U.K: Seen but not heard - how women make front page news

Research by Women in Journalism, U.K.

A study by Women in Journalism (WIJ) in the UK on the portrayal of women on the front pages of British newspapers revealed that 78% of all front-page bylines are male, while only 22% were female. Nine national newspapers were monitored from Monday to Saturday over a period of four weeks.

The study found significant sex disparities in people interviewed and quoted. "Of all those quoted or mentioned by name in the lead stories, 84% were men, and just 16% women (based on a total count of 668 people). We also found significant differences in the roles that named men and women play in news stories, for example, three-quarters of 'experts'  were men, and 79% of 'victims' were women."

The researchers kept records of the front page photographs published during the study period. While the sex gap in persons photographed was small,  the reasons why these persons appeared on the front-page were starkly different. Men appeared in front-page photographs for news reasons, while women appeared for wearing a new hat or a new dress.

Access the full report  Seen but not heard: How women make front page news (Women in Journalism, 2012) here.

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Advancing gender equality in media

In my opinion, the most effective strategy to achieve gender-sensitive media is:

Increased gender-awareness training of media professionals
Greater action by audiences to hold their media accountable
Stricter enforcement of gender-focussed media codes and policies
More female journalists, editors and media house managers


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