Is News Media A Boys Club? New Report Calls Gender Gap A ‘Crisis’

Is news media a boys club? A new report from the Women’s Media Center seems to indicate that it is, citing an overwhelmingly disproportionate level of female representation in the journalism field.

The annual Status of Women in the US Media report published by the WMC was released on Friday, with authors saying that poor female representation in the media amounts to a “crisis.”

“We live in a racially and ethnically diverse nation that is 51% female, but the news media itself remains staggeringly limited to a single demographic,” the report said.

For the study, the WMC cited statistics from various investigations, like one from the American Society of News Editors which found that newspaper publication newsrooms were 63 percent male and 36 percent female. This number has barely budged since the same probe was conducted in 1999.

Online newsrooms were also taken into account. Six online publications showed similar issues. Roughly 72 percent of bylines from the Texas Tribune are by men. California Watch and ProPublica either had “gender parity” or more women writing, reports The Huffington Post.

Women also make up only 14 percent of Sunday talk show guests and 29 percent of roundtable participants.

The WMC study is hardly the only probe into female representation in the media in recent years. A study done by Media Matters in 2008 showed that among the mainstream cable news networks (Fox, MSNBC, and CNN) there is almost equal under-representation of women and ethnic minorities across the board. In terms of female representation, Fox and CNN were tied with 65 percent men to 35 percent women, while MSNBC had the worst gender gap with 70 percent men and 30 percent women.

Would you like to see the number of women in news media increase? Why or why not?