New York, 28 April 2005. With the success of Condoleezza Rice and other women working in Congress and in President Bush's cabinet, women have also appeared at the center of political news coverage more frequently. However, when it comes to business coverage, women are all but invisible. In the Wall Street Journal, the total share of coverage of female protagonists did not exceed 11% in the last 15 months.
The overall share of coverage of women in U.S. media increased by a small margin in the first quarter of 2005, compared to 2004. Media Tenor Institute analyzed the news coverage in seven opinion-leading media between January, 2004, and March, 2005, and noted each time any individual was mentioned for at least five lines (print media) or for five seconds (TV news).
The results of the analysis show a slight increase in the share of reporting on women, though it can largely be explained by the increasing influence of the new Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. Since her nomination to her new post in November 2004, Rice has received extensive media attention, especially during her official visits to countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and also to Mexico over the course of the last months. As a result, the amount of her coverage in the first quarter of 2005 alone already equals that of the entire last year (296 appearances in 2004, 294 in the first quarter of 2005.) Newsweek and Time feature higher share of reporting on women Of all analyzed media, Newsweek and Time featured the largest share of female protagonists in 2005, with a 21% share in Newsweek and an 18% share in Time. One potential explanation for these relatively high numbers, compared to other media, is the broader variety of news items covered by the magazines. However, TV news broadcasts, which cover a similar breadth of issues, featured a significantly smaller share of female protagonists. Overall, it should be noted, the news coverage in all of the analyzed media continues to fall far short of reflecting the population's gender parity.
Basis: All mentions of individuals for at least five lines or five seconds (total: 159,153) in news reports in seven U.S. media, 1/1/2004 - 3/31/2005.
The Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, Fox News Channel Special Report with Brit Hume (Data from Fox was coded starting on 7/1/2004).
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