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Germany: calls for a 30% quota of women in top media jobs

Germany: calls for a 30% quota of women in top media jobs

Germany may have a strong female figure at the head of its government, but when it comes to the newsroom, the balance of power is heavily tipped in favour of men

This is the complaint or Pro Quote, a new campaign in Germany, which calls for a quota to be imposed on newsrooms to ensure that at least 30% of executive positions are held by women.

"At Germany's roughly 360 daily and weekly newspapers, only 2% of the editors-in-chief are women," states the petition, which also points out that of the country's 12 public radio directors, only three are female.

The petition calls for 30% of top positions "at every level of the hierarchy" to be filled by women within five years.

Pro Quote already has 700 signatories, many of whom already work for well-know media outlets such as Spiegel, Die Zeit and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The first 210 names are accompanied by pictures and comments on the campaigns website. An article in the Guardian names Anne Will, one of Germany's most well-know political TV presenters, Sandra Maischberger, another prominent TV host, and Dagmar Engel, editor in chief of Deutsche Welle, as supporters of the campaign.

Germany is not the only European country where complaints have been made about the scarcity of women in the media. In Britain a recent campaign has called on the BBC, ITN and Sky to ensure that 30% of "experts" used on radio and TV programs are women. A petition has been posted on which states "men typically outnumber women by 4:1 on a huge range of news and current affairs programmes across channels. And where women are used, they often feature as case studies or victims." The petition, which currently has 281 signatures, calls for this situation to be changed to reflect the greater number of women that hold professional positions in the UK.

At the end of last year, Kira Cochrane at the Guardian completed a rough survey of the genders of journalists publishing in seven major national British newspapers, as well as the number of women that appeared on the BBC's Radio 4 Today Show. Over a four-week period, she found that 77.4% of the journalists she surveyed were men.

However, in Britain at least, there is the possibility that things may be changing. Last December, London's prestigious City University Journalism department surveyed 406 of its 2006-2008 journalism graduates. Of those working in journalism 61% were female, while 39% were male.

Sources: Pro Quote (1) (2) Guardian (1) (2),, editors weblog

Image via Computer Clipart


Hannah Vinter


2012-02-28 18:17

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