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Monday, 30 August 1993
Page: 616

(Question No. 367)


Senator Patterson asked the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, upon notice, on 18 June 1993:

  (1) Before the second term of the National Working Party on the Portrayal of Women in the Media expires in September 1993, will it release a final report.

  (2) Does the working party receive any advice from any bodies or individuals in performing its functions.

  (3) What research has the working party performed on the portrayal of women in the media in the past year.

  (4) How has the working party promoted the information contained in the update of the survey of women working in the media industry.

  (5) Has the working party published a position paper identifying major issues regarding the portrayal of women in the media.

  (6) Has the working party produced a package of materials on issues relating to the portrayal of women in the media for its use in consultations; if so, please provide a copy.

  (7) With whom or with which bodies does the working party consult.


Senator Crowley —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) Yes. The final report is expected to be released in September 1993.

  (2) The National Working Party on the Portrayal of Women in the Media (NWP) draws on expertise within the Office of the Status of Women (OSW) and OSW often seeks advice from line departments such as the Department of Transport and Communications and the Attorney-General's Department.

  (3) There have been two pieces of research commissioned by the NWP in the last year. These are:-

  "What Do I Wear for a Hurricane?"—Women in the Australian Film, Television, Video and Radio Industries. The NWP paid the majority of the costs associated with the production of this report which was prepared by Eva Cox and Sharon Laura for the Australian Film Corporation (AFC). The report examined the position, status and experiences of women working in these industries and updated and extended research done in 1982 and 1987.

  "The Missing Story" The Portrayal of Women in the Australian Media—The first comprehensive survey of the portrayal of women in Australian television and newspapers. The research focused on quantifiable information such as the frequency of references, bylines, photographs etc. The report was prepared by Media Insight Pty Ltd.

  (4) The launch of the report "What Do I Wear for a Hurricane?"—Women in the Australian Film, Television, Video and Radio Industries was paid for by the NWP and the Chairperson of the NWP was available for numerous media interviews which were associated with the launch. The NWP also contributed to press releases which were prepared by the AFC. The report was advertised in OSWomen, and OSW and the AFC have distributed approximately 4,000 copies of the Executive Summary of the report free of charge. In addition, a four page leaflet summarising the outcomes of the report was included as an insert in 4,500 copies of Encore, the film industry magazine, and in 2,500 copies of the Women and Media Kit, produced by the NWP.

  (5) No.

  (6) Yes. A copy of the kit entitled "Women and the Media" is enclosed. While the kit contains materials on issues relating to the portrayal of women in the media, it has not been designed to be used in consultations but as information to be used by the media themselves.

  (7) The NWP which is tri-partite, representing industry, government and community groups, generally uses the knowledge of its own members who are widely representative of the media, and who are able to seek advice from the organisations from which they are drawn; and also, on occasion it consults regulatory bodies and community organisations.