Women in journalism: Reading list 9/23/2012

The Gender Report provides a weekly round-up of links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. The links below are to noteworthy articles on topics related to women in journalism and the media during the past week. Articles included in this feature do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gender Report or its writers. View past week’s round-ups here.

Reading List

Opinion: Why do women still lag in journalism? (by Susan Antilla)

Moroccan Women in Journalism (Global Girl Media)

Poll: College women get election news from the paper, though they’d rather not (Poynter)

Women Created More Television Last Year, But Is It a Durable Sign of Progress? (ThinkProgress)

Why was a rape victim’s blog mentioned and quoted from in a story on a rape in Central Park, allowing readers to identify the woman? (Answer from Margaret Sullivan, public editor of The New York Times)

-Why Are There No Women Writers in Vogue’s Edith Wharton Spread? (Slate)

Behind ‘The Good Girls Revolt’: The ‘Newsweek’ Lawsuit That Paved the Way for Women Writers (Daily Beast)

Women who set world media trends (The Media Reporter)

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry tops the ‘Root 100′ list (Poynter)

A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution (Book by journalist Samar Yazbek)

Islamist militants seize and rename radio station in Mali (Committee to Project Journalists) Staff ordered to “to replace a female editor, Fatoumata Abdou, with a man”

A Reaction To The Backlash Against Mindy Kaling (Racialicious)

Alex Pham leaves Los Angeles Times for a job that gives her more flexibility (JimRomenesko.com)

Feature writer Sheila McClear leaves the ‘New York Post’ (Capital New York)

Mexican photojournalist Claudia Guadarrama documents the trauma of migration (Women News Network)

How Soledad O’Brien prepared for that contentious John Sununu interview (Poynter)

We encourage readers to submit suggestions of articles to include in future editions of this feature by sending an email to genderreport[at]gmail.com. For links to articles like these throughout the week, follow @GenderReport on Twitter.

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Women in journalism: Reading list 9/2/2012

The Gender Report provides a weekly round-up of links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. The links below are to noteworthy articles on topics related to women in journalism and the media during the past week. Articles included in this feature do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gender Report or its writers. View past week’s round-ups here.

Political Coverage

The Women’s Media Center and The 4th Estate Project partnered to release new findings on the gender gap in political coverage. According to an analysis of coverage of the 2012 presidential election at 35 newspapers, men wrote 76 percent of articles during the GOP primary period (Jan. 1 to April 15) and 72 percent of the articles during the general election period thus far (April 16 to Aug. 25). Here are related articles and the press release from the Women’s Media Center:

Three-Quarters of Newspapers’ Presidential Coverage is Written by Men (Women’s Media Center)

Men are Telling the Stories of Election 2012 (4thEstate.net)

-Male Journalists May Dominate Campaign Coverage, But Look What Women Write About (XX Factor)

Three-Quarters Of The Presidential News You Read Is Written By Men (Forbes Woman)

General Interest Links

Don’t posit ‘what women think’ without quoting any (Columbia Journalism Review)

RNC Attendee Allegedly Threw Nuts At Black CNN Camerawoman, Said ‘This Is How We Feed Animals’ (Talking Points Memo)

CNN Camerawoman [Patricia Carroll] On Harassment At RNC: ‘I hate that it happened, but I’m not surprised at all’ (TV Newser)

Spanish Magazine Depicts Michelle Obama As A Slave (Think Progress)

‘Good Girls’ Tells of Women’s Fight for Rights at Newsweek (New York Times)

On the frontline with female reporters (The Media Online)

“Our World, My Voice: GlobalGirls Talk Politics” Blog Campaign (Global Girl Media)

-Is Sexual Violence on TV OK if the Heroine Is Tough? (XX Factor)

The Feministing Five: Rose Aguilar (Feministing)

Robin Roberts Moves Last Day on “GMA” Before Medical Leave to Thursday (ABC News)

Wendy Warren leaves Philly.com for NBCWashington.com (Poynter)

Patch loses communications director Janine Iamunno (JimRomenesko.com)

Sullivan says goodbye to Buffalo News to become NYT ombud (Poynter)

We encourage readers to submit suggestions of articles to include in future editions of this feature by sending an email to genderreport[at]gmail.com. For links to articles like these throughout the week, follow @GenderReport on Twitter.

Women in journalism: Reading list 4/8/12

The Gender Report provides a weekly round-up of links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. The links below are to noteworthy articles on topics related to women in journalism and the media during the past week. Articles included in this feature do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gender Report or its writers. View past week’s round-ups here.

Reading List

Are Boy Bylines Better Than Girl Bylines? (Michele Weldon at Huffington Post Media)

National Magazine Award Nominees: A Byline Gender Count (With Links!) (Ann Friedman) – This post set off a series of commentaries on gender and the awards. Read about what followed and access a round-up of related links here.

