|Closing Citation Gaps Wiki Loves Women in Media|
|A WikiCred 2022 Grant Proposal|
- What is your idea?
In 2022, the Inspiring Open (https://podcast.wikiloveswomen.org) podcast series was launched. This groundbreaking series brings a spotlight to women who are working on real challenges (mostly across Africa) with open hearts and open minds and using open practices. Also, in July 2022, we held a working session with our community of practice group (the Wiki Loves Women/Focus Group), exposing the source and media representation issues for underrepresented people, especially women and women in Africa. You can watch it at this YouTube link. Last, for the 3rd year, we are currently running a drive on Wikiquote from October to December, the #SheSaid drive. The goal is to increase the number of quotes from notable women or about notable women, available on the Wikimedia platforms, in order to improve the visibility of women. For 2023, we wish to continue, by shining a spotlight on women who are tackling urgent challenges that face Africans across the continent. One of these is the continued lack of media inclusion of female experts and the low level of exposure of journalists in hard-hitting reportage. We wish to do a multifaceted project that has 4 key elements:
- Research - Wikidata (2 country focus): Work with existing media organisations, female media activists, and fact-checking NGOs to build a database of female journalists and credible media sources across Africa to cross-check against and add to Wikidata (i.e. female journalists in Ghana https://w.wiki/62$g ). The list of curated media sources will be proposed for addition to Observatoire des sources (in French) and Reliable sources (in English).
- Visibility – Inspiring Open 2023: Feature 6 female journalists, broadcasters, and media activists across Africa on Inspiring Open
- Table of Redlinks:
- To encourage Wikipedia article creation to build the validity of female journalists and experts from Africa - this will include a call to Wikimedia Usergroups involved in closing the gender gap on Wikipedia (such as Women in Red or Les sans pagEs)
- Contribution Drive SheSaid 2023 : improving the visibility of women in creating new or improving already existing Wikiquote entries related to them
- SheSaid2023 team will use the lists above of featured female experts and journalists - as well as the audios from Inspiring Open to -as source materials to add to Wikiquote and therefore add to the representation of African women experts and media on Wikiquote during SheSaid 2023.
- Why is it important?
If women's perspectives are not shared via mainstream media and key knowledge sources, current bias and socio-political “norms” will prevail.
- ”In March 2020, in advance of International Women’s Day, the United Nations Development Programme released its new Gender Social Norm Index which revealed extraordinary prejudice against women globally. The data revealed that 91% of men and 86% of women across 75 countries covering 80% of the world’s population hold at least one bias against women.
- - United Nations Development Programme, 2020 as quoted by The Missing Perspectives of Women in News
Currently, women’s perspectives continue to be underrepresented in mainstream media (and on Wikipedia) as sources of knowledge (experts) and news (as both the protagonists, journalists or broadcasters). As the writers of the above The Missing Perspectives of Women in News report mention …
- “What makes any future advancement of gender equality in the news particularly difficult is the existence of gender blindness amongst the public in different countries. It is hard to fix something that is not seen as broken.”
Female journalists are massively under-represented across media across Africa. Meanwhile, male-dominated newsrooms are also not reflecting women’s perspectives as experts, thought leaders, or purveyors of opinions. The Global Media Monitoring Project report claimed in 2021 that between 2015 and 2020 the proportion of subjects and sources who are women in mainstream media edged upwards to 25%. This single-point improvement is the first since 2010 and is most visible in broadcast news media. In Africa, the proportion has remained stagnant. Women’s overall presence in the news in North America and the Pacific has surpassed the critical 30% threshold in both digital and legacy media. But Africa falls below the global averages across all media types monitored, as do Asia and the Middle East in print and broadcast news. Female representation as experts in the media is usually delegated to soft or “women's issues”. You can read here about the impact of this one country, Ghana - where male experts are outnumbered by females 10-1. According to the MissingPerspectives report (2020):
- “Today men are quoted in online news twice as frequently as women in the UK, three times more frequently in South Africa and in the US, four times more frequently in Kenya, five times more frequently in Nigeria and six times more frequently in India.”
The lack of visible female experts is due to a range of issues, most notably a lack of awareness of (and access to) equally qualified female experts. This is a global problem but is especially dire in Africa. For example, there are very few female experts from Africa on this list of female environmental experts sourced from Wikidata. Africa-based Wikimedians are faced with many issues when creating articles. Many of these have to do with the lack of, or questions relating to the perceived notability of the sources used. A centralized list of credible news sources for 2 countries in Africa, along with a database of female journalists or media activists would be immeasurably helpful in closing representation gaps across Africa. This project would be an initial stage to test the possibility of expansion to other countries in Africa, or under-represented regions.
- Link(s) to your resume or anything else (CV, GitHub, etc.) that may be relevant
- Website: https://www.wikiinafrica.org
- Wiki In Africa on Meta: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wiki_In_Africa
- Wiki In Africa’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyG_DCysivx59E2olI_BEcQ
- Wiki in Africa on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WikiAfrica
- Wiki in Africa on Facebook: https://facebook.com/WikiAfrica
- Wiki In Africa on Linked-In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/wiki-in-africa
- Is your project already in progress?
