Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

October-29-02

TV Networks Score Poorly on Serving Public Interest

Major television networks have room to improve their programming content, according to the third annual Feminist Primetime Report, released yesterday by the National Organization for Women (NOW). Evaluating network programming on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UPN, and WB in the categories of gender diversity, violence, sexual exploitation, and social responsibility, over 80 teams of “feminist field analysts” reviewing 107 programs during the first six months of 2002—found shows overwhelmingly focused on violence and sexual exploitation. NOW President Kim Gandy remarked, “Network programming sends a distorted, often offensive, image of women, girls and people of color—brought to you through the point-of-view of white men and boys. Television remains very much a man’s world, with women serving primarily as ‘eye candy.’”

Each evening, networks transmitting information through the airwaves under free broadcast licenses, reach over 106 million people in the US. According to the 1934 Communications Act, these licenses are granted under the condition that networks “serve the public interest, convenience and necessity.” However, NOW’s report, a component of the organization’s “Watch Out, Listen Up!” campaign, reveals widespread programming inadequacies regarding gender, social, and economic diversity. For example, summing all six networks, men hold 134 more regular primetime roles than women. Also, despite people of color comprising almost 31 percent of the US population, last season, Asian American women portrayed only four key roles, and no representatives existed for Native American or Middle Eastern women.

In a more positive light, some progress is being made. The WB since 2001 has consistently employed 50 percent female and 50 percent male lead and supporting actors. An article appearing yesterday in USA Today indicated that, for the first time in prime-time television, black women are producers on all four comedies airing Monday nights on UPN. The women are: Sara Finney-Johnson of The Parkers, Eunetta Boone of One on One, Mara Brock Akil of Girlfriends, and Yvette Lee Bowser of Half and Half. Still Finney-Johnson emphasizes, “there’s much more work to be done…”

Media Resources: Variety 10/29/02; NOW press release 10/28/02; NOW report 10/28/02; USA Today 10/28/02


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

5/22/2015 Senate Votes to Advance "Fast Tracking" of Dangerous Trade Agreement - The US Senate voted 62 to 38 yesterday to advance "fast track" trade legislation, just one week after Senate Democrats filibustered the controversial bill that would allow President Obama to force Congress to vote up-or-down on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP is a far-reaching trade agreement that has faced staunch opposition from a broad coalition of labor, environmental, women's rights, and human rights groups. . . .
 
5/22/2015 New York Politicians, Advocates, and Activists Have Come Together to Protect Nail Salon Workers - Following a report by the New York Times on the exploitation of nail salon workers almost two weeks ago, New York state and city officials have partnered with advocates and volunteers to bring comprehensive educational programs and labor reforms to the 5,000 licensed salons in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), who ordered emergency measures last week in the wake of the report - including posting workers' rights information in salons in different languages, shutting down unlicensed salons, implementing new safety requirements, and creating an educational campaign aimed at employees and managers - has introduced a legislative package aimed at building upon those reforms and leading the way for long-term protection for nail salon workers. . . .
 
5/20/2015 New York Attorney General Moves to Expand Access to Contraceptives - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman introduced the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act of 2015 last week to enhance the availability of contraception for New Yorkers. The bill codifies the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) in New York state law while strengthening and expanding many of its provisions. . . .