Media Release: Lens on Gender-Based Violence – an analysis of media coverage

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Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) conducted a media monitoring and analysis of the coverage of Gender-Based Violence in South African media. From the five year monitoring period (2015 to 2020) over 30 000 stories about or relating to Gender-Based Violence were collected. To streamline the analysis, only periods with peaks were selected for manual monitoring and analysis. This process saw 439 stories being monitored and analysed to determine trends.

Findings reveal that the year 2020 had the biggest coverage of the scourge with 112 stories recorded in that year. The lowest recorded was in 2015 with 36 stories. A deep analysis indicates that media coverage of Gender-Based Violence in South Africa only started improving in terms of quantity after national and global movements like the national 2016 #EndRapeCulture campaign and the global #MeToo movement that went viral in 2017.

Another key finding is that most of the coverage came from Gauteng at 21% with Mpumalanga and Northern Cape receiving the least amount of coverage at 1% each.

In terms of top performing media in the coverage of Gender-Based Violence, News24 and IOL dominated at 13% and 12% respectively.

The majority of stories were on Gender-Based Violence as a general topic and justice system at 35% and 21% respectively.

One of the key aspects of the monitoring and analysis exercise was to determine how sources were portrayed, especially those at the receiving end of the violence. Findings reveal that sources were mostly portrayed as just subjects at 19%, as victims at 12% and very rarely in empowering roles such as survivors. Survivor as a role received 1%. Those sources portrayed as victims were named at 59%. The report will include an analysis of whether those victims identified at 49% are alive or deceased. Further analysis of those portrayed as victims shows that the majority were black women at 63%. Black people were the most dominant race across all sources at 70%.

In terms of gender dynamics of the sources, males dominated at 56% with females coming in at43%.The remaining 1% was for sources that identify as trans-gender or trans-sexual.

Lastly, the quality of information in these stories was analysed. While all the stories provided basic context at 100%, only 7% discussed relevant policies to do with Gender-Based Violence. Further and sadly, only 1% of the stories on Gender-Based Violence provided self-help information for the public.

The full report will be launched soon.

For enquiries, contact;
Lister Namumba
Programme Manager – Monitoring, Research and Analysis
listerr@mma.org.za

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