Photographic representation of women in the print media : a case study of the Post.
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The under-representation of women in the media has been contested by gender activists the world over. Studies have indicated that women are more likely to be portrayed as models on advertising bill-boards than as serious news sources. Why are women continually portrayed in a narrow range of roles? If visual representation is a means of how we make sense of the world and women are continually portrayed in a narrow range of roles and particularly as second-class citizens, does that not shape our understanding of the world? One of the critical areas of concern of the study was the construction, selection and production of gender images in the print media. In the case of Post newspaper, it is the media workers who, in order to boost the sales of the newspaper, select a model with a “pretty face” for their front pages. Surely there is more to these women than their physical beauty? According to the findings, models are selected for their attractive features. Photographs are carefully composed, enhancing the model?s appealing attributes. Thereafter the selection of photographs is done by the photographer, sub-editor and editor and produced in weekly editions of Post. At the time of the interview, the team of selectors was entirely male. Does this have a bearing on the selection of photographs? According to the findings, it does! When women journalists offer their suggestions during the selection process, they are completely disregarded. Based on the findings regarding the selection of photographs, it is evident that there is a bias towards the opinions of the males in the newsroom, in particular the editor. It is evident that the Post does not reflect Indian women on the cover of Post, instead it contributes to the gender stereotype of women depicted as models rather than news sources.