June 4, 2015

Sixty-five percent of U.S. political stories published during a three-month span in 2014 were written by men, according to a new report from the Women’s Media Center released Thursday.

The report, which examined about 27,000 pieces of content produced at major news organizations during three months in 2014, shows that men produced the majority of coverage in nearly all cases. Three organizations — “PBS Newshour,” the Chicago Sun-Times and The Huffington Post — reached or surpassed gender parity.

The others, including The New York Times, The Denver Post, USA Today and The Washington Post, each published a majority of stories written by men during that period.

Here’s the byline breakdown at newspapers (from widest to narrowest gender gap):

  • The New York Times: 32 percent female, 68 percent male
  • The Denver Post: 32 percent female, 68 percent male
  • USA Today: 33 percent female, 67 percent male
  • New York Post: 36 percent female, 64 percent male
  • The Washington Post: 39 percent female, 61 percent male
  • The Los Angeles Times: 40 percent female, 60 percent male
  • The Wall Street Journal: 40 percent female, 59 percent male
  • The San Jose Mercury News: 41 percent female, 59 percent male
  • The Chicago Sun-Times: 55 percent female, 45 percent male

The report, the fourth in a series from the Women’s Media Center, also shows that men dominate the ranks of television newsrooms, leadership in those organizations and editorial boards at major newspapers. Caucasians of both genders comprise a vast majority in TV and print newsrooms. From the report:

Who tells the story is every bit as important as what the story is—and often the former determines the latter. The lack of women in decision-making and prominent positions in the media is the breeding ground for defamatory and sexist coverage and comments, and it lowers the standard of excellence by cutting in half the pool from which talent is chosen. It also results in media missing major stories — and missing viewership.

The report concludes by offering a series of recommendations, including personnel audits, hiring with diversity in mind, mentoring and encouraging women, focusing on fostering a better work-life balance for employees and encouraging open discussions about race and gender parity.

Here’s a link to the full report:

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

More News

Back to News