Glimpse

Volume 22, Issue 2, 2021

COVID-19 Pandemic and Media

Duygu Onay-CokerOrcid-ID
Pages 131-144

The COVID-19 Pandemic
Media and Women

The COVID-19 pandemic both highlighted and exacerbated deep societal inequalities. Vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, especially women, faced even more unequal treatment. During the lockdown, women at home performed more childcare, and shouldered more cooking and cleaning duties, while husbands spent most of their time in virtual meetings. The media played a crucial role during this situation through its representation of women. An analysis of the reportage of two bestseller print mainstream media, Sabah and Hürriyet, compared to two alternative media channels on the internet, GazeteDuvar and T24, highlighted a serious difference in perspective in news stories about women. Bestseller mainstream Turkish media ignored the difficulties faced by women and followed dominant hegemonic discourse emphasizing women as wives and mothers who sacrifice themselves for their children and families. They ignored the plight of women victims subjected to violence during the lockdown and reproduced the idea of traditional gender roles through their news items. However, alternative newspapers provided a voice to the women, as well as to the voiceless, disadvantageous groups. They were critical of the government, local authorities, related powers, and their health politics. They did not prefer to ignore women and their voices but instead announced them in detail.