The goal of this project is to monitor gender in Internet news. Much research has been done on gender representations in traditional media platforms, but little has been found yet regarding how that translates to the web. In fact, 2010 was the first year Internet news was included in the Global Media Monitoring Project’s study as a pilot.
To achieve this aim, The Gender Report, founded in January 2011, has undertaken a number of studies related to the representation of women and gender in online news. In addition, this site also features posts about trends observed over time, resources on the subjects of gender and journalism, examinations of coverage of gender and women in the news, and links to other related sources online.
Find out more about the founding of The Gender Report by reading an introductory post here.
Starting in July 2012, we began our Byline Report project. The six-month project examined the gender breakdown of bylines at six online news websites weekly based on the sites’ RSS feeds. Articles were monitored for a Sunday through Saturday week and findings were released in a simple report the following Wednesday. The report included percentages (rounded to the nearest 10th of a percent) of female and male bylines from each site, as well as the shared and staff/wire bylines. Findings from this project can be accessed here.
Our first and longest study has been our Gender Check project. Between January 2011 and June 2012, we regularly recorded findings from top U.S. online news sites — both those connected to traditional media and those that are online-only. Gender Checks were simple examinations of individual articles, done weekly, for the purpose of gathering information to discover trends over time. As of January 19, 2012, we completed a year’s worth of monitoring related to both female sources and authors. We continued the project but with new websites and a few changes for four months in 2012.
The Gender Report also conducted a year-long monitoring project in 2011 of each of the top articles in the Project for Excellence in Journalism‘s weekly New Media Index reports based on the links provided. The New Media Index culls the top five linked to and discussed stories and opinion pieces from the web during a Monday through Friday week based on commentary from blogs and social media sites. The Gender Report’s study focused in on the main top five in the blogosphere. (View findings from this project here.)
A few other studies include newsroom gender breakdowns, a look at the gender of principal staff members of online news sites in the Columbia Journalism Review’s News Frontier Database, a sample of lead articles from 40 nationally situated online news sites and an examination of the representations of women as sources and authors in coverage of birth control.
In addition to our studies, The Gender Report also produces a number of features on topics related to women and the media. Our most popular feature is the Women in Journalism: Reading List. The Gender Report provides a weekly round-up of links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. The links are to noteworthy articles on topics related to women in journalism and the media during the past week.
Reactions and mentions
The Gender Report’s studies and posts have been noticed by other journalism industry blogs as well as organizations dedicated to women and the media. Here are a few examples of articles, posts, and reports pertaining to this site:
- Media Report to Women: ‘The Gender Report’ Analyzes Female Sourcing, Bylines in Online News (Fall 2011 issue)
- 10,000 Words: 78 Percent Of U.K. Newspaper Articles Are Written By Men. Is U.S. Media Any Better?
- Nieman Journalism Lab: This Week in Review: An Internet censorship threat, and news orgs’ one-way Twitter use
- 10,000 Words: Columbia Journalism Review’s News Frontier Database
- Columbia Journalism Review: It’s 2012 already: why is opinion writing still mostly male?
- The Daily Beast: Men Rule Media Coverage of Women’s News
- FAIR’s Extra!: New media—but familiar lack of diversity: Women, people of color still marginalized online
- The OpEd Project: Who Narrates the World? The OpEd Project 2012 Byline Report
- Women’s Media Center: The Status of Women in U.S. Media 2013 (see report p. 20-21)
- Hot Off The Press: A Feminist Mix for International Women’s Day (included in list of recommended feminist blogs)
To find out more about The Gender Report, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.