Current Issue Summary

Vol. 46, No. 3, Summer 2018

Women Journos Fighting on Multiple Fronts—at Home, Too

The #metoo movement exposed fault lines throughout the media world with the reverberations continuing.  Newsrooms have been getting increased scrutiny, with the lens widening beyond sexual assault to issues of institutional bias in reporting and editing, persistent barriers to advancement for women journalists, and inequities in compensation.  It’s not a pretty picture and it indicates disingenuousness on the part of media organizations who expose the misdeeds of others while failing to rectify what’s wrong in house.

What is changing is that the problems for women in media have moved from the anecdotal to the verified and documented.  The presence of more women in higher education and academic research has played a huge part, as has the courage of women pushing from inside their corporations and professional organizations.  Recent research on advancement for women journalists is summarized in this issue of MEDIA REPORT TO WOMEN.

Covering Soccer a Hassle for Women Reporters

The World Cup and soccer matches in general have long been rowdy events but 2018 has been particularly unpleasant for women sports reporters covering the matches. They’ve endured groping from fans and online harassment from trolls who dislike women reporting on male athletic contests. Details of the offensive behavior, with a video link to one occurrence, and what women are doing to fight back are included in this article.

SOS to Hollywood: Calling More Female Critics

We all know that there’s lots of fixing to be done in Hollywood — correcting bad behavior behind and in front of the camera and back in the studio offices.  We need to re-emphasize that the absence of women in senior roles is hurting the cinema arts, the audiences who patronize movies, and the employment opportunities for women in film.

The focus on Hollywood bigwigs obscures a key component of film success: reviews by critics.  Here the poor performance is on hiring by media outlets who disproportionately employ male reviewers.

Thumbs Down 2018: Film Critics and Gender, and Why It Matters, released in July by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, documents how women’s underemployment as film reviewers impacts the exposure female-driven films and/or films directed by women receive.  An analysis by The Washington Post adds another dimension to the conversation about the impact of so few female critics.  Both are summarized in this issue.

Analysis — Pressures Facing Women Journalists in Emerging Countries by Michelle J. Foster, Partner – Media Development, Newsgain

Research in Depth – Gender Politics and Transformation in the South African Newsroom by Glenda Daniels, University of the Witwatersrand

Research in Depth – Handmaids and Duggars: The Significance of Christian Patriarchy in Pop Culture by Anna Brecke, Stonehill College

Commentary: Dishing About the Duchess by Sheila Gibbons, Editor, MEDIA REPORT TO WOMEN

Plus 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!