The report — which comes from an analysis of 24,117 pieces of content produced between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30, 2016 at 20 news organizations — found that men produced 62.3% of content, among other broad findings. The report also dug into topical specifics revealing, for instance, that male sources were quoted more frequently than female ones for stories on reproductive rights. “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,” Women’s Media Center president Julie Burton said in a press release.
While broadcast news, newspapers, online news and wire services all had a gender imbalance, broadcast news had the most sizable gap with men reporting 74.8% of stories. (This is a decline from WMC’s previous analysis where men reported 68% of stories.) Online news outlets, by contrast, were closest to achieving gender parity. Fox News’ website, comprised of 50.1% men and 49.9% women, had the most female representation among the the three other online news sites — CNN.com, Daily Beast and The Huffington Post — it was compared against.
The report also found that women are more likely to produce lifestyle, health and education news, while men are more likely to cover sports, weather, crime and justice. But men were more likely to report on issues that disproportionately affect women, like sexual assault, contraception and abortion rights. Men were also more likely to be quoted in these stories, and male reporters tended to highlight the alleged perpetrators instead of the alleged survivors in sexual assault stories, according to the report.
“This study is a chance for U.S. media to take a hard look at where they stand on this kind of reporting and figure out how they plan to move forward in a more equitable way,” Burton said.
Read the full report here.