Topic: Role of Women in and on American Televised News

Baitinger, Gail. “Meet the Press Or Meet the Men? Examining Women’s Presence in American News Media.” Political Research Quarterly, vol. 68, no. 3, 2015, pp. 579-592. ProQuest,

This source analyzes why women are still a minority presence on America’s televised news networks. In the publication, author Gail Baitinger conducts a study which finds the presence of women to be significantly less than the presence of men on American’s news network. Her research focuses on the quantity of each gender within 4,200 Sunday morning appearances across the many American news networks.  One reason this source stands out and holds a particular value is that it identifies the factors determining who gets chosen to be a frequent guest on these networks instead of simply explaining how women are represented on the news or by the networks. The source is also peer-reviewed and provides quantitative data and other useful statistical figures which will assist in creating an effective infographic. It was also published in 2015 meaning Gail’s data depicts information relative to the climate of today’s newsrooms. Lastly, and most interestingly, Gail argues the fact that women appear less on these news networks is not a result of overt sexism. Therefore, this publication could provide a counter-claim to other sources with similar data but dissenting explanations.

Desmond, Roger, and Anna Danilewicz. “Women Are On, But Not In, the News: Gender Roles in Local Television News.” Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, vol. 62, no. 11-12, 2010, p. 822+. Gender Studies Collection,

This source is an academic journal detailing the results of an investigation conducted by Roger Desmond and Anna Danilewicz which analyzed 580 news stories of the primary three TV news programs in the northeast U.S over the span of two weeks. Desmond and Danilewicz examined whether there was a relationship between the gender of a reporter and the type of story they reported on and whether there was a large gender difference within that correlation. They found that women were more like to report on stories that relate to public welfare and health-related stories. In addition, males are much more often asked to report on television as experts on a topic rather than females. Their findings are very significant to the topic of male dominance on television news networks, and the report reveals either sexist or subconscious choices to perpetuate the portrayal of the male gender as more knowledgeable.  The investigation was conducted eight years ago and thus lacks current political climate. However, the article was peer-reviewed and published in a Sex Roles research journal which establishes academic credibility.

Sandler, Lauren. “Beauty Tips and Politics: Hot Media News: Women Want Hard-Hitting Reports on Issues that Affect them.” The Nation, vol. 275, no. 7, 2002, pp. 24-28. ProQuest,

In this article, author Lauren Sandler argues that women desire to report issues with depth and relevance rather than make-up brand superiority. The article was written in 2002, during the prime age of Cosmo and MTV, therefore it goes against the stereotype of women at the time. Sandler asks that women be given relevant issues upon which to inform the public so that their presence in the media may have some significance. Sandler attempts to break the domestic chains of women in the media and ensure their stories are not limited to which shaving cream or Swiffer product works best. The source holds a different value than my previous two sources because it is not a study or investigation with specific results. Instead, this publication is a straightforward argument against locking women into a cycle of airy, plush, materialistic reports. However, the source is fairly outdated and relies on the regularity of the early 2000s reporting trends. Also, the source lacks any measurable data which can be demonstrated in an infographic, but it does provide a strong opinion.

Blyth, Myrna. Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism to the Women of America. St. Martin’s Press, 2004. ProQuest,

In Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism to the Women of America, Blythe argues that those few women who do hold positions in the mass media, specifically on television, broadcast their opinions through their positions which influence and shape how American women see themselves and their gender role in the world. This source is another journal article which argues a stance rather than presenting the results from an investigation or study. However, it provides an interesting viewpoint which holds its value in its disagreement with popular public opinion. The stance may seem abstract and less prevalent, but that may the exact irony of what the author wants to communicate. The very idea that this seems like a differing viewpoint may be a result of how our opinions on women and their role in society were shaped by the few women that do hold positions in mass media. However, the source is biased and loses some validation and credibility due to its strong argument against one political party. Even though it asks good questions, the article only presents points against the imposition of a political ideology through the influence of women in the mass media.

Persaud, Subriena. “Gendered Representations and Portrayals in Technology Advertisements: Exploring Variations by Age, Race and Ethnicity.” Gender Issues, vol. 35, no. 2, 2018, p. 137+. Gender Studies Collection,

This academic journal is an extremely extensive report capturing qualitative and quantitative data which analyzes the gender images represented in television or other technology advertisements produced by top technology companies.  The report found underrepresentation and misrepresentation of the female gender in these technology advertisements. A huge portion of this article’s significance is that its main focus is the intersectionality of underrepresentation or misrepresentation in gender, race, and age within the advertisements. Therefore, Persaud’s ultimate argument based on his research data is that African American and Latino women were missing almost completely compared to white women, and of course, white men. He also found that as age increased, the gender and race parity decreased. Even though this source is not directly related to women in the news, the source holds high value because it demonstrates with both qualitative an quantitative data how TV advertisements reinforce the association between technology and whiteness, youth, and masculinity.

Correa, Teresa; Harp, Dustin.“Women Matter in Newsrooms: How Power and Critical Mass Relate to the Coverage of the HPV Vaccine.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 2011.

In this study Correa and Hard explore how female journalists affect news content when holding positions of power, reaching a critical mass in the newsroom, and covering an issue that appeals to them. It focused specifically on how male-dominated news companies covered the HPV vaccine versus more gender-neutral news companies handled coverage of the vaccine. Correa and Hard found that the more gender-neutral organizations covered the vaccine more frequently and more extensively. This source does not address television reporters, but it does provide insight on women in the news industry and women who obtain the power to dictate what gets reported in the news and how often or in what manner. The source is not the most value out of all six sources, but it does analyze the presence and role of women in a correlating and equally relevant area of mass media.