By Siyabong Motha

Over the years, the representation of gender in the media industry has been a subject that has not been thoroughly talked through.

News Editor at Kaya FM Portia Kobue spoke about how newsrooms can promote gender equality and equity and break the stereotypes and debunk myths created by sexism and patriarchy. In her dialogue, Kobue highlighted that women’s rights are pivotal at Kaya news and that they do not tell stories which portray women as weak or dependent.

Adding emphasises to this point, she made an example of a news piece that was covered by Kaya news on sex work. She says they were deliberate in selecting the appropriate language in telling the story and that the sex work story spoke about the rights of sex workers and how sex workers rights are being violated. She added that the story did not place any sort of judgement or bias on the nature of work that sex workers do.

Most importantly she explained that stories are not told to promote a certain gender but are told the way that they seem because stories should remain true to what they really are. “We want women to speak about other women and we want them to speak up”. Kobue expressed that even though the system in South Africa has changed but to some extent patriarchy still remains a dominant feature in the country.

Kobue’s colleague and reporter Katlego Legodi echoed Kobue’s views, saying that their newsroom is very critical when it comes to gender representation in their stories. Legodi further expanded on the importance of conducting research thoroughly before reporting on a story.

Edited by: Bridget Lepere