Croatia: IFJ completes politician gender portrayal training 2023

“Mentioning the family status of a woman politician automatically makes a news story fall under the category of gender bias if nothing in the story justifies mentioning that status,” said IFJ Trainer Marie Palmer as she concluded the second day of her training session with journalists in Zagreb, Croatia, on portraying politicians through a gender lens.

Working with frontline journalists, news media managers, journalists’ unions and associations, gender experts, media self-regulatory bodies, women active in political life, academics, and, most importantly, the next generation of media professionals.

The Rewriting the Story project seeks to initiate reforms in European media regarding newsroom culture, policies, and practices that improve the professional understanding and practices with regard to the gender portrayal of women.

The project’s second phase of activities concluded with the development of customized training modules and two ‘train the trainers’ sessions conducted in Cyprus (28-31 May) and Zagreb, Croatia (2-4 June), respectively. The initiative gathered together IFJ affiliates in the European Union.

IFJ-led EU-funded initiative On 4 June, story rewriting concluded.

As associated partners of the initiative, the Union of Cyprus Journalists and the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists, two IFJ affiliates, hosted each respective engagement.

Nisrine Salameh, the IFJ International Officer who is coordinating the entire initiative, stated that these training sessions have been useful in equipping prospective trainers with specific tools to train others.

This initiative is an opportunity for IFJ affiliates to develop in-house training support that can be used in the future to bolster union members’ abilities to convey political news through a gender lens. Before June 2024, we aim to have trained 400 journalists across the European Union.

The rule of reversibility, which dictates that journalists should only ask women politicians the same questions they would ask their male counterparts, was one of the most essential tools taught to apprentices.

IFJ Gender Expert Pamela Morinière stated, “This rule is simple to implement and a powerful tool for combating gender stereotypes in the media.” “I am confident that this training will make a difference in political reporting by bolstering journalistic ethics, and I hope that many other journalism training centers and schools will utilize our training modules.”

The training modules consist of six essential components related to reporting politics from a gender perspective and will be made available to all trainers of journalists around the globe for free in the coming weeks.

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