Despite apparent feminist advancements within contemporary South Africa, gender transformation in the South African media industry has been both limited and irregular in terms of the ways in which newsroom cultures are being transformed, and the ways in which this impacts on the production of gendered media texts. Based on interviews with journalists and editors from three weekly South African newspapers, the Sunday Times, the Sunday Sun and the Mail & Guardian, this article explores the ways in which journalists articulate their understandings of gender and gender transformation within the media, and reflects on the ways in which these articulations draw on wider feminist discourses in South Africa. It is argued that, while journalists express an engagement with feminist thought and advocacy around the media, this is largely limited to liberal feminist discourses with an emphasis on women’s inclusion in the media. It is further argued that the limitations of this discourse have implications for the kinds of gender transformation occurring within the South African news media, and that the advancement of a “progressive” feminist lens can contribute towards more comprehensive gender transformation within the media industry.


discourse, feminism, gender, journalism, media, news, social transformation, South Africa



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