Current Issue

Vol. 45, No. 2, Spring 2017

Fox Flameouts: Shine Follows O’Reilly Out the Door

The exit door at Fox News has been getting a workout, with news personality Bill O’Reilly having been told he needn’t come back after his “vacation,” and his boss, Fox News Co-President Bill Shine, leaving amid allegations he concealed the extent of O’Reilly’s bad behavior with female employees and guests and with subordinates in the Fox newsroom.  It’s also alleged that Shine tried to protect former news chief Roger Ailes, who left Fox last year amid a flurry of allegations about sexual harassment, and who died May 18. The company is facing sex and racial discrimination lawsuits and a federal investigation into the way payments to former employees alleging sexual harassment were accounted for.

It’s getting lonely in the C-suite for Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch, who stood by the ousted employees for years after they ensnared themselves and Fox in a web of lies about the crudest of crude, unchecked workplace behavior. Murdoch’s loyalty was costly: payouts to the Ailes and O’Reilly victims, plus severance to Ailes and O’Reilly, is estimated at $85 million.  And then there is the cost of dismissing Shine and a string of legal disputes still to be resolved.

Parental Leave in American Newsrooms: How Good Is It? 

The answer: hard to say.

The young journalists that staff many of the nation’s news outlets are discovering that news-gathering and new parenting are not easy to blend, and that support from employers varies widely.

Melody Kramer, a former NPR digital strategist and Nieman Fellow, took a stab at it for the Poynter Institute:  “The Family and Medical Leave Act states companies with more than 50 employees must protect new moms’ jobs and give them 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but whether or not it’s paid depends on the company and the state,” Kramer says. “Many of the news organizations’ human resources sites I checked don’t list leave benefits, which forces potential parents to ask during interviews, or just wait and see. And many newsrooms have downsized in recent years, so they may not have 50 employees on-site. And even if they do, leaving a deadline-driven job for weeks may not be culturally acceptable.”

Kramer’s informative Poynter post is here:

No Matter the Counting Method, Women Still Poorly Represented in Reporting

A Women’s Media Center report examining who provides coverage for 20 top news outlets shows that female journalists continue to report less of the news than do male journalists — with the disparity especially glaring in television.

The WMC’s “Divided 2017” study finds that at ABC, CBS, and NBC combined, men report three times as much of the news as women do. Work by women anchors, field reporters, and correspondents has actually declined, falling to 25.2 percent of reports in 2016 from 32 percent when the organization published its previous report in 2015.

The research, which monitored news outlets for three months of 2016, found that the gender gap persists in traditional newspapers, online news, wire services, and TV news.  Data are here:

Glamour, Outside Make Special Push to Showcase Female Contributors

Understanding that gender balance in editorial and advertising content can make a powerful impact on readers. Glamour and Outside recently published issues that made a stated effort to draw on female talent in a big way.

Glamour Magazine’s editorial photos in the February 2017 issue were produced entirely by women.  Outside Magazine’s April issue followed a similar philosophy. Dubbed the “XX Factor Issue,” the special production celebrates women who have made history over the course of Outside’s 40-year run, and shines a light on the issues, athletes, and thinkers expected to inspire the next generation.

Choice of College Major Has Long-Term Impact on Career Compensation

The choice of a college major helps to drive the gender career gap, according to a study by Glassdoor. Because men and women systematically sort into different college majors, they experience different early career paths, which pay differently, the study says.

Using a unique dataset of more than 46,900 resumes shared on Glassdoor, the analysis showed that many college majors that lead to high-paying roles in tech and engineering are male dominated, while majors that lead to lower-paying roles in social sciences and liberal arts tend to be female-dominated, placing men in higher-paying career pathways, on average.  One comparison shows the salary of an accounting major ($57,242) vs. that of a communications major ($50,268).

Of the 15 most female-dominated professions, public relations is No. 6, journalism is No. 15.  And the 15 college majors with the least clear career paths include communications and journalism.  More here:

Research in Depth — The Disney Princess Sidekicks: Men till Necessary to the Disney Princess Narrative by Jen Bethmann

Research in Depth — Stereotypes as the Basis for Humor in Saturday Night Live Parodies of Hillary Clinton by Erika Falk

Research in Progress — Trolls Trumped the Election? Understanding whether digital harassment caused a spiral of silence during the 2016 election cycle by Candi Carter Olson and Victoria LaPoe

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!