Hello readers. This is Taryn here to catch you up on the most recent op-ed numbers. This week I paid special attention to op-eds written about the GOP presidential candidates. Of course, op-eds concerning candidates are especially important because they have the power to affect the public opinion that decides elections. Balanced demographic representation is crucial to the discussion in part because policies affect various groups of the population differently.
This week the Washington Post published an impressive assortment of voices on the topic of GOP presidential candidates. Of its 10 articles on GOP candidates, two were authored by black men, and five were by women (and to boot, they were well-balanced between conservatives and liberals). In total, 7 of the 16 articles (44%) in traditional media were written by women.
In new media we see a very different picture – women wrote only 4 of 26 articles (15%). This number may seem especially low considering that this week 37% of all op-eds in the Huffington Post were written by women and 29% in Salon. However, it is actually very much in keeping with our previous research, which shows that a low percentage of women in New Media write about politics. This week for example, only 16% of political op-eds were written by women in Salon, and 19% of political op-eds were written by women in the Huffington Post. In light of these figures, women’s contributions to the GOP discussion – 14% in Salon, and the 13% in the Huffington Post – are not so surprising.
It will be interesting to return to this subject after the debate this Saturday when the opinion pages will surely be rife with debate.