The Global Report on Women in the News Media is examining the structure of the news media industry worldwide from a gender perspective in order to document the career progress of women and use the results to advocate for change.
Launched in 2009, this ground-breaking research will document where women stand in professional, decision-making and governance levels in the media industry. It will survey newspaper, broadcast and cable media companies in some 66 countries. Data are expected to illustrate the extent to which women have advanced in reporting, editing, producing and other news occupations, as well as in administrative, policy and governance levels. It will also identify factors which both contribute to as well as inhibit gender equality.
Research will be conducted in 2009, with an anticipated publication date of spring 2010.
History of Research on Women in the News Media
No worldwide research on women’s status in the news media has been conducted since 1995, when Margaret Gallagher published An Unfinished Story with funding from UNESCO. Conducted in 43 countries, Gallagher’s study found that in most countries women’s professional representation in the news and other branches of the media ranged from a high of around 30 percent down to the single digits, except in a few Nordic countries, where women were on par with men.
Since Gallagher’s study, a few national and regional studies on women’s status in the news media have revealed that women are still underrepresented in media companies. To see more, click here.
Scope of the Study
The study will sample 500-600 news companies in some 66 nations, including newspapers, and radio and television stations. Internet-only companies, news magazines and news agencies are not included. All companies and their employees are provided full confidentiality and will not be identified in published findings.
Data will be processed at IWMF headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Carolyn M. Byerly, Ph.D., associate professor of journalism at Howard University in Washington, D.C. oversees the project. Project assistant is Jagruti Bhakta. Bella Ezumah and Desrene Vernon are graduate research interns and Hongmei Shen is the consulting statistician for the project. An international task force guides the project’s development.
Research is coordinated by 18 regional coordinators responsible for a cluster of nations or, in some cases, one nation. Each regional coordinator is responsible for hiring and training researchers, who contact news media executives to arrange interviews and gather data for the study.
Elisa Munoz, director of research and training at the IWMF, is project coordinator.