Female journalists from Semarang, during the Kartini Day demonstration in 2009. Source: kompas.id
Semarang – The research on women’s leadership in the media had become an interesting issue for the communication lecturers at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIP) Undip.
Recently, the Undip’s communication lecturer, Dr. Sunarto, along with a number of other Undip Communication’s lecturers, conducted a research involving the female journalists in Semarang.
According to Sunarto, the support from colleagues and family would determine the leadership process of the female journalists. In fact, from the research he conducted, many female journalists rejected the leadership positions because they preferred the positions as wives, mothers and they were reasoned to take care of their children. This proved that the patriarchal culture existed in the society seemed to make it difficult for women to enter the public sphere.
“A woman journalist in a position as a leader cannot eliminate the idea of herself as a child, mother and wife,” said Sunarto, who was actively conducting the research on gender and the media.
In conducting the research on women who occupied the leadership positions in editorial positions in a number of media, Sunarto used the view of critical constructionism with critical phenomenology.
“Women journalists must go through a professional leadership process to reach a career ladder in their respective institutions,” he said.
Another Undip Communication’s lecturer, Dr. Nurul Hasfi, said that with the presence of the media, women could provide a wider space about women. So that, it would lead to the public discussion which was rarely found in the mainstream media.
However, that did not mean that the alternative media was without challenges. The female journalists often faced various obstacles in supporting their leadership. Among other things, the dual role of being a worker in an office and also being a wife and a mother.
Moreover, Nurul reminded that the nature of women who are nurture and multitask, since they had the responsibilities as mothers and wives, would make the media industry they lead full of empathy.
The other communication’s lecturer, Amida Yusriana, added that the 2014 data showed that women were still identified by the household affairs and raising the children. According to her, in the media industry, the women journalists struggle to balance their works and the household duties. “This cannot be separated from the long working hours of being the journalists,” she said.
The research, which was considered as part of this community service, was carried out through an online discussions and involved a number of female journalists in Semarang. The women journalists share their experiences related to the work environment and work culture as well as the leadership process they had to go through.