Lack of female opinion writers!

A newly published study in the US found that two fifths of female-penned columns at top US newspapers were about “hard news” such as politics or economics but that these women are often relegated to writing on traditionally female ¬†subjects such as health or parenting.

The study, co-authored by Dustin Harp – a gender and communication expert in the UT Arlington College of Liberal Arts – ¬†entitled “Where are the Women? The Presence of Female Columnists in U.S. Opinion Pages” appeared in the June issue of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.

The study examined the work of twenty-two columnists at ten US newspapers (including the New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post). Of these, six were female and only one represented an ethnic or racial minority. The average editorial board included eleven members, four of whom were women.

He draws the conclusion, and we’d have to agree, that this “lack of diversity, whether racial or gender, shows the inability of media to reflect different life experiences and perspectives, and thus presents an inaccurate picture of the world”

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