Current Issue Summary

Vol. 51, No. 1, Winter 2023

Thumbnail summaries of this issue’s major articles:

25 Years of Film Analysis: Women’s Influence Modest

Over the last quarter century, the percentage of women working in key behind-the-scenes roles on top grossing films has increased a scant 7 percentage points, according to the Celluloid Ceiling report released by Dr. Martha Lauzen, founder and executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.  “Given the number of panels, research report, and hand-wringing devoted to this issue over the last two and a half decades, one would expect more substantial gains,” Lauzen noted.  “It took the accumulation of over two decades of advocacy efforts, research reports and an EEOC investigation to double the percentage of women directors from 9% to 18%, and women are still dramatically underrepresented in that role. “

Beyond the ’Weather Girl’: Black Women Fight for Respect in Meteorology

Emmys and Peabodies for TV news coverage notwithstanding, it’s the weather report that leads viewer interest at 6 and 11 each day. Traditionally, the reports have been delivered by a white male, the station’s chief meteorologist, who holds the job for years, sometimes outlasting the news anchors who share the set.  More women have entered the profession in local markets, the Weather Channel and other weather sources, but for women, attaining the role of chief meteorologist has been a tough climb, especially for women of color.

A Journalist Is Killed Every Four Days, UNESCO Says

Eighty-six journalists and media workers were killed around the world in 2022 – one every four days, according to UNESCO data, highlighting the grave risks and vulnerabilities that journalists continue to face in the course of their work. “After several years of consecutive declines, the steep rise in the number of journalists killed in 2022 is alarming. Authorities must step up their efforts to stop these crimes and ensure their perpetrators are punished, because indifference is a major factor in this climate of violence,” said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO’s Director-General.

News Seekers Less Polarized Than Thought, Stanford Researchers Say

“The news industry is really volatile right now and has been for a while,” says Shoshana Vasserman, an assistant professor of economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business. She has a unique lens on how the news environment is changing: With Gregory Martin, an associate professor of political economy at Stanford GSB, and Andrey Simonov, an associate professor of marketing at Columbia Business School and a national fellow at the Hoover Institution, she has been tracking the online habits of thousands of volunteers to get a better idea of where people get their news.

Research in Depth: The lessons college-aged women take from news media narratives of sexual assault and rape by Kristen Grimmer

Research in Depth: Gendered harassment of female music journalists by Simone Carter

Commentary: Women Journalists Shatter Stereotypes in “She Said” Film by Tracy Everbach

Plus News Briefs and Book Reviews!

Media Report to Women has hard copies of back issues dating to its founding in 1972 and PDFs from more recent years. Indispensable for research!