Women's Representation in Newspapers

Women's Representation in Newspapers

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Representation is the way people or events are portrayed in the various media outlets through the use of linguistic devices, the choice of vocabulary, often with the accompanying images. Frequently, the representation relies on the use of stereotypes and cultural bias. The language used in news stories can be used to represent particular groups or cultures which conform to the existing stereotypes – it is a powerful tool by which the attitudes can be constructed, promoted or challenged. People in the news are defined by their gender, race, age, sexuality or religion and therefore can be exposed to discrimination on these grounds. Mostly, the representation of certain groups in the newspapers is implicit – the ideology is concealed and as a result, the audience will find it more difficult to resist the particular point of view, especially when their knowledge about the subject or social group is not sufficient to form their own opinion (Reah, 1998). Media provides the audience with a representation of reality which in many cases can be biased and unjust in terms of using generalisations, sensationalising or exaggerating the news. These techniques transmit certain ideological values to the readers which can often have a negative impact on the way that a particular social group is regarded by the society. This essay will explore representation of women in the newspapers, focusing on the linguistic devices and the encoded values and messages portrayed as well as looking into the implications on the grounds of ethical issues in journalistic practices.
Newspapers, in particular tabloids, are characterised by their sexualisation of popular culture and exploiting the entertainment values, especially in terms of soft news featuring women (...

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...12). Editors' Code of Practice. Available from . [22 May 2014].
Reah, D. (1998). The Language of Newspapers. London: Routledge.
Sabbagh, D. (2012). Sun editor tells Leveson inquiry page 3 is an 'innocuous British institution.' The Guardian. February 7 2012. Available from . [21 May 2014].
Ward, Stephen J. (2010). Inventing Objectivity: New Philosophical Foundations. In: C. Meyers (ed) Journalism Ethics: A Philosophical Approach. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 137 - 152.
Webster, A. (2014). Lacey, 22 from Bedford. The Sun. May 15 2014. p. 3.
Young, Jock. (1973). The myth of the drug taker in the mass media. In: S. Cohen and J. Young (eds) The manifacture of news: Social problems, deviance and the mass media. London: Constable. p. 314 - 322.

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