HOW ARE WOMEN AND THE POOR TREATED IN THE MEDIA
Australia’s Economy: How are women and the poor treated in the media?
The country’s budget and the economy in general are always very big subjects in the media. Often times it is difficult to really separate truth for the ‘hype.’ Should everyone start becoming concerned when the headlines are frightening? Is there too much drama about the economy in the media? And most importantly I wanted to discover how women and the poor are treated in the media when the subject focuses on the economy? These are not silly questions. The media has a great impact on what people perceive about issues that affect their lives. Not only that, but whatever they learn from the media shapes their feelings about the people who represent them in the government. Voters take into account what they have learned from the media who they decide they should elect. When voters are better informed they are more likely to elect representatives that will make social policy decisions that are good for the voters.
Dean (2007) wrote an article about “the problematic nature of work-life balance in the low-income neighbourhoods.” His research took place in the United Kingdom but I started wondering about how the poor and women were treated in Australia. I decided to notice if when the economy or budgets were mentioned in the paper if lower income families ever mentioned. I also included indigenous Australians in the classification because they still have so many problems. I chose to use the online newspaper the Crikey as my source for information. I had noticed in the first week of September 2012 the Crikey was reporting what they call ‘doom and gloom’ reporting about the economy. Today I noticed that the very end of the September 2012 reports were much more positive. I have decided to review the last two weeks of September 2012 to see if I can understand what changed and if my topic for research was addressed. My hypothesis is that the Crikey would show some recent change for the better in the circumstances for women and the poor.
Curtain and Keane (2012 September 14) reported in Crikey that cuts in public administration jobs were still having an effect, retail jobs were down but they reported some good news.
Our biggest-employing sector, health care and social assistance, continues to grow steadily: it’s now closing in on 12% of all workers in the country, and had an 8000 rise in the August quarter (seasonally-adjusted). (Curtain & Keane 2012: crikey.com.au
On September 27 Richard Farmer wrote a general report on the news from the Australian Bureau of Statistics about jobs. He reported a positive interpretation but in a not very hopeful way. Then I reread this sentence again and again “With further cuts to come by state governments and federal public service employment at least likely to be put on hold, the difficulty in finding a job is likely to increase” (Farmer 2012:crikey.com.au). The way he has written sentence it is difficult to tell whether to be optimistic or pessimistic. Not a word was added about the poor or women and jobs. Most of the article focused on the situation of oil and gas companies. In August the Crikey had an article on the statics about the indigenous job figures. It was written by Jon Altman and it was written very well. He added a lot of facts and a lot of detail. He even talked about a recent article by anthropologist.
For this small experiment I observed that women and the poor do not have any coverage even close to the amount given to oil and gas companies. Research with two weeks duration therefore is not long enough to learn much about my subject since they are not rich CEOs or investors who rely on drilling for oil for their income.
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