NYU releases list of ’100 Outstanding Journalists’ (Poynter)

The 22 Outstanding (Women) Journalists in the Last 100 Years (The Atlantic Wire)

ASNE chooses five women editors for leadership panel (Poynter)

Total and minority newsroom employment declines in 2011 but loss continues to stabilize (ASNE) – The percentage of women in newsrooms did not change in 2011, staying at 36.9 percent. See our related post here.

Life as a female foreign reporter (The Guardian)

World Pulse Wins Award in First Intel Hackathon (World Pulse)

Africa: Giving Girls a Voice (AllAfrica)

Women’s group pioneering Kenya’s investigative journalism (The Hotpot)

For women in work this is a perfect storm of inequality (Tanya Gold for The Guardian)

Pakistani Journalist Finds Hockey and Hope in Minnesota (KSTP)

Q&A: How Susan Brownmiller fought the media on rape in war, and won (Women Under Siege)

A Tribute to Indonesia’s Most Senior Journalist (Jakarta Globe)

In Liberia, journalist Mae Azango moves a nation (Committee to Protect Journalists)

We encourage readers to submit suggestions of articles to include in future editions of this feature by sending an email to genderreport[at]gmail.com. For links to articles like these throughout the week, follow @GenderReport on Twitter.

Commentary: Six lessons from The Gender Report

Editor’s note: Six months ago, we set out to look at how women are represented in online news both as sources and as authors. To mark our progress, this week we’re reviewing our findings as well as unveiling new statistics based on what we’ve uncovered thus far in a series of posts. View other six-month coverage here.

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When we started this venture six months ago, the idea sprouted from a general curiosity: What did online journalism mean for women in the media? We’d both worked in various print media, and seen the struggle women faced in newsroom representation, visual images, biased coverage and with other obstacles. We also saw print media as a whole quickly becoming a dwindling force in the overall media market and influence. So we combined these two ideas, asking what would happen to women as the conversations shifted from the front page to the home screen.

Yesterday, we published a roundup of all of our statistical findings up to this point, but we also wanted to look at our work in a different way. Here are six observations we’ve made so far:

1. Niche markets have more influence in the mainstream: In the past, a “women’s issues” publication had little hope of breaking into the mainstream conversation. Now, through the help of social media and constant re-reporting of news, a story first covered by one of these publications can easily shape or make its way into the mainstream coverage. We saw this just this week when a World Pulse story on breast ironing inspired CNN to follow suit and it became CNN’s No. 1 story that evening.

2. The next six months can be a turning point: We’ve already included two Week in Review posts about the presidential primaries’ coverage of female candidates and the role women will play in this election. Presidential elections are the Christmas of the media in terms of commentary and dueling opinions. We can hope that it will not involve repeating some of the same mistakes as the 2008 race.

3. Stereotypes are not what they used to be: When we asked friends and followers what region they thought would have the least representation of women, almost everyone quickly answered “well the South of course.” In fact, this proved to be the opposite, with the sites we monitor in the Northeast posting the fewest female bylines and sources (at least thus far).

4. Stereotypes are still exactly what they used to be: Whether it was coverage of sexual assault cases, abortion, women in politics or health care, the fair portrayal of women has not seemed to improve with the shift to online journalism. And while coverage of certain topics, like female athletes or some fresh faces to politics has brought some balance, we still see rape victims’ clothing described, feminism deemed a dirty word, or health care for women portrayed in any way but healthy.

5. The media still reflects cultural realities: In the majority of our Weeks in Review, it was not necessarily the media’s coverage of topics that was newsworthy, it was the comments made about the topics themselves that gave them top billing in the news cycle. While it was true in some cases the media’s interpretation of newsworthiness or the angle of a story gave us pause, in far more cases we were interested in the nature of the story itself. This is especially true in our look at the disappointingly minimal number of female sources used.

We don’t think journalists are looking at a list of potential sources and intentionally and consciously excluding women; in some cases, women have to hold positions of authority to make this list in the first place (This issue of women as expert sources as well as non-expert sources will be one we’ll be looking at more in the future). We need more female politicians, and lawyers, and stock brokers, and government watchdogs, and business executives, if we expect them to ever be represented equally as sources for these top stories.

6. Slowly but surely, progress is ahead: Despite the still dominant male bylines that have transferred over to online outlets, stories by online-only news sites did include a slightly higher percentage of women as sources. And as more bloggers and grassroots sites take hold, we can expect (we hope) to see more women contributing to the narrative, and hopefully both men and women shifting the type of coverage stories involving women receive.

We follow several national and international groups that are working tirelessly on behalf of women and girls, including on media representation, and the power of the Internet is giving them more of a voice than they could have accessed in just traditional print media. Groups like the Girl Effect, The Women’s Media Project, the OpEd Project, the Women’s Media Center and countless others have similar missions to ours, and are doing marvelous work. (We featured one such group, Global Girl Media, during our first six months and hope to do the same with others in the future.)

