Whose Opinion Are You Taking To The Polling Booth?

Whose Opinion Are You Taking To The Polling Booth?
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, Claire Waddington (pictured below), Marketing and Communications Manager Aust/NZ at Isentia, argues the election has been one big ‘bloke fest’ to the detriment of a number of important issues…

By virtue, the media is a pervasive and powerful tool for election campaigners. Ultimately, a vote relies on communication; as such new policies and agendas are trumpeted via media doorstops, polls and public debates – and then disseminated to the public with thoughtful commentary from well-meaning and seemingly well-informed journalists.

Claire Waddington

Claire Waddington

As we head to the polling both tomorrow it’s important to ask – how much influence do male-centric newsrooms have on the way we vote? According to Isentia’s recent research into Women in Media, we can safely assume ‘a lot’.

Australia may have been a leading nation in suffrage, but it’s no secret that women are drastically under represented in Government at a mere 30 per cent. The disparity, however, is even more apparent in political media. Despite women substantially outnumbering men in journalism training and making up almost half of the reporting workforce, a startling 74 per cent of political journalists are male. This gender division by subject matter becomes more concerning when female sources cited in political news sit at just 15 per cent.

With this in mind, it’s hard to imagine how female voters are hearing the big issues without gender bias. Are the reports simply the quotes from a doorstop that most strike a chord with male reporters, writers and producers? Do the 26 per cent of journalists who are female have their ears prick up at different parts of a political press conference?

With such gender inequality in the industry it’s difficult to tell.

How much of the political news agenda reflects women’s issues? We’re constantly hearing reports on campaign ‘big issues’ – growth, jobs, secure future and innovation – but do they truly reflect women’s issues? Yes, these issues affect the female population, but there is far less reporting on the likes of equal pay, education and childcare – the areas typically dominated by females.

In this election campaign, we have been readily reminded of what male journalists think female voters are interested in. There’s been more talk of Julie Bishop’s wardrobe, Michaelia Cash’s backpacking adventures and Lucy Turnbull’s penchant for toy stores than blind hiring and diversity units proposed for the public sector.

Of course with this we are up against a significant cultural shift that will certainly take time – years, maybe decades. But if there is one thing we can do now, that is be aware. While we like to think we’re a media- savvy bunch that know the tricks behind the trade, it’s important to ask ourselves why we’re formulating the opinions we are and who have we been influenced by.

Keep your own log in the back of your mind of the social commentators you listen to and take note of their gender. Could their opinions be swayed based on being male or female? Many factors help formulate personal opinions but the gender debate is certainly one I’m keeping a keen eye on as we head to the polls this election.

Before you arrive at the polling booth on Saturday, ask yourself, whose opinion are you voting with?

Latest News

News.com.au Unveils New Homepage
  • Media

News.com.au Unveils New Homepage

Australia’s leading national news website news.com.au today unveiled a new homepage. As the gateway to Australia’s largest news website, the news.com.au homepage delivers 135 million page impressions per month. The redevelopment of the news.com.au homepage has been designed to evolve the brand into the next decade with plans to roll out continued updates across the […]

Study: Startup Mentality Defined By Culture More Than Age Or Size
  • Marketing
  • Media

Study: Startup Mentality Defined By Culture More Than Age Or Size

The lines between startups and corporates should no longer be defined by organisation size, but by the kind of culture they foster, a panel of top marketers have agreed. Some of Sydney’s top marketers – including Guzman y Gomez CMO Lara Thom, Outdoria CEO Nick Baker, Menulog’s head of marketing Tasman Page and Facebook ANZ’s […]

Cupcakes on a cake stand with sparklers
  • Media

The New Daily Turns Five

Online news site, The New Daily, the brainchild of industry super fund boss Garry Weaven and former Age and Herald Sun editor Bruce Guthrie, turns five this week. It boasts a monthly Google audience of more than two million and close to 500,000 daily subscribers. It’s impressive climb up the Nielsen news site rankings – from outside […]

Nielsen: Aussies Aged 50+ Spent Most Time Online With News
  • Media

Nielsen: Aussies Aged 50+ Spent Most Time Online With News

Nielsen Digital Content Ratings monthly-tagged data for October 2018 revealed that more than half (52 per cent) of the total time spent online consuming news-related content during October 2018 was by Australians aged 50 plus. Desktop was the device of choice for Australians accessing news stories online, contributing to close to half (49 per cent) […]

Haystac Shakes Up National Leadership Team
  • Media

Haystac Shakes Up National Leadership Team

Haystac, part of the BWM Dentsu Group, has announced three key changes to its national leadership team as the agency evolves to service the needs of major national and global brand clients. Haylie Marchant moves into a new national role, as head of strategy at Haystac. Formerly the general manager of Haystac Brisbane, Haylie will drive Haystac’s new […]

Virtue Announces New Key Hires, Campaigns And Partnerships In Australia
  • Marketing
  • Media

Virtue Announces New Key Hires, Campaigns And Partnerships In Australia

Creative agency VIRTUE has introduced a number of key hires, innovative campaigns and an expanding roster of clients within its newly established Sydney office. VIRTUE is the creative agency born from global youth media company VICE, and will service the whole of Asia-Pacific from three offices in Sydney, Singapore and Seoul. The agency aims to […]