18 September 2018
Engstrom, Erika. “Looking through a Gendered Lens: Local U.S. Television News Anchors’ Perceived Career Barriers.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 44, no. 4, Fall2000, p. 614. EBSCOhost, prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=3983041&site=ehost-live.
This source is the complete report of a social science experiment that discovers what women in the television industry believed to be their greatest hindrance in their career progress. The report begins by providing a background of gender in broadcast and quotes people such as Lumsden (“Women who wanted to succeed in the male professional world had to leave their feminine selves behind” ). The survey results concluded that both sexes do share some perceptions in terms of balancing work and family life, however there is a stark difference in career barriers. The source is extremely valuable since it provides exact quotes of some of the responses to the survey. (“Women are supposed to appear attractive, perhaps even glamorous … the men just have to look trustworthy”). The greatest barrier for men was the lack of networking and support groups due to the competitiveness of the business and the fact that they were not necessarily a minority. This source offers a lot of tangible data and charts which also proves it to be valuable. For young women, the greatest barrier was physical appearances while for older, more established women, the issue was being a mother. Another striking point was the mobile nature, where women would defer career progress for the sake of their husbands while men who participated in the survey made no similar remarks about their wives. This source also cites multiple previous studies form the past (Wood (1994), Holland (1987), Sanders and Rock (1988)) and builds upon them by claiming that in order to achieve gender equity on television we need broader gender equality first.
Finneman, Teri and Joy Jenkins. “Sexism on the Set: Gendered Expectations of TV Broadcasters in a Social Media World.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 62, no. 3, Sept. 2018, pp. 479-494. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/08838151.2018.1484292.
This source is a report for another research experiment which is actually inspired from Engstrom and Ferri’s 2000 study which is another one of my sources. This makes both the sources more valuable because they build upon each other. This study further proved the conclusion that Engstrom and Ferri arrived at, which was that there is a definite double standard for women in television journalism, especially in terms of physical appearance. Finneman and Jenkins actually take into consideration modern age technology to realize that social media has exacerbated the situation by serving as “another avenue to “correct” rather than challenge gender norms”. A pervasive concern (90%) brought up through the survey was the rise in criticism through social media and the lack of support or policies from news outlets to address these concerns. “The #MoreThanMean video represents one of a series of recent incidents calling attention to the inappropriate remarks and double standards women in broadcast face.” “this study considers how female and male television journalists describe viewers’ expectations for gender performance— or what viewers believe to be “correct” appearance behaviors for broadcasters.” This report also cites other credible sources with quotes such as “beauty and appearance are central to American culture” (Meltzer, 2010, p. 50). Overall, this report is very valuable because it not only reflects the recent opinions of journalist but also the viewers of television.
Press, A. (2009). Gender and family in television’s golden age and beyond. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 625(1), 139-150. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0002716209337886
This paper explores the development of the image of women on television from pre-Golden Era to the current generation of television. Women were portrayed as more independent and living nontraditional family lives in the 1960s but then in the 1990s in hand with the counter-feminist actions, television began to relapse back to the traditional house wife depiction of women. However, amidst the third wave of feminism, women are represented in various more races and sexuality than ever before. The article also makes strong connections between themes prominent in tv and the american culture, “ television’s depiction of gender and of the family has been influential in American” using sources such as Coontz 1992. I found this source to be valuable because it discusses relevant TV shows such as Sex and the City which makes the argument relatable. This article acknowledges that there is greater diversity but there is still a emphasis on the traditional form of “beautiful women” as lead roles.
Lauzen, Martha. Boxed In 2017-18: Women On Screen and Behind the Scenes in Television. Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, 2018, pp. 1–16, Boxed In 2017-18: Women On Screen and Behind the Scenes in Television.
This source is part of an annual study conducted by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. They have collected and published data for the last 21 years, making this project the most comprehensive record of women in TV. What makes this source especially valuable is the fact that it not only collects data of the women that are on camera, but also explores the behind the scene employment as well. The research made many claims including “68% of the programs considered featured casts with more male than female characters in 2017- 18.” and apparently there has been a decline in the percentage of speaking character that were women. Overall, the report provides a great amount of quantified data which reflects that women have made significant progress in television but there is still much room to improve.
Bock, M. A., Cueva Chacón, L. M., Jung, H., Sturm, H. A., & Figueroa, E. J. (2018). The faces of local TV news in america: Youth, whiteness, and gender disparities in station publicity photos. Feminist Media Studies, 18(3), 440-457. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2017.1415950
This source provides evidence that hints that women are held to a higher standard than men when it comes to broadcast television. The authors acknowledge that there is significant criticism that the “burden” to look good is unevenly placed on women anchors, and then conducts research examining over 400 photographs to analyze the characteristics of both male and female reporters. They considered many factors from hair color to age. The research concluded that minority broadcasters are “held to a white standard of beauty”. This source is also valuable due to the breadth of factors that were included in the research.
Perlman, Allison. “Feminists In The Wasteland.” Feminist Media Studies, vol. 7, no. 4, Dec. 2007, pp. 413–431. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/14680770701631612.
This source is particularly valuable since it investigates the activism of the National Organization for Women, which is a very prominent and influential organization to this day. In the early 1970s, the National Organization for Women began to take action towards television reform. The report hones in on the organizations efforts to improve representation of women in broadcast television. The source not only argues that the National Organization for Women challenged the entire structure and stigma of broadcast but also “lay claim to women’s civic membership”. Overall, this source is valuable in understanding the implications that NOW had on the industry and the American culture as a whole.