When global reporting fails to include women’s expertise, it fails to comply with the fundamentals of journalism: balance, fairness, and accuracy. It is also missing half the story.
Photo: Interview Her landing page.
Interview-Her.com is a website where journalists can find women experts in peace, conflict, and security issues.
Among the experts are peace negotiators, former political prisoners, international lawyers, academic analysts, humanitarian leaders and human rights defenders from many regions of the world. Some are in their home countries, others in the diaspora.
Two striking facts prompted the 2019 creation of InterviewHer by the Nobel Women’s Initiative. Most experts quoted in the news are men. And the concept of expert is generally so narrow that women with valuable insight and first-hand experience in conflict zones, peacebuilding and civil society activism may be overlooked.
The Global Gender Monitoring Project in 2020 found only 24% of expert voices in the news are women. That increase from 19% in 2015 resulted from media diversification efforts and initiatives like InterviewHer to connect media with women sources.
An “alarming marginalization” of women’s expertise was also documented in The Missing Perspectives of Women in the News, a study of India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, the UK, and USA commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and published in 2020 by the International Women’s Media Foundation.
Studies also show that media will use convenient sources of experts for interviews and talk shows. Newsrooms that purposefully set out to increase women’s presence can succeed. BBC’s 50:50 The Equality Project is a good example. The Stream, an Al Jazeera English program, met a public pledge to host at least 50% women guests for the fourth year in a row in 2021.
As of June 2022, Interview Her features 146 experts in 40 countries.
Journalists can search InterviewHer for experts in peace, conflict and security issues by name, country, region, or topic. Media queries go directly to the expert.