Gender check: 2/1/11 – West

*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: Seattle Times

On the Seattle Times, one of the lead articles featured on the home page as of 2:45 p.m. (MST) Tuesday, Feb. 1, was titled “Authorities fooled again by dangerous inmate?” Its subject was concerns over the safety of officers in the Department of Corrections following the death of a female correctional officer. A male prisoner is suspected of strangling her.

Here is its gender breakdown:

Author: Male and female (dual byline). In addition, a male and female contributed.

Human sources  (listed in order mentioned):

1. Male, deputy prisons director

2. Female, governor

3. Female, secretary of a corrections officer union

4. Male, department of corrections secretary

5. Male, relative of victim

6. Female, daughter of long-time boyfriend of victim

7. Female, police spokeswoman

8. Male, former inmate

9. Male, spokesman

10. Male, prison director

11. Female, retired corrections officer and administrator

12. Male, retired prison sergeant

Notes/analysis: For an article with a large number of sources, this was fairly well balanced in terms of its gender breakdown with five women out of 12 sources. As has started to come out, this wasn’t the first time a female officer was attacked in this facility. Two women working at the same complex the victim in this case did were allegedly attacked in the last six months. According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report, men outnumber women three to one among correctional officers and custody staff that work in direct contact with inmates. Men also make up the vast majority of prisoners. Approximately 91.9 percent of Washington state’s prisoners in 2009 were men, according to an offender fact card from the state Department of Corrections.


Website: Seattle P-I

On the Seattle P-I, one of the lead articles featured on the home page as of 2:45 p.m. (MST) Tuesday, Feb. 1, was titled “State settles ‘horrific’ Seattle child-abuse case for $6.55 million.” Its subject was a settlement by the state Department of Health and Human Services regarding case in which six boys were abused for years and repeated complaints were made without follow up.

Here is its gender breakdown:

Author: Female

Human sources  (listed in order mentioned):

1. Male, attorney

2. Female, Department of Social and Health Services spokeswoman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s