Gender and Media Diversity Journal Launched

Gender and Media Diversity Journal Launched

Date: April 26, 2012
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The recently launched Gender and Media Diversity (GMDC) Journal on Gender, Popular Culture and Media will contribute immensely to the growing body of knowledge around gender and diversity, participants to the launch said.

Gender Links (GL) launched the journal Wednesday evening at a parallel event during the just ended third annual Gender Justice and Local government summit. Some 280 men and women from around the SADC region attended the summit.

The new GMDC journal is the tenth issue in the journal series produced by the GL Gender and Media Diversity Centre (GMDC), a physical and virtual resource centre that facilitates the collection, connection and dissemination of information resources relating to gender, media and diversity.

Emily Brown, Head of Media Technology at the Polytechnic of Namibia, noted that this resource will go a long way in adding to the literature produced in Southern Africa that can benefit journalists, academics and those working in the journalism and media industry.

“Scholars from abroad inform journalism training in our institutions and gender hardly features in these books. So this book becomes a significant tool to inform us. It will also help us to discuss gender and diversity issues relevant to the African context,” said Brown.

This journal focuses on issues such as media freedom, freedom of expression and the essence of popular culture. Articles in the new issue also highlight using ICTs to reduce the communication gap between women and men and contribute to the fight for gender equality in SADC. There are also articles that discuss the third wave of feminism.

Informed by the 2011 Windhoek +20 celebrations of the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Media, the journal covers several of the recent debates on access to information and society’s current understanding of freedom of expression.

Perpetual Sichikwenkwe, a journalist with the Times of Zambia, contributed to the annual journal with an article entitled ‘Election violence limits freedom of journalists’. “It was a good and rewarding experience as a journalist to contribute to this discourse on gender and media freedom,” she said. “Through writing, I was able to discuss happenings in my country and compare them with regional perspectives.

“As I wrote my article I realised that the gender, elections and media issues in Zambia are not unique to the country, but are happening in the other countries in the region,” Sichikwenkwe added. “This has given me a chance to argue and question the issue of harassment of journalists and how it impinges on freedom of expression among journalists.”

Sharonice Busch, Secretary General of the Namibia National Students Organisation and former speaker of the Namibia Junior Parliament said that the resource is a good platform to discuss openly issues that are very relevant to the status quo. “People have raised highly debatable topics in their arguments. However I think that more youth concerns could have been integrated into the popular culture sections as they are very active consumers of popular culture.”

Tarisai Nyamweda is a Media Programme Officer at Gender Links. This article is part of GL Opinion and Commentary Service, special news and analysis series of the 2012 Gender Justice and Local Government Summit.


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