The Wiki Loves Women in Media project itself is not in progress, but the projects that would provide the basis for this new exciting focus are. Since its launch in 2016, Wiki Loves Women has worked across Africa, and beyond, to foreground women’s issues inside and outside the Wikimedia movement. Inspiring Open (https://podcast.wikiloveswomen.org) launched in 2022. The podcast series included 16 episodes in 2022, featuring amazing African women. Funding for 2023 and beyond is being sought. The Wikiquote drive Wiki Loves Women/SheSaid is currently in its 3rd year, with several linguistic communities involved (English, French, Italian, Ukrainian, Igbo, Kinyarwanda, Tagalog, …).
- How is this project relevant to credibility and Wikipedia?
This project attempts to tackle the credibility issues for two representation gaps across Wikimedia projects: Women and Africa. By creating a database of female journalists and notable experts, the project builds visibility for notable women and the credibility of their notable or expert status (through articles on the Wikimedia projects). In addition, by curating a list of existing news and media sources from 2 countries, this helps future editors to assess more accurately the credibility of articles written about these two countries.
- What is the ultimate impact of this project?
- 6 interviews with key journalists and media activists across Africa
- A list of prevetted, established news sources in 2 countries in Africa
- A list of verified female journalists and media activists in 2 countries in Africa
- A list of verified experts across various fields in 2 countries in Africa
- Updated or expanded Wikidata entries of journalists and experts across Africa
- A prominent table of red lists detailing journalists and notable women in Africa to be presented for edit-a-thon and other events by Gender Gap groups
- Increased Wikiquote entries relating to notable women from various countries in Africa
- Can your project scale?
Absolutely. This looks at the representation of women in news and media in 2 countries. This would (and should) be expanded beyond the initial two to all countries across Africa (and beyond).
- Why are you the people to do it?
Wiki In Africa’s mission is to facilitate global access for all to open knowledge that reflects and represents the diverse cultures, peoples, biodiversities, and histories of the African continent and other previously marginalized and disenfranchised communities with the same depth and breadth as other knowledges. To achieve as broad an impact as possible, Wiki in Africa takes a multi-pronged approach – working with aligned partners to activate Africa through a network of grant-funded, staffed projects. Though each individual initiative is designed to stand alone, they all aim to accelerate the growth of online communities and encourage a culture of contribution from Africa to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects. Wiki In Africa’s programs address the following key gaps and sectors in innovative, engaging, and fun ways:
- Representation Gaps • Multimedia – Wiki Loves Africa
- Gender equity – Wiki Loves Women
- Youth activation through schools – WikiChallenge African Schools + WikiAfrica OERs
- Access via technological solutions – WikiFundi + ISA Tool
- Volunteer development and community immersion – WikiAfrica Hour
- Wikimedia training with Heritage professionals – WikiAfrica Heritage
Though each individual initiative is designed to stand alone, they are integrated and specifically designed to accelerate and develop the skills of organizers and leaders to run participation events and develop communities across Africa. The projects that we have conceptualised, created, and continue to manage – Wiki Loves Women, Wiki Loves Africa, WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique, and WikiFundi, et al – are continental if not global projects. They involve many communities and cemented many partnerships and communities. This gives us unparalleled access to the communities in these countries. For example, during Wiki Loves Africa 2022, over 30 communities from Africa (and Haiti) took part in the global competition. As you can see by the Working Session for the Wiki Loves Women’s Focus Group in July of this year, we have already been providing visibility around the difficulties of representation and citation. Wiki Loves Women in Media is a natural extension of the Wiki Loves Women project, and the results will be shared with past and present Wiki Loves Women members.
- What is the impact of your idea on diversity and inclusiveness of the Wikimedia movement?
- 6 high-quality podcasts providing lived evidence of journalism and media engagement in Africa by women
- a curated list of women whose biography needs to be created or expanded, proposed to the Wikimedia community
- more quotes from notable women in the media made available on Wikimedia projects.
- a curated list of African media and news sources to propose for addition to the current English and French list of "reviewed media to use or not use as a source in Wikipedia articles”
- Calls to a wider catchment (media students, journalists, etc. ) to participate in changing the dynamic through a contribution drive
- What are the challenges associated with this project and how you will overcome them?
- Challenge: The #sheSaid drive will take place anyway, but quality podcasts and effective research does require funding. Solution: Apply for WikiCred grant!
- Challenge: Difficulties to identify, contacting, and getting agreement from relevant women to participate in the podcast. Solution: open the floor and ask for nominations and suggestions from various parties (including WikiCred, of course)
- Challenge: Trustworthy media organisations and sources can only be added to the French  and English  Wiki databases after careful examination by Wikipedia community members. There is always a risk that our carefully curated list might not meet their standards or may be disregarded by a community heavily skewed toward Europe and North America. Solution: Path to positive resolution include careful research work, promotion in public spaces, search for supporters, then discussion and patience.
- Challenge: no fear of COVID since the entire project will run online. But war, internet connexion failure, electricity load shedding (South Africa, especially) … Solution: Pray - be resilient and make a plan!
- How will you spend your funds?
- Project liaison and researcher : USD 2000
- Host : USD 3000
- Production manager : USD 2250
- Studio & Audi enhancement : USD 900
- Illustrations : USD750
- Comms and socials: USD 400
- PR : USD300
- Design & look & feel : USD300
- Bank and sundry fees: USD100
Total : USD 10000
- How long will your project take?
January - December 2023
- Have you worked on projects for previous grants before?