Gender Bias in Indonesia?

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A study from Indonesia’s Alliance of Independent Journalists reported this month that Indonesian media is “guilty of blatant gender-bias,” the Jakarta Post reported.

The journalist group (AJI) and the Indonesia Broadcasting Commission (KPI) studied “several articles from seven newspapers” and “several TV programs aired by four private TV stations” from Aug. to Sept. 2010.  According to the Indonesia Broadcasting Commission, of the seven newspapers, the newspaper Kompas reported the most “female-themed” news.

Other findings include that media reporting on women is stereotypical, “female identity is not separate from personal appearance,” and women are seen as “responsible for the affairs of the kitchen.”

One of the AJI’s researchers, Eko Bambang Subiantoro, explained that while the media does report news related to women, “the majority of such reports were not sympathetic to or respectful of women.”

“We have seen an increased number of news coverage promoting the improvement of women’s quality of life. Yet, gender-biased perspectives often feature in news coverage on women’s issues,” Eko is quoted as saying.

The Indonesia Broadcasting Commission (KPI)’s Ezky Suyanto reportedly criticized TV stations for breaching ethics.

Issues regarding women’s portrayal on TV included women “being marginalized” in TV reporting, entertainment and advertisements, Suyanto reportedly explained.

As an example of ethics violations, Suyanoto noted that Law No. 32/2002 on Broadcasting requires TV journalists not “exploit the victims of gender-related violence.”  However, “in many cases,” journalists blur the photo of the victim, but then show the victim’s family, school, home and other identifying information.

AJI also hosted a panel talk about its findings in mid-March.

iMediaEthics has written to the AJI and Ezky Suyanto for more information and comment and will update with any response.


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Gender Bias in Indonesia?

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