Current Issue

Vol. 45, No. 1, Winter 2017


Covering the Women’s March:  From Robust to Paltry

The Women’s March in Washington on Saturday, Jan. 21, and local marches around the U.S. and the world, gave rise to this question for the media:  How big does an event have to be to justify big-time coverage?

For Fox News, and for many newspapers, the estimated half million who gathered in the nation’s capital and elsewhere that day wasn’t a big enough, or important enough, crowd to merit continuous coverage on television or a spot on the front page the next day.  Fox preferred a rehash of the prior day’s presidential inauguration with a few tepid reports from the march that focused on Madonna’s profanity-laced comments at the Washington march and skepticism about how large the crowd actually was.  CNN and MSNBC, along with Fox, covered the morning interfaith service at the National Cathedral, but Fox didn’t join CNN or MSNBC when the service concluded and they switched to continuous all day and all evening coverage and analysis of the march.

On the print side, a Quartz analysis of almost 450 newspapers archived by the Newseum found that more than 22% didn’t even mention the protests on their Sunday front pages. Another 27% mentioned the protests, but did not make them their lead story.

Employment Ads Language Can Undercut Diversity

It turns out that ads for “Help Wanted, Female,” and “Help Wanted, Male” haven’t really gone the way of the Dodo Bird.  Employers can subtly recruit by gender according to the “gender tone” of the copy in their ads for job vacancies, according to an analysis by employment consultant Textio (and conversely, can avoid invoking gender by language choice).

Handbook Makes the Case for Gender Diversity as Key to Organization Success

As part of Women in News: Gender and Media Freedom Strategy, a four-year initiative made possible through funding by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has released “WINning Strategies: Creating Stronger News Media Organizations by Increasing Gender Diversity,” highlighting media success stories in gender diversity.

The handbook seeks to shine a spotlight on media organizations that have prioritized gender equality within their organizations, leadership teams, and within their audience, and as a result, have seen a positive return. The handbook was co-authored by international media management and marketing consultant Michelle Foster and MRTW Editor Sheila Gibbons. It can be downloaded free of charge here.

Media Habits Shift with Moms’ Different Working Lives

Regardless of working status, mothers show increasing adoption and usage rates of both well established and seemingly newer forms of media. But new data from Nielsen finds that advertisers should be paying attention to the different habits of mothers who make their living outside their home and those who make their living in it.

According to the third-quarter 2016 Nielsen Total Audience Report, mothers of all kinds show tremendous utilization of media and technology. But while working mothers have the most access to these devices and platforms, stay-at-home mothers have more of a penchant for them. According to the report, device penetration is higher among mothers who work outside the home than it is among stay-at-home moms. Working mothers also tend to be more affluent and highly educated, and are therefore more likely to live in high-tech homes. The full third-quarter 2016 Nielsen Total Audience Report can be accessed here.

Research in Depth: Public relations, politics, and rape culture: A case study of frames and counter-frames in the press by Sarah VanSlette and Amber Hinsley

Research in Depth: ‘Caught up in the times’: Women remember their careers in sports newsrooms, 1975-1990 by Dunja Antunovic

Commentary: Women Rule Television, Don’t They? by Martha M. Lauzen

Plus Book Reviews and News Briefs!

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!