Site counts male, female bylines in New York Times

Jezebel | The First Bound

Andrew Briggs' site WhoWritesFor counts bylines on the New York Times homepage, then sorts them by sex, Kate Dries writes:

Briggs' project, in addition to an analysis published on Poynter, "throw a lot of attention at the Times, implying that it should be held to a higher standard than other publications," Dries writes.

While that's not the case, it makes sense that it's being targeted. It's a notably liberal publication, which means that it should hypothetically be more sensitive to issues of equal representation and diversity.

"My goals for the project range from the very practical to the more esoteric," Briggs told Nicholas Jackson.

On the one hand, greater transparency of the bias on our nation's most prized newspaper's homepage could be corrected very quickly—anybody reading this site could very easily name a dozen or two talented female journalists at the Times that aren't being rewarded with homepage slots—and Who Writes For would register that shift immediately. On the other, Briggs hopes to encourage a more esoteric discussion about the decisions taking place without our complete awareness that inform who we are and what we do. "There are systems in place that affect what we do, what we read, what we watch," Briggs told me, "and I think we have a responsibility to interrogate those systems."

Related: Lack of female sources in New York Times front-page stories highlights need for change

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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