We’ve also seen online petitions and campaigns promoted by these organizations and/or started by individual women draw attention and make a difference in challenging advertising approaches and media coverage of subjects like rape. And now with a women at the helm of our newspaper of record, we can only expect both traditional newsrooms and online platforms to follow suit and include more women in their staffs.

Let’s keep the momentum going.

Coming soon: Next week we’ll be starting a discussion on what issues you’d like to see us tackle in the future as well as what you solutions you think there are to women’s representation in the news media. Watch for it and speak up to share your thoughts and opinions.

In the Spotlight: Q&A with Global Girl Media

While most of our work here at The Gender Report is focused on identifying the problems and gaps in the representation of women in news coverage, we feel it necessary to take time to recognize those who are working toward solutions. That’s why, starting with this post during Women’s History Month and the week of International Women’s Day, we’re going to try to spend time highlighting an organization that is making strides in this area.

With each feature, we’ll be in correspondence with a member of that organization to have her, or him, answer five questions about its work.

First up, is…

GLOBAL GIRL MEDIA

The Gender Report spoke with Aime Williams, executive director and co-founder of Global Girl Media, via e-mail about the organization’s exciting work to empower teen girls through media training. Here’s what she had to share:

1. For those who are unfamiliar with your work, give us your elevator pitch — What is Global Girl Media?

Global Girl Media (GGM) develops the voice and self-expression of teenage girls in under-served and marginalized communities by training them to become citizen journalists, harnessing the power of new digital media to inspire self-esteem, community activism and social change. By linking young women internationally with seasoned reporters, educators and filmmakers, GGM empowers girls to make media that matters, improves media literacy, and encourages the promotion of healthier media messages about girls and women.

2. What do you consider to be the biggest issue when it comes to the representation of women in journalism and its creation?

Accuracy and complexity. We feel in particular the voices of young women from marginalized or otherwise under-served population are either absent or only heard from in times of war, disaster or crisis, oftentimes victimizing the subject.

Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder of the international blog Global Voices, speaking at a recent TED talk stated, “Sure we are becoming more global, our problems are global in scale, economics, environment, but our media is getting less global by the day…” International news as a percentage of an American television broadcast was 35 percent in the 1970s and it is less than 12 percent today. Access to and authorship of media matters because it underpins how societies respond to the problems they face. In the words of the BBC World Trust, “This makes media not only relevant to the most urgent problems of poverty and marginalization — it makes it critical to solutions designed to address them.”

GGM believes that ensuring access to media information and building capacity for authorship of this information is particularly crucial where media resources are scarce, and therefore oftentimes skewed to a particular dominant ideology or bias.

3. How is your organization a part of the solution?

Giobal Girl reporters get tips from an ESPN/Brazil reporter during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. (Courtesy photo)

Our model is unique in that it pairs U.S. communities with international cities, creating a peer-to-peer international network of girls that can break down stereotypes by directly connecting and impacting each other through the internet. Training young women in new media journalism has the unique capability of augmenting all the other aspects of GGM’s activities, cross-cutting between issues of gender equity and self-esteem, cross-cultural communication and media literacy, reproductive rights and economic gains, etc.

What we are attempting to build with our media training program and distribution network is essentially a new model for development: one that sees authentic self-representation as a vibrant partner to economic growth, providing a viable structure for young women to take part in new media for human growth and development.

4. What project are you currently working on that you’re most excited about? Share a little bit about it.

Just as we strategically paired the cities of Los Angeles and Soweto, South Africa, for our pilot program, we have chosen Detroit as the sister city to our two initial international training sites — Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan (Iraq) and Beirut, Lebanon, for our program expansion in 2011-2012. Our reasoning derives from a perceived lack of media being produced from a female perspective in these regions, in particular, young Arab and Muslim women are either entirely absent from mainstream media or grossly misrepresented and stereotyped.

Given the mass freedom movements in this area the world, now is certainly the time for Global Girl Media to be there! In the United States, there is a global curiosity about Middle Eastern and Arab women. People want to know who they are, what they have to say. Michigan has a large Arab Muslim Population and is also undergoing a period of great change.

In Detroit, the national economic crisis could not be more acute, where an historic industry is being rebuilt and the very first Arab American Museum has recently opened. GGM hopes to work within all three communities to help draw parallels, encourage critical dialogue and provide a broader experience for each Global Girl it trains.

5. What needs does your organization have? How can people get involved?

We are always looking to build our capacity and expand our program. We have an ongoing need for office volunteers, as well as program partners for future development. If there are organizations that want to bring our program to their community, we welcome them to reach out to us. We are always looking for co-sponsors, corporate and foundation support.

Find out more about Global Girl Media by visiting its website at www.globalgirlmedia.org. Follow the organization on twitter @GlobalGirlMedia and “like” it on Facebook here.

Are you a member of an organization that looks to address issues of gender representation in the news? Contact us about being next month’s “In the Spotlight” organization by e-mailing genderreport@gmail.com.