Most of media coverage is about men: Study

Toronto, Oct 2 (IANS) Have you ever realised that more than 80 percent of the names mentioned in the media are those of men? The more mentions a person receives in the media, the higher the chances are that this person is a man, a new study reveals.

The study, led by McGill University researchers, found that five out of every six names that appear in the media are those of men.

“The media focuses nearly exclusively on individuals at the top of occupational and social hierarchies, who are mostly men: CEOs, politicians, movie directors, and the like,” said lead study author Eran Shor from McGill.

“The persistent gap in media coverage is due to a combination of the media’s preoccupation with leaders at the expense of everyone else and the well-known ‘glass ceiling’ that continues to block off working women’s access to leadership positions,” Shor added.

“And because these famous individuals account for most of those named in the news, there continues to be a big gap between the mentions of men and women in the overall media coverage,” the researcher explained.

The researchers combed through data from more than 2,000 US newspapers, magazines, and online news sources covering the period from 1983-2009 to arrive at this conclusion.

Shor and his co-authors were surprised to discover that women’s presence was no greater in news produced by liberal American media organisations than in that produced by conservative ones.

Nor did they find that women’s presence in the media increased in organizations where women were editors-in-chief or managing editors or where there were more women on the editorial boards.

The study was published in the journal American Sociological Review.

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