British newspapers accused of sexism

Dec. 30, 2011 at 2:10 PM
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LONDON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- A coalition of women's groups says British newspapers are sexist and create a dangerous environment for women.

The groups End Violence Against Women, Equality Now, Object and Eaves says the government panel investigating British media ethics should shift its focus from alleged phone hacking to issues surrounding the way women are portrayed by the media, The Guardian reported Friday.

The End Violence Against Women coalition offered the Leveson inquiry examples of "poor reporting of violence against women stories which were either intrusive, inaccurate, which misrepresented or were misogynistic, victim-blaming or condoning violence against women and girls."

While the coalition was critical of the British newspaper industry in general, it was most fiercely critical of tabloids such as Rupert Murdoch's The Sun for features and photos that objectify young women, The Guardian said.

Anna van Heeswijk of the group Object said the sexualized stories and images portrayed in the tabloids "grooms boys and men into thinking it is acceptable to view and treat women and girls as sex objects. This portrayal of women is incompatible with a socially responsible press."

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