Editor’s note: In January 2011, we set out to examine the ways in which women are represented in online news both as sources and as authors. To mark our first year here at The Gender Report, we’re revealing our findings from our year-long studies as well as other statistics and commentaries in a series of posts. View other coverage of our one-year anniversary here.
During month 12 of our Gender Check monitoring project, women were 24.4 percent of human sources whose gender could be identified.
Here’s our breakdown of this month’s findings:
Month 12: Dec. 26, 2011 – Jan. 19, 2012
During our 12th month, we reviewed 24 articles, two in each Gender Check. That included four Gender Checks from the West and Midwest regions, three from the Northeast and one from the South.The South typically has a higher percentage of female authors and sources, which may be a cause for the lower results this month.
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 23 female sources and 71 male sources, making women just under 24.4 percent of human sources whose gender could be identified.
Of the articles we examined this month, nine of the 24 articles had only male sources. Two articles had only female sources and four articles contained no sources.
Here’s how sourcing broke down by geographic region:
- West: 23 males, 13 females (Women at 36.1 percent)
- Northeast: 23 males, 3 females (Women at 11.5 percent)
- Midwest: 23 males, 7 females (Women at 23.3 percent)
- South: 2 males, no female (Women at 0 percent) – this is just the result of one Gender Check
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: 45 males, 12 females (Women at 21 percent)
- Online-only: 26 males, 11 females (Women at 29.7 percent)
In the 12th month, six articles were written by a woman and 16 by one or more man. That gave women 27.3 percent of bylines of one gender or another and 25 percent overall. Two articles had a shared byline between a man and a woman.
Here’s the break down of bylines by geographic region:
- West: 2 by a woman, 6 by men
- Northeast: 2 by women, 3 by men, 1 by a man and woman
- Midwest: 2 by a woman, 5 by a man, 1 by a man and woman
- South: 0 by a woman, 2 by a man
Here’s how women did in bylines between newspaper sites and online-only sites this month:
- Newspaper website: 2 by a woman, 8 by men, 2 shared
- Online-only: 4 by a woman, 8 by a man
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.
Be sure to check back for our analysis and findings from our full year of Gender Checks in this week’s anniversary coverage.
To look at past month breakdowns and other data on gender representations in online news, check out our “Findings and Statistics” category.
*Editor’s note: Some of the numbers in this post have been corrected.