Media Often Ignore Women as Sources, New Study Finds

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By: Graham Webster

In all media outlets, women are cited as sources far less often than men, according to a new Project for Excellence in Journalism study to be released Monday.

Cable news and the PBS NewsHour ranked lowest in terms of percentage of stories with at least one female source, at 19% and 17% respectively. Network TV came in at 27%, morning shows at 34%, news Web sites at 36%, and print newspapers at 41%.

Even though newspapers are the news medium most likely to cite at least one woman in a story, they are still more than twice as likely to consult at least one male source (88%), according to the nine-month study.

Across all media, the subject women were least likely to be cited on was foreign affairs. The only topic where female sources appeared in more than half of stories was lifestyle.

In the study, the Project for Excellence in Journalism, which is affiliated with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, examined four nightly newscasts, three network morning news shows, nine cable news programs, and nine Web sites.

The study examined almost 6,600 news stories in 16 newspapers ranging in circulation from more than 750,000 to less than 100,000.

Among the other findings for newspapers:

? Staff-written stories were almost twice as likely as wire stories to contain a female source (47% versus 25%).

? Larger papers were more likely to include at least one female source than medium- or small-sized papers (46%, 43%, and 33% respectively).

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