Last week we celebrated one year since the founding of The Gender Report with a series of posts on what we discovered during our first 12 months (Review those posts here). Now it’s time to think about the future and what is to come in year two. Here’s what we have in store:
Starting today (Monday), we’ll be reinstating our Gender Checks, but with several changes. The concept of this project will remain the same — weekly monitoring of lead news articles from eight U.S. new websites. However, we will be switching out the websites we monitor in each geographic region. For the South, we will be monitoring the Patch site for Buckhead, a neighborhood in Atlanta, as well as the print-based Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In the West, we will take a look at the Los Angeles Times‘ website as well as the state-wide, investigative journalism site, California Watch. The Northeast will transition out of New York to focus on two Boston sites: the Boston Globe’s boston.com and Open Media Boston. As we look at the Midwest, we’ll move north to examine the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago News Cooperative.
In addition, we’ve added a few new monitoring areas to our actual checks. We’ll be including the subject area, based on the Global Media Monitoring Project‘s news stories classification system (Click for a PDF of the system). In our first year, we went back through and classified stories, but this year we will be including those classifications in our original checks. We’ll also be including the word count of articles in our checks. This is in response to comments by Kira Cochrane (and reinforced by Elana Zak) that byline counts are only one method for determining women’s level of representation and that a study of the number of words by female and male authors may be better. We’ve taken that to heart and will be measuring that throughout year two as well.
Week in Review
In addition to continuing our weekly look at top news stories from the week involving women (our Week in Review posts), we will also be following some of these stories in a more long-term fashion (look for the first trending topic in this week’s post). We will also be incorporating weekly polls to get more of your feedback involved in these stories, as well as a monthly quiz to test your knowledge of the top news stories from our site as well as other media sources. The Week in Review is not meant to take a particular angle on these stories or necessarily offer original reporting. Rather, these posts help aggregate multiple stories about the same topic to compare sourcing and potential biases.
Women in Journalism: Your Reading List
In addition to our Week in Reviews, we’re adding a new weekly post that will point readers in the direction of interesting articles from the past week related to women in journalism and media. Many of the stories and posts we’ll look to include here are already regularly shared on our Twitter feed. We’ll just be pulling them together in one place for those who may have missed them.
We have two projects planned to draw attention to those who work in the field and on some of the issues we discuss on this site.
In year two, we plan to continue our “In the Spotlight” series featuring organizations that are working on issues of gender representations in the news. We’ve published Q&As with Global Girl Media and the International Women’s Media Foundation in our first year, and plan to expand this to an every other month feature. Starting in March, we also plan to incorporate regular Q&A posts with female journalists about their experiences in the news industry. If you know of a person or organization we should feature, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of our goals this year is to increase the number of voices present on the site by soliciting guest posts on topics of interest to our readers. Possible subject areas for guest posts include experiences of female journalists, the representation of women or gender in the media, the treatment of issues of gender in news coverage or current events, and those who are working for change in these areas. Check out our new “Write for Us” page for more information.
While we will not be continuing our monitoring of the New Media Index this year, we do have a number of other projects in the works. These will be unveiled in the coming months.
We welcome your input and suggestions on topics or studies The Gender Report should take on. What would you like to see from us in year two? Share your thoughts in the comment section or on Twitter using the hashtag #GRdiscuss.
With one year down, we realize we are just starting to get a handle on the depth of possibilities for our site. We hope year two will offer even more insights and findings to add to conversations around women in the media.