Where is she? Coverage of women in online news magazines.
Gatekeeping studies indicate that the top reason invoked by editors for excluding newsworthy stories from publication is a lack of space and inflexibility. Online news media, however, are not restricted by space and can, therefore, publish more diverse content with equal coverage. This content analysis of US and foreign online news magazines was conducted to determine whether women's portrayal in the news has benefited from the Internet's potential for space and equality. Previous research has concluded that representations of women in traditional mass media are scarce, stereotypical, and gender biased. Our comparison of online news magazines examined whether this was also true for digital media. The findings partially supported the hope for more extensive and balanced coverage of women in online news media. The companion websites of the highest circulated news magazines in the United States, Britain, Korea, and Mexico allocated only an average 3–5 percent of their articles to female news subjects, and the featured stories were less likely to focus on women in leadership positions and more likely to highlight feminine attributes. However, those stories also avoided stereotypes and included more positive content than the coverage dedicated to men, and the placement of these articles was as dominant as the placement of articles about men. Thus, this study identified the Internet's potential for diversified and equitable media coverage.
Yun, H.J., Postelnicu, M., Ramoutar, N., & Kaid, L.L. (2007). Where is she? Coverage of women in online news magazines. Journalism Studies, 8(6), 930-947. DOI: 10.1080/14616700701556823
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