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Northumbria academic to give evidence at national women in media inquiry

29th September 2014

The House of Lords Select Committee on Communications has invited a Northumbria University academic to give oral evidence as part of its women in broadcasting inquiry.

Professor of Media, Karen Ross, will take part in the inquiry to discuss if women are properly represented in news and current affairs broadcasting, and what legal and regulatory obligations affect broadcasters in relation to gender balance. The inquiry will also look internationally to see how other countries endeavour to achieve gender equality.

Lord Best, Select Committee Chairman said: “There are a number of studies painting a picture of concern about how women are represented in news and current affairs broadcasting. It has been said, for example, that in a typical month, 72% of Question Time contributors are men, as are 84% of reporters and guests on Radio 4’s Today programme.”

The Select Committee will start hearing evidence on 21 October and Professor Ross will travel to London as one of only two academics invited to give oral evidence. She said: “I am delighted to have been invited to participate in the inquiry. It is heartening to know that my research expertise is both visible to, and valued by Government, and constitutes a rather brilliant example of impact.

“I am hopeful that my research will inform the development of future policy relating to gender equality in the media, taking my findings beyond the realms of academia. Speaking on the first day will allow me to sketch out the broader context within which the other invitees will make their own interventions.”

Research also plays a critical role in Northumbria’s teaching, with courses underpinned by contemporary research, such as the gender and media work undertaken by Professor Ross. Using research to both inform teaching and the national policy agenda means that students can be sure they are learning from leading experts whose reputation in their field is significant.

Anyone wanting to find out more about the range of careers that media and communication design students take up can sign up for Northumbria University’s open day on 25 October by visiting www.northumbria.ac.uk/openday.

Representatives from Northumbria’s Department of Media and Communication Design will be on hand to discuss the various degree courses on offer.

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