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International association for the measurement and evaluation of communication
Campaign title: Promoting gender equality in media
Client/Entering Company: Metina lista (Meta’s list)
Company Name: Kliping (part of Newton Media Group)
Why are women so under-represented in the media? As Time Magazine put it, ‘Women are inching towards media equality, but it’s slow going’. In Slovenia, the Meta’s List website is addressing this challenge head-on by working with media owners to improve the participation of women in media.
Meta’s List is knocking down barriers by using arguments based on solid evidence. The source of this evidence is a rolling analysis of media behaviour from Kliping, the Slovenian arm of Newton Media.
Meta’s List is a website dedicated to societal change. From 2014 onwards, it has promoted the interests of women in science, business, education and politics. Newton Media’s Kliping team provides the hard data to support its campaign. In 2016, our rolling analysis of women in broadcast media was extended to include Slovenia’s mainstream print media.
Throughout the Meta’s List/Kliping partnership, our main challenge has been to present credible and compelling evidence to our target audience in the mainstream media. The results of the analysis needed to be relevant and actionable in order to stimulate behavioural change. Making media executives aware of the problem would not be enough; our aim was to explain the challenge in detail and to work with all stakeholders to achieve more opportunities for women as speakers in media.
A secondary objective was to build awareness of Meta’s List as a campaigning organisation, on both the equality issue and future client campaigns. Part of this challenge was to raise the profile and credibility of Meta’s List on a very limited budget. Meta’s List operates in a crowded media environment, where other organisations have greater legacy and resources to support their campaigns.
To assess the change in Meta’s List’s profile, two peer projects were chosen for benchmarking: L’Oreal “For Women in Science” and The Slovenia Managers’ Association “Include Everyone”.
Research, Act, Validate: The research programme was structured into three separate phases with each element building on the insights gained from the previous phase.
Kliping devised a targeted research programme to analyse gender-bias within the media environment. The results of
the analysis formed the basis of recommendations for Meta’s Lists engagement with editors and senior journalists.We then measured changes in the media’s behaviour to validate the outcome of the campaign.
Repeatable: The analysis was structured in such a way so it could be repeated monthly and annually to detect immediate changes in media activity and underlying shifts in behaviour over the long-term.
Transferable: By developing a suite of consistent measures for media behaviour, the analysis framework could be transferred to new media channels. Our first research programme focused on mainstream broadcast networks. In 2017, the same methodology was deployed to measure gender-bias and media behaviour in the mainstream newspaper sector.
We designed the measurement strategy to allow for high quality data and analysis despite very limited resources (the client is a non-profit organisation with a very lean structure, plus the project had no external funding); and to enable frequent measurement on a long-term basis so as to be able to analyse trends.
Target sectors: Business, politics and science as spheres where we knew from other research that men dominate higher positions in organisational hierarchies and appear more frequently as speakers (sources) in media reporting.
Target media channels: High-reach media outlets with an identifiable influence over the national news agenda
Target media sources: TV programmes and newspapers with strong editorial credibility and news coverage (ie not news aggregators/re-publishers).
Communication Strategy: Direct communication with the media
Meta’s List focused on direct and granular communication with the editors of the selected media. That allowed the target audience to reflect and to act in improving the status of their media outlet in further measurements. The client contacted journalists directly to suggest female speakers on selected topics (diverting them from their default, predominantly male contact lists).
This strategy contributed to the objective to raise awareness among editors and journalists for gender equality in media reporting and to boost opportunities for women as speakers (sources) in the media.
The Client also used the analysis to:
After each engagement with the media, Meta’s List used Kliping’s ongoing analysis results to track changes in the behaviour of target media sources in terms of their inclusion of more women speakers (sources) in media publications. The results also formed a reference point for media organisations and government agencies to sense-check their performance against their own historic average and prevailing sector averages.
Kliping’s implementation is innovative and original: the project remains the only one of its kind in Slovenia. Its unique feature is that the subject of the analysis – the media – is given free access to the data. The results are shared with broadcasters and newspaper editors on a monthly basis.
The appropriateness of the methods is proven by:
– Efficiency: the measurement uses just the right sample of media to ensure reliable and credible results, despite limited resources
– Sustainability: the project has been running for more than three years now. Such a long partnership (which is crucial to the project’s success, since any social change requires a long-term commitment) could not have been possible using extensive and expensive measurement methods. Instead, the project’s innovation rests in the direct communication with the most important stakeholder group, the media, whose editors receive monthly reports on how their media performed in terms of gender equality compared to others. That enables a degree of self-reflection and appropriate reaction.
a) Measurement implementation – First phase (May 2014 – April 2016) – Focus on TV
Of 19 TV stations available in Slovenia, we included four (highest reach, agenda setting function) in our sample. We monitored interpretative media formats with serious editorial policy (seven out of 65 shows in total).
Measure 2 indicators: a) Share of women as speakers in selected shows; b) Categories (topics) where they appeared as experts. Analyse the results and publish an executive summary each month to ensure consistency and enable trend analysis.
Second phase (September 2016 – now) – Focus on print
The trend-line of women’s share of voice on TV was growing. The client therefore initiated a change in methodology to address a wider audience (editors and journalists of print media who were not exposed to the project before), so as not to lose the uniqueness and appeal of the story.
Methodology design was adapted: out of 80 newspapers monitored, we included 11 in our sample (serious, high quality reporting, gender neutrality) and selected formats which reflected the opinion leadership and expertise of the speakers and allowed for interpretation of reality: interviews and opinion columns.
Measure 2 indicators: a) Share of women as speakers/authors, b) Categories (topics) where they appeared as experts. Publish executive analysis summary each month to ensure consistency and enable trend analysis.
b) Direct communication strategy implementation
Each month, the client distributes a report to the editors of selected media where they inform them about their performance on the share of voice of female speakers the previous month. Besides specific data for their own media, they also provided aggregated data for other media to be used for benchmarking. The client invited the editors to promote the list of potential female speakers (available on the client’s website) among journalists and encourage them to include more female speakers for the selected topic, where appropriate. The client reacted to journalists’ requests for female speakers swiftly and professionally.
c) Indirect communication strategy (awareness raising) implementation:
Each month, the client distributes the press release on the analysis findings to Slovenian media (including those that were not measured) and publishes executive summaries on its owned communication platforms (www.metinalista.si, Facebook and Twitter profiles).
The client partnered with other institutions to use the analysis for joint communication activity, promoted it at media events and actively approached conference organisers to include its CEO as a keynote speaker on gender equality in media reporting.
To better understand the value of the project, we compared it to other initiatives to promote gender equality in Slovenia (project For Women in Science by L’Oreal and UNESCO and the Include Everyone project by the Managers’ Association).
The findings have helped the client to:
Organisational Outcomes (Meeting of Objectives)
Kliping Supporting Materials
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