Byline Survey Week 5 Results

The steady cold rain and Thanksgiving decorations are sure signs that November has arrived in full force. Here at the OpEd Project, the end of October means we are now one month into the byline survey! Check out this week’s results below:

NYT         WP         WSJ         SA        HP         DB      YD

% W         19          18            28        27          22        25      20

% M         81          82           72         73          78        75       80

This week, the Washington Post published the smallest percentage of female authors, at 18%. In contrast, the Wall St. Journal hit a record high of 28% female authors. Neither the Columbia Spectator or the Daily Princetonian are included in this week’s data, as both schools were on fall break  and their papers were not updated on a daily basis.

Throughout the last few weeks of October, opinion pieces across all publications were overwhelmingly focused on issues relating to the midterm elections. Today, Peggy Drexler of the Huffington Post published interesting commentary on what she deemed “the year of the Republican woman,” in Congress. Drexler argues that while the sheer number of women running for Congress no longer seems to be newsworthy in itself, this year’s female “new arrivals are coming to a Republican controlled House on a tide of righteous conservative anger.” Though they remain far out-populated by their male counterparts, Drexler argues that the coalition of conservative female Congresswoman could result in some serious policy changes. Citing Vince Bzdek of the Washington Post who argued that it wasn’t until a woman — Nancy Pelosi — worked her way to a position of power that we got a health care bill after almost a century of futility, Drexler  concludes that “there is the real possibility that women in Congress — once a progressive bloc — could take a turn to the right on social issues.” For Drexler, the gender ratio matters much less than the ideological shift among Congress women. She argues that the rise of a conservative female voting bloc could mean that “things we thought were settled or at least protected could once again be in play.”

It will certainly be interesting to see how the results of Tuesday’s election will change and influence policy in the coming year! Make sure to check the byline blog often for updates on information and trends appearing across the op-ed pages.

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