How metrics are helping Ringier to more balanced coverage

Apr 06, 2021 at 07:54 pm by Staff


A belief that men and women can achieve more together has led Swiss publisher Ringier to a new initiative which makes more female role models visible and gives them an equal voice.

In an INMA blog, Ringier Group chief financial officer and EqualVoice initiator Annabella Bassler says about 75 per cent of all articles in Swiss media are about men, with the 2016 Global Media Monitoring Project putting the worldwide figure at 82 per cent.

"As one of the largest multi-national media companies in Switzerland, at Ringier we see it as our responsibility to step up efforts to ensure equal coverage of women and men in the media," she says.

The EqualVoice initiative is led by publisher Michael Ringier and chief executive Marc Walder, with equal representation of women and men in the media supported by the whole of the executive board, editors-in-chief in Switzerland, and the EqualVoice advisory board.

One of the main goals is quantitative analysis of media coverage of women and men in group publications, with the EqualVoice-Factor established as a quantitative metric indicating the coverage of men and women on all Ringier and Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland websites.

Bassler says the analysis leads to two EqualVoice scores: The teaser score, consisting of image, headline, and lead - which "tells us how visible women are on our pages" - and the body score, which refers to the body of the article and identifies the female share of language in all publications.

Dashboards show the current status of both EqualVoice scores compared with the previous month's scores. The daily display of the EqualVoice-Factor on the journalists' dashboards supports the editorial team in equal reporting.

Evaluations and key figures of the EqualVoice-Factor are communicated regularly. "The increased awareness of gender equality in our media brought about by the EqualVoice-Factor has already led to initial successes such as an increase in the teaser score at Handelszeitung by seven per cent, and the expansion of the Blick body score to more than 30 per cent in 2020.

"Gender equality is not only a journalistic challenge - equal representation of women and men is a global issue and one of Ringier's main priorities for the coming years."

Recent months have seen the EqualVoice-Factor developed further to offer it as a service for other publishers and corporate communications. "EqualVoice is a social initiative for Ringier, and we want to achieve an overarching change in society," Bassler says.


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