Women lag behind in US news media

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Women journalists remain outnumbered by men in US news. These are the results of a study commissioned by the Women’s Media Centre (WMC) across 20 leading national news outlets as part of its annual report on the Status of Women in U.S. Media 2017. The WMC, a non-profit organisation advocating for making women more visible and powerful in the media, noted that there had been a growth in disparity between men and women in many journalistic spheres. According to Julie Burton, WMC President “Men still dominate media across all platforms – television, newspapers, online, and wires – with change coming only incrementally, and in the case of broadcast news, regressing at the three major networks…Women are not equal partners in telling the story, nor are they equal partners in sourcing and interpreting what and who is important in the story”. According to the research, that was conducted over 3 months in 2016, women produced 37.7% of news reports. The number of reports produced by women anchors, field reporters, and correspondents has decreased in comparison to 2016 falling from 32% to 25.2% of reports. The research also shows that the gender gap exists across all news outlets, including newspapers, online news, wire services, and is especially striking in television. While men produce most stories on sports, weather, and crime and justice, women tend to be largely involved in lifestyle, health, and education news items. To counter the gender gap, WMC has published a special roadmap towards gender parity aimed at media sector in general, and news organisations, entertainment professionals and media consumers, in particular. One of the key recommendations addresses the need to strengthen work-life balance for both women and men. It involves introducing measures such as flexible schedules, paid maternity/paternity/elder-care leave. Read more.

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