Media Exclusion of Women as Sources Impedes Meaningful Reform

Laudable as the goals of “media reform” may be, until the voices of women (as well as other silenced groups) are fully and equitably included, it will remain a deluded (mostly white) guy buzzword, self-limiting in its scope of meaningful change. The Project for Excellence in Journalism’s recently released study, “The Gender Gap: Women Are Still Missing as Sources for Journalists,” documents the painfully limited use of women as news sources and makes clear the serious and pervasive nature of the problem. The study found, among other things, that female voices are most noticeably missing on cable news programs and stories dealing with foreign affairs. The results of the study clearly indicate that women as sources of information are essentially invisibilized to a large extent. Inasmuch as foreign affairs comprise a significant portion of the news, it is, as Sheila Gibbons of Women’s eNews put it: “[E]asy to see that failing to include women as sources in that coverage would dramatically reduce their presence in the news, and block our perception of them as people with ideas and expertise.”…. Lucinda Marshall, @2005

The complete text of this article can be found on Dissident Voice.

Many thanks to Martha Allen and the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press for posting links to this article and my earlier work about the exclusion of women from the media on their website. And thanks also to Alas A Blog for their wonderful review of this blog!

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