Friday, July 09, 2010

What Happened to Gender at WJEC 2 in South Africa?

The Second World Journalism Education Congress just wrapped up in Grahamstown, South Africa, and I so wish I could've attended it. Since it was a conference on journalism education, most papers dealt with this topic. But searching through the online program (available as a PDF on this page), I was only able to find a handful of articles or presentations that focused on gender or related issues:

"Women"- Jihad Sheilas or Media Martyrs: Muslim Women and the Australian Media
"Gender" - A syndicate discussion titled Media Training, Journalism, and Gender Equality, lead by Gender Links Director Colleen Lowe Morna
"Sex" - Coverage of Sexuality Issues in the Nigerian Print Media
"Diversity" - The Philosophical Exploration of Journalism Education Based on Academic Diversity; and a syndicate discussion titled Diversity in Journalism Education

A group of 24 national professional journalism education associations also signed off on 11 Principles of J-Education. There is no mention of gender, women, sex or diversity in this document, however, it does mention the importance of ethical behavior and critical media analysis. In particular, it states in point 4 that journalism curriculum includes courses that focus on the "social, political and cultural role of media in society."

What does this virtual absence of gender at the conference mean?

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