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Challenges of Gendered Journalism: Exploring Work Life Experiences of Ghanaian Female Journalists
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As the ‘feminization’ of journalism practice in Africa follows global trends, the need to understand and appreciate female journalists’ experiences in the profession is relevant. The dissertation uses a feminist standpoint approach, for this research project and it relies on four original study articles, two of which examine: (1) how Ghanaian female journalists manage a balance between various domestic and social obligations with the complexities of journalism work-time arrangements. (2) The second examines the extent to which the high prevalence of work-related sexual harassment challenges Ghanaian female journalists ability to integrate into the profession. The third study examines the Ghana Institute of Journalism’ (GIJ) enrolment and graduation record data to help establish the idea of the degree of ‘feminization’ of the journalism profession in Ghana. The research project is partly informed by findings of systematic literature review (SLR) of peer-reviewed studies and articles related to gender and journalism, media and communication research published between 2010 and 2016 in high impact journals. The SLR revealed gaps in gender-media studies in Africa. Most media scholars of gender and media in Africa focus their research inquiries on micro-level gender-media relations such that there is a paucity of empirical studies on gender at the macro and meso-levels of media analyses. This project focuses on the Ghanaian media landscape as a case for study. It argues that Ghanaian newsrooms, like most work organizations in Ghana, are gendered. Globally, newsrooms are considered to have male-dominated work cultures with similar hierarchical organizational structures. In countries like Ghana, such work cultures and organizational structures generally reflect the broader patriarchal socio-culture of the Ghanaian society. The journalism professional work culture and concomitant work habits are derivatives of endemic socio-cultural conceptions that prioritize male-centric behaviors and attitudes. Social masochistic attitudes are duly transferred into journalism newsrooms creating impressions that the professional journalism culture demands robust, care-free men with no strong family ties and low moral/emotional standards. These assumptions invariably impose high entry barriers for Ghanaian female journalists, which combine effectively to inhibit women journalists' ability to integrate and thrive efficiently into the profession. For these reasons, journalism work schedules are considered gendered. For most female journalists, issues surrounding journalism work cultures, such as the forms of work time arrangements and schedules involved in collecting, processing, and dissemination news information can be examined in this gendered light. It is globally agreed that journalism work times are non-standard, irregular, and generally considered socially unfriendly and highly unsuitable to and conflicts with numerous other socio-domestic obligations of most Ghanaian female journalists. Ghanaian female journalists like most other Ghanaian women are traditionally obligated to take care of children, the elderly, and the infirm including managing the domestic sphere. Women combine these domestic chores with work responsibilities within the public sphere. Another impending barrier is the likelihood that a high number of Ghanaian female journalists may experience sexual harassment or some form of sexual molestation in the line of duty. Ample evidence abounds to support claims of the high prevalence of sexual harassment in African newsrooms. This project, therefore, examines the experiences and impressions of Ghanaian female journalists concerning sexual harassment in the profession. This study further examines an often neglected but highly relevant and associated aspect of sexual harassment prevalence - blame attribution by victims. The project looks at how Ghanaian female journalists adopt and assign blame to their experiences with sexual harassment advances in Ghanaian newsrooms. Twenty-three (n=23) female journalists from various Ghanaian newsrooms across four of the ten regions of Ghana participated in in-depth unstructured interview sessions. Analysis of narratives of their lived experiences show that Ghanaian female journalists face unsurmountable challenges working within the journalism industry ...
- Artikkeli I: Boateng, K. J. (2017). Reversal of Gender Disparity in Journalism Education- Study of Ghana Institute of Journalism. Observatorio (OBS*), 11 (2), 118-135. DOI: 10.15847/obsOBS11220171019
- Artikkeli II: Boateng, Kodwo Jonas Anson & Lauk, Epp. (2020). Multi-skilled in many ways: Ghanaian Female Journalists between Job and Home. Communication Today. Accepted for Publication.
- Artikkeli III: Boateng, Kodwo Jonas Anson & Lauk, Epp. (2020). Proclivity of Sexual Harassment and Blame Attribution in Journalism: Experiences of Ghanaian Female Journalists. Observatio (Obs*). Accepted for Publication.
- Artikkeli IV: Boateng, Kodwo Jonas Anson (2020). Mining Journalism studies for Gender: A Review of Publications on women in the journalism profession in Africa. Journalism Media and Cultural Studies Journal (JOMEC). Under Review.
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