Gaulbert Sutherland of Stabroek News was yesterday announced the winner of the challenge posed by the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security last year for journalists to submit features and news articles on women and children.
He came out the victor among his peers for both categories.
This competition was as a result of a report “Media Trends: representations of women and children in the Guyana Media, 2008 to 2009”, compiled by Dr. Paloma Mohamed. It revealed that women and children were consistently under reported in the media.
The report stated that although women and children combined accounted for 85 percent of the Guyanese population, the actual stories of women and children together accounted for only 2.9 percent of all stories in the media for 2008 to 2009.
This report was derived from the media monitoring project by the Ministry and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) designed to address the question of under reporting or negative reporting on women and children.
According to Yvonne Stephenson, Information Resources Manager, over the past four years UNICEF through the Ministry, has been monitoring newspapers and to some extent television in Guyana to empirically record the frequency and instances in which women and children appears in the News in Guyana.
The monitoring spanned the years 2007 through 2010 but during the period 2009 to 2009 vigorous and in depth analysis of the four daily newspapers was done. As of July 2009, the electronic media through their television news casts was monitored.
Stephenson related that the total data collected over the two-year period 2008 to 2009 accounted for in excess of 120,000 news stories, feature articles and editorials, etc, which fell within the scope of the project.
She emphasized that the stories submitted by journalists were expected to reflect the link between women, children and development and to focus on issues which might influence or affect the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal. According to one of the judges of the competition, Karen Davis, “The judging panel consisted of Alim Hosein, Roxana Kawall and Karen Davis. There was also an Independent Reviewer, Dr. Rovin Deodat, who reviewed both the entries received as well as the Judges’ Decision.”
She added that 18 entries were submitted in the print media category: eight news stories, and ten feature stories. In addition, there was one submission in the television category.
The subjects included domestic violence, health issues, survival of women and children, labour issues, and the Legal Aid and foster care systems.
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