Posted by Abbey Barrow
The Women’s Media Center released its 2013 report on the status of women in the U.S. media, highlighting the ever-present gender gap in the American communications industries.
The full report details the presence (or lack thereof) of women in such diverse fields as newspapers, television, radio, social media, sports journalism, literature, and video games. But no matter the specific industry, the WMC concludes that a great disparity still exits between men and women working in the media.
Despite a diverse U.S. population, which is 51 percent female, the WMC’s report found that the old boy’s club is still very much at play, especially among the nation’s newspapers and print publications. The report cites that “By a nearly 3 to 1 margin, male front-page bylines at top newspapers outnumbered female bylines in coverage of the 2012 presidential election. Men were also far more likely to be quoted than women in newspapers, television and public radio.”
Leadership in print publications is also overwhelmingly male with far fewer female editors. This discrepancy also translates to a pay gap for the females who do have a leadership or editor role with America’s newspapers and magazines. In fact, The Atlantic recently found that female editors make $15,000 less than their male counterparts.
Yet, the media gender gap may not be just an American issue. The Guardian in the UK published a story last year about how of all Britain’s national papers, only one of them had a female editor.
With a progression into new forms of online journalism and social media, comes more opportunities for women according the WMC study, but still not an answer to the media gender gap. Women outnumber men on social media, but “newer, online-only news sites have fallen into the same rut as legacy media. Male bylines outnumbered female bylines at four of six sites reviewed.”
Heading into the rest of 2013, has the media industry come far enough in its acceptance of women? The Huffington Post refers to the male dominated media as a “crisis”, but is the issue of a media gender gap overblown or is there a significant problem with the lack of female representation in the communications industries?
Photo via WBUR