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Gender Checks, Midwest

Gender check: 2/10/11 – Midwest

*Gender Checks are quick examinations of gender representation in individual news articles for the purpose of discovering trends over time. Click here to read more.

Website: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (stltoday.com)

On the Stltoday.com, one of the lead articles featured on the home page as of 3:30 p.m. (MST) Thursday, Feb. 10, was titled “Busch girlfriend had lethal doses of cocaine and oxycodone; no prosecution planned.” Its subject was the cause of death of the girlfriend of the former chief executive of Anheuser-Busch.

Here is its gender breakdown:

-Author: Male

-Human sources  (listed in order mentioned):

1. Male, prosecuting attorney

2. Male, boyfriend of the deceased

Notes/analysis: It’s noteworthy that the deceased woman whose death is the subject of the story is always defined as being a famous man’s girlfriend, in the headline and the lede. There are details about earlier parts of his life, but readers, at least of this particular article, learn nothing about her — where she’s from, what she did, her family, etc. The only background about her is that she’d been dating him for two years.


Website: St. Louis Beacon

On the St. Louis Beacon, one of the lead articles featured on the home page as of 3:30 p.m. (MST) Thursday, Feb. 10 was titled “The bigger picture of Pruitt-Igoe.” Its subject was a documentary about the myths surrounding a federal housing project.

Here is its gender breakdown:

-Author: Female

-Human sources  (listed in order mentioned):

1. Male, resident in housing project

2. Male, documentary producer

3. Male, director

4. Male, journalist

5. Female, film participant

Notes/analysis: The article also contains three mug shots, all of male sources.

About Jasmine Linabary

Jasmine Linabary is a PhD student with an interest in media, technology, and feminist theory. Her background is in newspaper journalism.

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