Over 200 regional media practitioners gather for 3rd GEM Summit

Date: January 1, 1970
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Over two hundred media practitioners from around Southern Africa, the continent, and as far away as Palestine, India and Sweden will gather at the Kopanong Hotel in Johannesburg from 10-12 August for the third Gender and Media Summit.

Convened by Gender Links (GL), the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) and the Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) Network, the two-day event is organised under the theme  Whose news, whose views? Critical citizens, responsive media.” A highlight of the summit is the Gender and Media (GEM) Awards taking place at a gala dinner on 10 August. Some 62 journalists from 9 countries submitted entries for the 10 prizes. 4 women and 6 men from 5 countries (Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe) will be announced as winners.
Stories submitted include print media covering sexual harassment, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, and pro-active initiatives increasing girls’ university enrollment and women’s participation in politics. Television entries included a story of domestic violence involving a member of the South African Police Force, and a feature report looking at the different circumstances of people living with HIV and AIDS. Lulu Xingwana, Honourable Minister of Agriculture, South Africa will make the key note address at the award ceremony.
The summit will get going on 11 August with a keynote address by Maria Edstrom, Senior Lecturer at The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Gothenburg and Maria Jacobson, media critic and freelance journalist, speaking on "News media and the gender logic of society.”
Speakers, which include editors, journalists, organisaton representatives, and activists, will present case studies on topics as diverse as gender equality, media and elections around the region, audience and newsroom research, tabloidisation and xenophobia in the media, media activism, and reporting on gender and the economy.
New features include the Gender and Media Diversity Centre (GMDC) launched in March 2008 and its work in building the capacity of ordinary citizens to engage critically with the media through media literacy projects across the Southern African region. Partners in the GMDC include knowledge institutions and media development NGOs from Southern Africa and around the world committed to more diverse and responsive media that promote an informed, critical citizenry. 
New research to be presented includes a GL research project on advertising conducted in 2007, which found that women feature more prominently in advertising than in news content in four countries: Mauritius; South Africa; Zambia and Zimbabwe. On average, women in the study constituted 41% of subjects compared to the regional average of 19% women sources in the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP 2005). As well, research conducted by Gender Links in the three countries with the highest tabloid density in Southern Africa (Mauritius, South Africa, and Tanzania) showed that contrary to the claims made by editors, tabloids only give slightly more voice to women than the mainstream media (an average of 25% in this study).
Click here for more information abou the August 2008 events.
For more information contact
Deborah Walter- Summit media manager editor@genderlinks.org.za  073-132-7032
Colleen Lowe Morna, GL Executive Director and GEMSA Committee Member 082-651-6995
Kubi Rama, GMDC, 082 378 8239

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