34% of the current cabinet of the United States is made up of women, 30% of the justices serving on the U.S. Supreme Court are female, and women hold 16.8% of the seats in the U.S. Congress. Yet the "fourth branch of government", the media, has not included a woman as a moderator in a televised presidential debate since 1992.
Finally, this blatant gender gap is about to close. The 2012 presidential debates will feature a female moderator for the second time in U.S. history and first time in 20 years.
But progress is still slow. According to The Women’s Media Center, 3/4 of U.S. newspapers’ presidential coverage is written by men, a disproportionately high number considering that less than 2/3 of newsroom reporters are male.
With its Presidential Election Series, the IWMF takes a closer look at women journalists who play a high-profile role in reporting about the presidential elections, and thereby shape public opinion as the ultimate check in the "checks and balances" system, an integral component of the U.S. political system.