In October, members of the Vancouver chapter of WAM! (Women, Action, and the Media) released a collection of tips for local journalists on how to avoid sexist coverage of political candidates. In light of recent political controversies and upcoming regional and municipal elections, WAM! Vancouver hopes to engage local journalists in a dialogue that will result in more equitable coverage.
The guide addresses the problematic language and stereotypes all too common in the media’s coverage of female politicians. Journalists are encouraged to avoid focusing on details of appearance, background and personal life that aren’t relevent to the issues at hand. Above all, members of the media are reminded to continuously question whether the details they include, or the issues they bring up, would be of any interest if the candidate was a man.