At the nine-month mark of our Gender Check study, articles about science and health have the highest percentage of female sources and one of the lowest percentages of female bylines compared to other article subjects.
Last week, we unveiled our findings from the first nine months of our Gender Check project. Another way we’ve been looking at our data is by article subject, to see if there is a difference in the representation of women as sources and authors. We first explored this following our six-month mark and we did, in fact, find some differences. As a result, we’ve gone back through our most recent findings and looked at each of the 272 articles we gender checked by topic, in order to see if those same differences still hold.
We’ve opted to use (to the best of our ability) the Global Media Monitoring Project‘s news stories classification system (Click for a PDF of the system) to categorize stories. This system divides articles into eight categories with a numbering system for further breakdowns within each category. At this point, we are just looking at the larger categories. None of our articles have fallen under the categories of “Other” and ‘The Girl-Child” yet, so we’re sticking with the six remaining categories.
In the first nine months of our Gender Check project, the largest number of our articles still fell under “Crime and Violence” (84 out of 272). “Economy” with 60 articles narrowly passed “Politics and Government” with 58 to be the second highest. Thirty-five articles fell under “Social and Legal,” 20 under “Science and Health” and 15 under “Celebrity, Arts, Media and Sports.” We recognize that the sample of articles in some categories is still small, so please keep in mind that limitation when viewing our data.
Here’s what we found within those categories:
“Celebrity, Arts, Media and Sports” articles moved to the bottom of the pack by producing the lowest percentage of female sources at 19 percent. “Science and Health” has continued to hold the highest percentage of female sources with 31.4 percent. As we’ve seen in our overall findings to date, the total sample shows women as 25.3 percent of sources.
Here’s how it separated out by classification:
- Politics and Government: 193 males, 53 females (Women as 21.5 percent)
- Economy: 163 males, 48 females (Women as 25.4 percent)
- Science and Health: 59 males, 27 females (Women as 31.4 percent)
- Social and Legal: 89 males, 32 females (Women as 26.4 percent)
- Crime and Violence: 224 males, 92 females (Women as 29.1 percent)
- Celebrity, Arts, Media and Sports: 47 males, 11 females (Women as 19 percent)
Even with the highest percentage of female sources, “Science and Health” articles still had one of the lowest percentages of female authors at 20 percent. This tied with “Celebrity, Arts, Media and Sports” articles. “Economy” articles continued to show the highest percentage of female authors at 40 percent. Overall, women are 38.2 percent of authors.
Here’s the breakdown by classification:
- Politics and Government: 22 stories by women, 30 by men, 5 shared bylines between a man and a woman, 1 other/unidentified (Women as 37.9 percent)
- Economy: 24 by women, 34 by men, 2 shared (Women as 40 percent)
- Science and Health: 4 by women, 16 by men, 2 shared (Women as 20 percent)
- Social and Legal: 13 by women, 20 by men, 2 shared (Women as 37.1 percent)
- Crime and Violence: 26 by women, 47 by men, 9 shared, 2 other (Women as 31 percent)
- Celebrity, Arts, Media and Sports: 3 by women, 11 by men, 1 shared (Women as 20 percent)
We’ll still be watching these findings to see what other trends emerge in certain subject areas over time. For more information on gender representations in online news, check out our “Findings and Statistics” and “Useful Resources” pages.