Women made up 24.3 percent of sources and 44.8 percent of authors in the eighth month of our Gender Check monitoring project. That reflected a rise in women authors over last month, when women had 35 percent of bylines.
Here’s the breakdown of our findings for the eighth month:
Eighth Month: Aug. 22 – Sept. 15, 2011
We reviewed 32 articles, two in each Gender Check, during our eighth month. That included four Gender Checks from each geographic region.
In each Gender Check, we look at two websites from that region — one associated with a newspaper and one that is online-only. During our monitoring, we pull the top or lead articles on their websites at the time of the check and gather details on the gender of the author, the breakdown of the genders of the human sources referenced in the articles and other details. (For more on what Gender Checks are, read our introductory post here.)
This month the articles contained 81 male sources and 26 female sources. This meant women made up 24.3 percent of the human sources referenced. Five articles this month contained no named sources.
Here’s how that broke out by geographic region:
- West: 19 males, 8 female (Women at 29.6 percent)
- Northeast: 18 males, 5 females (Women at 21.7 percent)
- Midwest: 34 males, 6 females (Women at 15 percent)
- South: 10 male, 7 female (Women at 41.2 percent)
Here’s the breakdown by news sites associated with a traditional newspaper and those that are not.
- Newspaper website: 50 males, 14 females (Women at 21.9 percent)
- Online-only: 31 males, 12 females (Women at 27.9 percent)
This month 13 articles were written by an individual woman and 16 by one or more man. That put women at 44.8 percent of bylines of one gender or another for the month. Additionally, there were three shared bylines between a man and a woman (or two). This was one of the higher byline percentages for women in the study and an increase over the 35 percent women reached last month.
Here’s how bylines broke down by geographic region:
- West: 3 stories by an individual woman, 5 by an individual man
- Northeast: 2 by a woman, 5 by men and 1 with a shared byline between a man and a woman
- Midwest: 4 by a woman, 3 by a man, 1 with a shared byline between a man and a woman
- South: 4 by a woman, 3 by a man, 1 with a shared byline between a man and two women
Here’s how women did in bylines between newspaper sites and online-only sites this month:
- Newspaper website: 7 by a woman, 7 by men and 2 with a shared byline between a man and woman (or two)
- Online-only: 6 by a woman, 9 by a man, 1 with a shared byline
As a note to our readers, these findings reflect a limited amount of data from our simple Gender Checks. We hope you recognize the limitations of this data, since we’ve only sampled a few articles from eight news sites. Further research and time is needed to verify any validity across the board.
In July, we released our findings from our first six months of monitoring. During that time, women were 25.3 percent of human sources referenced and 37.7 percent of authors of one gender or the author.
To look at past month breakdowns and other data on gender representations in online news, check out our “Findings and Statistics” category.