The issue of women and the media has been on the international agenda for more than two decades. Countless studies have drawn attention to the serious under-representation of women as protagonists and participants in media structures around the world.
Despite Mémoire’s comment, Australia seems to have increased its participation with a significant variety of women from all walks of life who have taken to the media in one form or another and made a memorable impact.
Exploring this further, below are three Australian women of whom are known predominately for their prominent media presence:
Known as the most popular Australian makeup Youtuber, Shani Grimmond has made a name for herself all over the world using clever and ongoing social media marketing, as well as personal and business product promotion and connections. She represents a large portion of millennial females who have burst into the media and communications industries using revolutionary new media: social media platforms and social advertising. Shani has become highly favoured by the media and is often featured in viral videos, product campaigns and news articles for her makeup oriented content. However, due to her popularity and soaring social media expertise, Shani’s personal life is often aired publically as well.
Lee Lin Chin
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Lee Lin Chin; an Indonesian-born Australian television presenter and journalist. She is known predominately for her work with SBS, her Gold Logie nomination and her extremely eccentric and publicised sense of style. Lee represents an underrepresented portion of older, mixed race women who do not fit into conventional or stereotypical assumptions the media has placed on women, and she has used this to her advantage. With an increasing following on social media and an audience on nearly every other platform, Lee Lin has left the world baffled with her sense of style and the way she presents herself, as both a woman and a media professional. By doing so, she has been able to take advantage of her new found fame to inflict positive social change through a multitude of media platforms.
Alongside Lee Lin, Lisa Wilkinson is also an Australian news presenter. The key difference, however, is that Lisa represents the middle demographic of women in media. She has become a household name, voice and faces through her work on Channel 9 and the Today show, and rightfully so as Lisa, herself is extremely family oriented. When Lisa is not on television, her family is her focus. She also advocates highly for women’s health groups and represents a middle aged, family oriented professional woman demographic. She was also appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2016 Australia Day Honours list for significant service to the print and broadcast media as a journalist and presenter, and to a range of youth and women’s health groups.
These are just some of the women who make an impact in Australian media but there is still a long way to go for women in media.
By April Ryan