Hello everyone! This is Taryn, here to share some good news. As we saw last week, the representation of women in public discourse cannot be adequately described by simple men-to-women ratios. This is because, due to their disproportionate contributions to “pink topics”, we often hear even fewer of their opinions on general interest topics than those numbers would imply. In the previous Byline, we found that women contributed to discussions on national politics at low rates – 17% in new media and 24% in traditional media. This week, however, more women than usual presented their views on a particular general interest topic – the Occupy Wall Street protests. The exceptions are Salon (only 2 of 17) and the LA Times, which, to be fair, had only one protest-related op-ed.
Why are women weighing in more on this topic? Please tell us what you think.
We will continue to investigate the particular topics that women are most likely to write about as the Byline Survey forges on.
I’m also happy to report that since I saw you last, there have been significant improvements in the representation of women in all major news outlets (compare the two charts below). The only decrease was in The Yale Daily News, which led the pack in mid-September, so we’ll keep the faith that they will improve in the weeks ahead.