Hello readers, my name is Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and I’m the new social media intern with the Op-Ed Project. I’m a junior at Princeton University, majoring in religion and women & gender studies, where I run our campus feminist blog, Equal Writes, spend a lot of time riding my bike, and drink prodigious amounts of black tea. I’m absolutely thrilled to be following in the illustrious footsteps of Chloe Angyal, who began the byline survey last August and ended, 3 months later, in October. Ravenna Koenig, my fellow intern, did a mini-assessment of where women are in the world of op-eds since the beginning of 2010, and let me warn you – the stats are not good. The percentage of most of the newspapers’ female contributors was hovering around 20%, which is abysmally low.
So I’ll be here for the next 3 months, tracking the bylines of seven major news outlets: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Slate, Salon, and the Huffington Post. I’ll also be looking at the op-ed pages of three college dailies, the Daily Princetonian, the Yale Daily News, and the Daily Texan, to see how women are represented in their college papers (these findings could have interesting implications if, as I suspect, more women are being published in college).
I’ll also be updating you periodically about just what the women who are published in the op-ed pages of these papers were writing about – are women, for example, writing frequently about foreign policy, hard sciences and economics? I hope that you’ll respond to my findings in the comments, and add your own thoughts!
And, without further ado, the first week of the byline project 2.0:
Mainstream news outlets:
NYT WaPo WSJ LA Times HuffPo Slate Salon
% by women 23 41.2 17.6 15.4 24 32.4 0
% by men 77 58.8 82.4 84.6 76 67.6 100
Clearly, Salon has some catching up to do – they make the LA Times, at their pitiful 15%, look positively bursting with female voices. This week was interesting because there were several op-eds about the need for gender-neutral Oscar categories (do you really think Sandra Bullock would have beaten Jeff Bridges in a unisex “best actor” category? Okay, now tell me where you think the good roles are going in Hollywood). The Washington Post, by contrast, was inching close to an even balance – we’ll see if they keep it up!
Daily Prince Daily Texan Yale Daily News
% by women 30 50 70
% by men 70 50 10
Take a look at the Yale Daily News! They run two op-eds a day, one by a staff columnist and one by a guest columnist, and there was never a day when there wasn’t a woman on the opinion page – there were even a few when both columnists were women! I know it’s the first week, but Yale and UT are already making Princeton look pretty bad.