The 11th month of our Gender Check monitoring project brought our highest percentage of female sources in a given month to date, with women as 34.7 percent of sources.
Here’s our breakdown of this month’s findings:
During our 11th month, we reviewed 26 articles, two in each Gender Check. That included five Gender Checks from the West and Midwest regions, three from the South and none from the Northeast. This lack of Gender Checks from the Northeast may have been the cause of the higher female source count in this month’s findings. The websites we check in the Northeast have typically had the lowest counts of female bylines and authors.
For each Gender Check, we looked at two websites from that region — one connected with a newspaper and one that is online-only. We selected the top or lead articles on their websites at the time of the check and collect information on the author’s (or authors’) gender and the genders of the human sources referenced among other details. (For more on what Gender Checks are, read our introductory post here.)
The articles from this month contained 34 female sources and 65 male sources, making women 34.4 percent of human sources whose gender could be identified. This is the highest percentage of female sources we’ve had in a given month yet. The previous high was 30.4 percent in our fourth month. That month also had fewer Gender Checks from the Northeast.
Of the articles we examined this month, five contained no identified sources. Four of the 26 articles had only male sources. One article had only female sources.
Here’s how sourcing broke down by geographic region:
- West: 30 males, 16 female (Women at 34.8 percent)
- Northeast: N/a
- Midwest: 31 males, 14 females (Women at 31.1 percent)
- South: 4 male, 4 female (Women at 50 percent)
We’ve also broken down our findings by news sites associated with a traditional newspaper and those that are not. Here are this month’s results:
- Newspaper website: 32 males, 16 females (Women at 33.3 percent)
- Online-only: 33 males, 18 females (Women at 35.3 percent)
In the 11th month, seven articles were written by a woman and 15 by one or more man. That gave women 31.8 percent of bylines of one gender or another. Two articles had a shared byline between a man and a woman and another two articles were written by staff.
Here’s the break down of bylines by geographic region:
- West: 1 story by a woman, 6 by men, 2 by a man and a woman, 1 by staff
- Northeast: N/a
- Midwest: 5 by a woman, 4 by a man, 1 by staff
- South: 1 by a woman, 5 by a man
Here’s how women did in bylines between newspaper sites and online-only sites this month:
- Newspaper website: 3 by a woman, 7 by men, 2 shared, 1 by staff
- Online-only: 4 by a woman, 8 by a man, 1 by staff
As a reminder to our readers, these findings stated above 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 October, we released our findings to date at the nine-month mark. At that point, women were 25.3 percent of sources and 38.2 percent of authors overall. Read more of the findings here. Next month will mark a year of our Gender Check monitoring project. Be sure to check back for our analysis and findings.
To look at past month breakdowns and other data on gender representations in online news, check out our “Findings and Statistics” category.