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The Status Of Women In The U.S. Media: A Snapshot Of Women In Newsrooms

A snapshot of women in newsrooms in media platforms as diverse as news, literature, broadcast, film, television and radio: Male Voices Dominate Media.

The Women’s Media Center – founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem – has the goal of making women visible and powerful in media. The Women’s Media Center (WMC) released its yearly report on the status of women in U.S. media 2015.

The report is based on new and original research that finds the media landscape is still dominated by male voices and male perspectives.   Taken together, the 49 studies are a snapshot of women in newsrooms in media platforms as diverse as news, literature, broadcast, film, television, radio, online, tech, gaming and social media. It finds the media landscape is still dominated by male voices and male perspectives.

“Inequality defines our media, said Julie Burton, President of the Women’s Media Center. “Our research shows that women, who are more than half of the population, write only a third of the stories. Media tells us our roles in society – it tells us who we are and what we can be. This new report tells us who matters and what is important to media – and it is not women.”

As the 2016 presidential campaign takes shape, WMC’s original research shows that in 2014, men reported 65 percent of all U. S. political news stories. In addition, as the summer entertainment television and movie season gets underway, figures documenting all sectors of film and television production find that women still have limited creative input in shaping the characters, images and depictions on screen. And, although women use social media platforms at greater rates than men, the companies that create those platforms are largely white and male.

WMC’s Divided 2015: The Media Gender Gap

For the second consecutive year, the WMC commissioned its own study of how many women were among the nation’s journalists and the issues they were assigned to cover.

Men were more likely to write or report on the topics of politics, criminal justice, science, sports and technology, according to WMC’s “Divided 2015: The Media Gender Gap, a three-month analysis is part of the Women’s Media Center Status of Women in U.S. Media 2015 report. This study looked at the nation’s 10 most widely circulated newspapers, the national evening news broadcasts, the most-viewed Internet news sites and two international wire services.

“With the 2016 presidential election already under way, this is especially problematic,” said Burton. “We hope that one good result of releasing these discouraging numbers will be that media can take a hard look at their newsrooms and make changes to improve the ratios in their reporting. Media companies should establish goals for improving their gender diversity and create both short-term and long-term mechanisms for achieving them. They should ask themselves why their newsrooms aren’t 50 percent women and what steps they need to take to get there. And if they aren’t asking themselves these questions, then that’s a problem.”

WMC’s research examined 27,758 pieces of content produced from October 1 through December 31, 2014. Only three outlets achieved or exceeded parity: the Chicago Sun-Times, The Huffington Post and the two anchor chairs at PBS Newshour.

Click here to read the full report. Continue reading for the low-down on the divide.

Info courtesy of Women’s Media Center.