Women and News

Women and news: a long and winding road
Karen Ross and Cindy Carter – 2011 – Media, Culture & Society – 33(8): 1148-1165

Abstract: Feminist news researchers have long argued that in the macho culture of most newsrooms, journalists’ daily decisions about what is newsworthy remain firmly based on masculine news values. As such, issues and topics traditionally seen to be particularly relevant to women tend to be pushed to the margins of the news where the implicit assumption is that they are less important than those which interest men. In so doing, men’s views and voices are privileged over women’s, thereby contributing to the ongoing secondary status of women’s participation as citizens. In this article, we draw upon data we collected from the UK and the Republic of Ireland as part of the larger, 108-country study, which comprised the 2010 Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP). We argue that while there have been some positive improvements in women’s representation as news actors, sources and journalists in the British and Irish news media since the first GMMP day of monitoring in 1995, women’s voices, experiences and expertise continue to be regarded by news industries as less important than those of men. Such a situation undermines and under-reports women’s contribution to social, economic and cultural life and in so doing, diminishes democracy.

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