Globally, journalism is a male-dominated profession. Studies have documented an increase in the number of female students in journalism and mass communication courses worldwide. Though there is an increase of female students in journalism training schools, this did not translate to increase the number of women practicing the profession. In order words, male dominance is still visible in journalism practice to the extent that journalism has been described as a male profession or the profession of many men. Male dominance of journalism profession seems to be a global trait as indicated by Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP, 2015 http://whomakesthenews.org/gmmp/gmmp-reports/gmmp-2015-reports) which portrays persistence in male dominance.
Women face significant discrimination within the profession, which is characterized by their lack of influence in the field. Similarly, the prescription of gender roles by social norms contributes to the discrimination meted to women in journalism practice.
Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP, 2010 http://whomakesthenews.org/gmmp/gmmp-reports/gmmp-2010-reports) indicates that women in media are most likely to be found in the soft spectrum of news making due to stereotypically segregated male and female dimensions of journalism. The male dimension includes hard news, public sphere, male sources and perspective, while the female sphere is supposed to involve female sources and perspectives, soft news, private sphere and it is characterized by intimidation and empathy. The report put the average percentage of men compared to women in the media at 76% against 24%. Surprisingly, after an interval of five years, GMMP (2015) shows that the average figures stand indicating no change in the representation of both men and women in the media. Female journalists in Nigeria faced numerous challenges that might prevent from reaching their career peak.
Beats That Can Destroy Your Marriage As A Female Journalist In Nigeria
Journalism is a very tasking profession with many challenges that make people see it as a man’s job. Many women don’t see it that way. They strive to carve out a successful career in this field. In Nigeria, for instance, female journalists experience numerous challenges especially premised on cultural influences, which tend to toughen their chances of getting to the top of this profession. There are beats that may be more challenging than others for female journalists in Nigeria. Such beats could even affect their relationship negatively if their partner is not enlightened or does not understand what the environment of journalism means for a woman. Here are some beats that could affect the relationship between a female journalist and her partner. The man might divorce his wife who is a female journalist in Nigeria because of these beats. Here are the beats that could pose a threat to the relationship between a married female journalist and her husband. Some marriages in Nigerian between a female journalist and her spouse have even broken up because of these beats.
This is one of the toughest beats in journalism practice. The woman might have to follow a politician around during a campaign or book an interview even at odd hours. If this politician is of the opposite sex, the typical Nigerian husband to a female journalist might not tolerate this for a long time. Imagine where his wife keeps going to see an aspirant in his hotel for an interview scheduled to begin probably by 11pm when the politician will be free, this could affect a marriage. For husbands that either do not understand the nature of their wife’s job as a female journalist or have refused to understand, they could quit the marriage via a divorce. One female journalists working with Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) told massmediang on the basis of anonymity that the political beat has led the breakup of marriages she knows. “This kind of situation has led to divorces I know. There is this woman I know who has been covering the political beat. Her husband had to breakup their marriage because of this. Every time she returns late at night she says she had an interview with a politician or had a press briefing that made journalists return late. The husband couldn’t take it anymore.” The political beat is one of the beats affecting female journalists negatively, especially given our cultural background in Nigeria.
This beat seems ‘soft’ enough to accommodate the cultural environment women are faced with in a typical Nigerian society. Since it is about entertainment you might say it does not involve the risks and extra miles such other beats as politics and crime carry. But the entertainment beat deals with celebrities and the female journalist might find herself following up popular male entertains, even travelling with them on tours across the country. The typical Nigerian husband might misunderstand this. This scenario might depend on the kind of entertainment stories you are reporting. If it involves travelling with artists on tours, covering social events that involve night activities and interviews with male celebrities at hotels, then this beat might be one of those killer beats for marriages involving Nigerian female journalists.
This becomes a problem to marriages involving a female Nigerian journalist when the husband weighs the risks involved in the job and decides not to have a wife that faces such risks. If the woman is always chasing ‘bad guys’ both in government and private sector, or is noted for engaging in dare-devil investigative reporting, this might not be a good development for her marriage, that is, for a typical Nigerian husband that wither does not understand or refuses to understand. Such husbands might become worried over their wife’s safety and ask her to quit the job. If she refuses it could lead to breakup of the marriage. Also, crime and other beats which involve intesne investigative reporting might be affecting the female journalist’s domestic duties at home. This can also affect her marriage.
You might wonder what the religion beat is doing on this list but in a multi-religious society as Nigeria, anything can happen. A man who sees his wife in a shrine or with a strange traditional worship group might misinterpret or misunderstand the meeting. He could even think the wife is consulting to deal with him or use some form of black magic on their relationship. This sounds absurd but it has actually happened in Nigeria. A female journalist told massmediang how she went to a traditional place of worship to see the chief priest for an interview, only to see some of her neighbours who came to seek solution to problems. She said she had to quickly go to her camera man and begin preparations for the interview they came for, and this made her neighbours to understand that she did not come for the same purpose as theirs, but that she was on a media assignment. Imagine where such information got to her husband, the typical Nigerian man might not attempt to understand.
The points raised here are disputable. You can let us know your opinion on them or add any beat you think we left out.