, launched by Sweden, submitted to the National Council a methodology for monitoring gender issues in the media.
On 5 April 2021 the National Council made this methodology publicly available (in Ukrainian only).
The first monitoring using a new methodology has been underway since April 6 – the monitoring of the gender balance in advertising. It includes 28 national broadcasting companies.
General characteristics of the methodology:
- the horizontal model of the methodology allows to work with 6 types of video product: advertising, films, news programmes, entertaining, cognitive, information and analytical programmes;
- qualitative and quantitative content analysis are combined, they are consistently used at different stages of an assessment;
- both video and audio tracks are evaluated;
- a 7-gradation rating scale from -3 to +3 is used (where 0 points refer to neutral material);
- elaboration of conclusions and analytical comments related to language, gender stereotypes is foreseen;
- within monitoring it is possible to use a research strategy of triangulation (when several persons analyse the same video product, encode the values in the table and then compare the results. Thus, the encoders come to the final assessment together. Since there may be a certain subjective factor within the use of qualitative analysis, the strategy of triangulation assumes that in the process of monitoring content analysts score points, and then compare them, discuss comments and form an average score);
- monitoring is not aimed only at finding some flaws and inconsistencies. It also provides an opportunity to highlight successful examples of efforts with regard to achieving gender equality.
The National Council encourages all the licensees to use the new methodology as a reliable tool for self-monitoring – to assess the content they distribute to avoid discriminatory and stereotypical allegations and views.
As well some training work is also planned to disseminate this methodology for gender-related media monitoring. Thus, within the framework of the Media Change Ukraine Project (launched by the National Council in early 2020) a series of trainings with the participation of representatives of regional and local broadcasters and the regional representatives of the Regulator is planned to introduce the document to participants and to explain how to implement this tool in practice.
Reporting materials on the results of systematic monitoring of gender issues in the media will be published on the Regulator’s website.