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Findings and Statistics, Other research

Percent of women in newsrooms unchanged in latest ASNE Newsroom Census

Women continue to comprise 36.9 percent of those working full-time at daily U.S. newspapers, according to the American Society of News Editors‘ 2012 Newsroom Census. That percentage remains unchanged from 2011′s survey.

ASNE Newsroom Census 2012

This year ASNE collaborated with the Center for Advanced Social Research at the Missouri School of Journalism for its annual survey effort. ASNE, which has conducted the census since 1978, unveiled this year’s findings at its convention this week in Washington, D.C. The employment survey showed declines in total newsroom employment as well as in positions held by minorities.

Though the organization’s press release on the Newsroom Census focused on these issues, the accompanying tables depict the current gender breakdown in newsrooms. The Newsroom Census tables, which include data from 1999 to the present, show that the percentage of women in newsrooms has not changed more than roughly a percentage point in that time frame. The high was 37.7 percent in 2006 and the low occurred in 2010 at 36.6 percent. The current percentage of women in newsrooms — 36.9 percent — is the same as it was in 1999, 2003 and 2011. In the current survey, the number of women working full-time at daily newspapers was 14,971, while 25,595 employees were men.

Additionally, survey results are broken down by gender and race. Based on these charts, about 15.3 percent of female staff members in the survey were minority women. Last year, ASNE reported that minority women made up 19.3 percent of female staffers. Meanwhile, minority men were roughly 10.5 percent of male employees in the current survey. That percentage was 10.8 the year prior. This is the first year the survey has included a “multi-racial” category, which may slightly skew our understanding of changes in the breakdowns by each race (For the complete breakdown, see Table K).

A separate table tracks gender and job category. Of the four job categories identified, women had the highest representation among copy/layout editors and online producers at 42.3 percent and lowest among photographers, artists and videographers at 25.2. percent. None of the categories had more than a one percent change from the previous year. The percentage of women in three categories — supervisors, reporters and writers and photographers, artists and videographers — dropped slightly, while the percentage of female copy/layout editors and online producers rose. Two categories set records this year, with women at their highest percentage in the past 14 years for copy/layout editors and online producers but at their lowest in that same time frame among reporters and writers at 38 percent.

Find out more about the latest census using the links below to the press release as well as charts related to newsroom gender breakdowns.

Read our post on the 2011 Newsroom Census here. For more studies and resources on gender in the news media, view our “Useful Resources” page.

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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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