international women's day 2011

Women’s Day 2011: “All equal in UK Newspaper Journalism?”

Posted on: 25 March 2011

This year marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day – high time to take inventory of how women are represented within British newspaper journalism.

Below are some key findings when looking at Cision’s UK media data*:

    * Over two-thirds (74%) of journalists in the newspaper sector are male;
    * One third (30%) of female journalists are covering business and politics;
    * 3% of sports journalists are women;
    * 49% of lifestyle journalists and 70% of arts journalists are male;
    * Altogether 30% of UK newspaper staff are female.

In addition, Cision opened its database to “Women in Journalism” (WIJ), an organisation supporting female journalists, resulting in a report demonstrating that women are underrepresented within UK newspaper journalism.

“Female Journalists are less likely to work in editorial positions and less likely to write about hard news, politics and current affairs. Even traditional areas such as lifestyle and features are dominated by our male counterparts, “ says Gabriella Jozwiak, freelance Journalist and WIJ member, co-leading the research based on Cision’s database.

She says that women are present, but underrepresented in public life and traditional role patterns are still a barrier for women’s careers. “I think the findings speak for themselves. It is a general issue that females are not always on the top. The problem in the national media is that we’re trying to reflect society and the unbalance can be seen very clearly.”

Eight out of the top ten newspapers have twice the amount of male editors than female. The Guardian was the only newspaper within Cision’s data with more female editors in senior positions (60%) than male editors.

The Independent had the lowest proportion of female staff with 25% women, followed by the Sun (26%) and the Daily Telegraph (26%). In contrast, the Daily Mail had the highest proportion of female staff of any newspaper with 36% women, followed by the Observer (36%) and the Daily Express (35%). The research also reveals that journalistic roles were most likely to be held by women at the Sunday Times (40%), the Times (39%) and the Guardian (37%) and were least likely to be held at the Daily Mirror (21%) and the Sun (24%).

However, there is a support network out there ready to be accessed by female journalists from institutions such as the National Union of Journalists or Women in Journalism. “Many women might actually be uncomfortable with the idea that they need support from an organisation, but especially in journalism it is a great way for networking and receiving training,” says Jozwiak. “On a practical level, WIJ is a great forum to meet really successful journalists and learn from them. I’ve picked up plenty of tips from events and had a few commissions through contacts I’ve made.”

The history of the International Women’s Day dates back to the 19th March 1911, where it was first celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In a blog entry later this week, Cision will go on a short European trip and have a closer look at how women are represented in German and Swedish Journalism.

* Reflective as of October 2010

red women's symbold with continents superimposed repeatd 5 times

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