Gender and the media: investigating audience opinions on TV, radio and the Internet

David Bunker

BBC Audiences

James Bryson

MTM

Introduction

In this paper we set out how we approached a project exploring the issue of gender and the media in the UK, looking at: how the UK audience feels about the amount of coverage of men and women in broadcast and online media; how they feel about the way men and women are portrayed on television, radio and online; whether understanding where an individual is positioned on a spectrum of masculinity/femininity (using the BSRI model of perceived gender) helps to explain their consumption and appreciation of television content.

The paper outlines, first, the methodological challenges of exploring this potentially contentious issue; next, it examines the key findings from the qualitative phase of the project and, finally, describes how the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) model was used in this project – how it was applied and the insights it revealed.