Posted by: mobrienweiss | February 19, 2014

What’s the status of women in the media? Not good, according to new report.

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From newspapers, magazines and television, to films and media corporations, women are not faring all that well, according to a new report from the advocacy group, the Women’s Media Center. “It is a road map that tells us where we are and where we need to go for women to achieve an equal voice and equal participation,” Julie Burton, Center president wrote in the introduction to “The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2014.”

“The numbers tell a clear story for the need for change on every media platform.” A sampling of the group’s findings:

  • Newspapers: “[W]omen comprised 36 percent of newsroom staffs, a figure that has remained largely unchanged at least since 1999. Over the past two decades, the figure has fluctuated between 35 percent and 36 percent.” (See chart above.)
  • Quotes: University of Nevada at Las Vegas analysis found that, “Men were quoted 3.4 times more often than women in Page 1 stories published in the New York Times during January and February 2013.”

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  • Opinion pages: A 2013 study by Gawker.com found “newspaper editorial writers counted 38 women among the 143 columnists at the nation’s three most vaunted newspapers and four syndicators of opinion columnists.” Those studied included the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Creators Syndicate, Universal Press, Kings Features and Tribune Media. (See chart above.)
  • Sunday talk shows: Most of the Sunday morning talk shows — which feature the movers and shakers in government, business and media — featured an overwhelming number of male guests.

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  • Talk radio: Of the top 100 talk show hosts in the country, as rated by a trade publication, “women accounted for two … of the 183 hosts of sports talk shows” and comprised 13 of the top 100 news talk show hosts.
  • Sports journalism: Two relevant statistics. American sports journalists are “90 percent male, 90 percent white.”
  • Women in film industry: Women have vastly fewer speaking roles than men in films. San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found “women accounted for 16 percent of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors for the top 250 domestically made films in 2013. That reflects a 2 percent drop since 2012.”
  • Film critics: The San Diego State Center found that “22 percent of the top [film] critics … were women.”
  • Behind-the-camera: On TV, “women creators, writers, producers, executive producers, photography directors and editors made up 28 percent of the workforce in prime time network television entertainment shows in 2012-13.”

Not a pretty picture. Image credits: American Society of News Editors, Gawker and the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film/San Diego State University, all via the Women’s Media Center.

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