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Title:Challenging the lion in its den: dilemmas of gender and media activism in South Africa
Author:Geertsema, Margaretha
Periodical:Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies (ISSN 0256-0054)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:mass media
gender inequality
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02560054.2010.9653412
Abstract:The impact of feminist media activism organizations that work to improve women's access to and representation in the news media seems to be limited. Drawing on theories of the political function of news in a democracy, media sociology, and feminism, this article focuses on the specific experience of Gender Links, a South African nongovernmental gender and media organization founded in 2001. An analysis of institutional materials and 25 in-depth interviews shows that Gender Links is using a professional-technical approach to feminist media activism that is insufficient in bringing about deep and long-term change on an ideological level. It is suggested that Gender Links could benefit from more emphasis on political and countercultural approaches. The research also highlights some of the other dilemmas posed by issues related to funding, networking, the grassroots, press freedom, the profit motive, and the strong backlash from a patriarchal culture. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]