The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

No news is bad news for women in media

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Un-fun fact from the latest report on the representation of women in the media:

  • The percentage of women in newspaper newsrooms in 1999 was 36.9.
  • The percentage of women in newspaper newsrooms in 2012 was 36.9.

The source of the stagnation information is the American Society of News Editors, via a report titled “The Status of Women in the U. S. Media 2013,” a production of the Women’s Media Center.

After studying the study for some time, the Erik Wemple Blog requested help from Rachel Larris, the communications manager for the Women’s Media Center. Where are the good numbers? Her response:

Okay three tiny sources of encouragement:
1: Mother Jones has 50% female bylines. (p. 37)*
2: The percentage of women who are television news directors edged up, reaching 30 percent for the first time. (p. 22)
3: Women made up 39 percent of directors behind the documentaries screening at high-profile film festivals like Sundance and Tribeca in the United States between 2011 to 2012. (It’s sort of the best representation in filmmaking for women is in documentaries…not close to 50% but is better than other categories.)

For a full look at gender lopsidedness in media, click here.

*Second disclosure of the day: The Erik Wemple Blog’s wife works at Mother Jones.