WIUM Tristates Public Radio

The Gender Gap in the Media

Apr 15, 2014

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the gender disparities that remain across all types of news media.

The Huffington Post described it as an “enormous problem” and created a chart to demonstrate the gaps.  It obtained the data from the Women’s Media Center’s annual Status of Women in the U.S. Media report.

Shop Talk panelist Lisa Kernek said she was not surprised by the findings.  She said the numbers have not changed in decades. 

Kernek wondered whether women are simply dropping out of the business because the hours are long (making journalism a career that is not especially family-friendly) or if the men who dominate management positions prefer to hire other men.

Kernek and fellow panelist Jasmine Crighton also pointed out a disparity remains in the types of stories men and women reporters are assigned to cover.  Men generally get to cover high profile beats such as crime and politics while women are assigned to stories about lifestyles, health, and education.

Crighton said she thinks the disparity is greater on the national level than at local TV stations and newspapers. 

Panelist Rich Egger said it’s always his goal to hire the best person for the job.  He doesn’t care about gender; he cares about what a reporter can do to improve Tri States Public Radio.