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Vol. 36, No. 3, Summer 2008

Analysis: Influential Columnist Emphasized
Gender Traits in Candidate Coverage

A Media Matters for America review of Maureen Dowd's columns since the beginning of 2007 reveals that Dowd frequently characterized Sen. Hillary Clinton as masculine, while portraying Sen. Barack Obama and John Edwards as feminine. By contrast, Dowd rarely feminized the all-male Republican field and, during the period Media Matters reviewed, never feminized Sen. John McCain, whom she has referred to in one column as a "tough guy."

Released in June, the Media Matters for America review of Dowd's New York Times columns between January 1, 2007, and June 8, 2008, reveals that Dowd has frequently characterized this election cycle's leading Democratic candidates -- Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards -- using gendered language, specifically characterizing Clinton as masculine, and Obama and Edwards as feminine.

Read the analysis in full at http://mediamatters.org/items/200806100002.

NOW President Gandy: Will Media Gauntlet
Challenge Future Female Candidates?

From National Organizatino for WomenPresident Kim Gandy’s bi-weekly column June 5:

“Hillary Clinton's campaign inspired millions of women across the country, and the increased female voter turnout has helped many women running for Congress or local office in those primaries - but will those women candidates now face a media gauntlet that is more about their gender than their qualifications?

“Yes, Hillary Clinton persevered to win contest after contest, despite the ridicule, scorn and derision that was heaped on her by the frat-boy commentariat, and we salute her courage and determination not to allow the self-important pundit class to drum her out of the race with their endless name-calling. But will that treatment be the norm for women who run in the future? Has it become acceptable?”

View Gandy’s evolving“Hall of Shame” of media coverage at

Movie Criticism Dominated By
Male Newspaper Reviewers

Men write the overwhelming majority of film reviews in the nation’s top newspapers, according to a study released in July by the new Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

This study examined the numbers of women and men reviewing films at the top 100 U.S. daily newspapers during Fall 2007. From October 22 through December 25, 186 individuals wrote 2,365 reviews appearing in newspapers with a combined circulation of approximately 28 million readers. However, as the majority of the reviews written by these individuals also appear on the Internet, the reach and influence of these individuals is far greater

During the study period, men penned 70% and women 30% of all reviews. Furthermore, of the newspapers featuring film reviews, 47% had no reviews written by women critics, writers or freelancers. In contrast, only 12% had no reviews written by men critics, writers or freelancers.

Male staffers were more likely to own the title of film critic. In this study, 77% of the newspaper film critics were male. In addition, men wrote significantly more reviews than women.

Further details are available from Dr. Martha M. Lauzen at 619-594-6301.

AP Sports Editors Make Virtually
No Progress Advancing Women

Associated Press Sports Editors has received a grade of “F” for gender hiring practices from the University of Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES). APSE received a “C” for racial hiring practices.

TIDES conducted its first analysis of APSE in 2006. The most recent study was released June 26, 2008.

“While two years is not a great deal of time for change,” said Richard Lapchick, TIDES’ director and author of the report, “there was hardly any change in five of the key positions we examined.” Those positions were sports editor, assistant sports editor, columnist, reporter, and copy editor/designer.

  • Percentages of positions occupied by males: sports editor, 90%; columnist, 93%; reporter, 91%; copy editor/designer, 84%.

  • Women increased as a percentage of sports editors (up 1.5 points to 6.5%)) and copy editors/designers while decreasing as assistant sports editors (down to 10% from 12.7%), reporters and support staff/clerks. The percentage of women columnists remained the same though the number increased by eight.

  • In 2008, the position of support staff/clerks was the most diverse, with women occupying 22.9% (down from 24.1% in 2006, more than double any other category for women except copy editors. These positions are usually nonprofessional positions with limited upward mobility and lower salary and benefit ranges, the report said.

Read the full report at
www.bus.ucf.edu/sport/public/downloads/ 2008__APSE_RGRC_Press_Release%5B1%5D.pdf.

Research in Depth -- News Judgment: The Framing of Contemporary Motherhood in the United States by Dustin Harp and Ingrid Bachmann

Research in Depth -- Gender Differences in News Media Use and Their Political Implications by Mira Sotirovic

Commentary -- Teen Pregancy ‘Pact’ Sparks Media Frenzy -- But They Miss the Story by Sheila Gibbons

Plus News Briefs, People, and Books, Flicks, etc.!

Leadership Opportunity: Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the University of Iowa

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences invites applications and nominations for the position of Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Further information about this job can be found at: http://www.uiowa.edu/jmc/director_search.html.

Applications should be submitted online at http://jobs.uiowa.edu/ (requisition #55900).

Plus News Briefs!

Media Report to Women has hard copies of back issues dating to its founding in 1972. Indispensable for research!

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