Men are more likely to author newsmedia articles, a new study by the OpEd Project reveals.
Men continued to overshadow women in writing general interest news articles, including economy and politics-related news in new and traditional news outlets. Only about one- tenth of articles in economics sections in legacy media outlets were written, or co-written, by a woman, the study found, according to the Huffington Post.
The OpEd Project conducted a byline survey to evaluate more than 7,000 articles published in 10 media outlets during a 12-week period from Sept. 15, 2011 to Dec. 7, 2011. The articles were categorised by media type: New Media, Legacy Media and College Media. Researchers analysed articles’ authors’ status based on gender and subject matter.
The OpEd Projects has been conducting the survey for the last three years to analyse who is heard most in public discourse.
The survey results indicate that women are much more active in New Media (33 percent) than in Legacy Media (20 percent). The OpEd Project’s Taryn Yaeger said this year’s results were expected because women were more active online than men are in general. In contrast, women contributed 38 percent of articles to the College Media category. School papers surveyed included Yale, Princeton, Harvard and Columbia.
“The good news is that we have seen major improvements in women’s op-ed writing in the last [six] years,” Yaeger wrote in the OpEd Project’s Byline Blog.
While the surveyor has noticed some improvement in major outlets like The New York Times and Washington Post, “progress towards truly equal representation behind the news desk is disappointingly slow,” J. Bryan Lowder from Slate commented.
In both Legacy Media and New Media, women wrote a higher proportion on Pink Topics, which are subjects that women have traditionally written about, such as family, food, furniture and fashion. Women authored significantly fewer articles than men on general interest subjects except health in new media.
Some media critics refer to Pink Topics as the “pink ghetto” because women have historically been confined within them.
The underlying cause of this phenomenon lies in the fact that there are fewer female journalists in media field. Since 1982, women have only occupied one-third of all full-time journalists working for the traditional mainstream media, Poynterreported. However, women with less than five years work experience are now at 54.2 percent, outnumbering men for the first time.
Image: The Byline Blog