May brought few female sources, bylines in New Media Index stories

Women made up less than 15 percent of both sources and authors in the top linked to and discussed articles in the blogosphere in May, significantly lower than the findings of the first four months of the year.

Since January, we’ve been gender checking each of the top articles based on the links that the Project for Excellence in Journalism provides through its New Media Index roundups in addition to our geographical checks each week.

The New Media Index chronicles the top five linked to and discussed news stories and opinion pieces around the web in a Monday through Friday week based on leading commentary on blogs and social media sites. We chose to focus on the main top five in the blogosphere. In cases where more than one link was provided on the subject, we’ve picked the first mentioned or that which appears based on the writing as more dominant to check, unless it is specifically mentioned that two articles shared the attention for that particular subject.

From each of the articles, we’ve been cataloging the gender of the authors or creators, the source breakdown by gender and the subject matter. Overall, in the first four months of checking the New Media Index, women made up 21.8 percent of sources and 31.3 percent of authors.

Women were found in lower percentages of both in May. Here’s the breakdown:

May 2011

New Media Index: May 23-27, 2011

Between May 2 and May 27, we found the following. In total, only 12 articles could be checked this month. No links were supplied by the PEJ roundup for the week of May 16 to 20 because a special report was done on the Israel-Palestine conflict that week. Additionally, as has been the case in the past, a link to a specific story was not included for several large news events including Bin Laden’s death (at least the first week), the Shriver-Schwarzenegger split and the Joplin tornado. Other months have had between 17 and 25 articles to check, so the lower amount may have played a role in the results overall.

Here’s what the 12 articles showed:

  • In the articles monitored this month, women made up 13.3 percent of sources. The articles included 39 male sources and six female sources.
  • Eight articles were written or produced by men and only one was by a woman. Additionally, two were by both a man and a woman and one was not bylined.
  • Two top linked-to articles in blogs were opinion pieces. Both were by male authors.

Links this month predominately came from the LA Times, with a few for the BBC, one from the Washington Post and one from the New York Times.

For more information or research on women’s representation in the news media, check out our “Useful Resources” page as well as our other posts on findings and statistics.

Check back on The Gender Report next week for June’s findings from the New Media Index.

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