Current Issue

Vol. 44, No. 4, Fall 2016

Clinton Shortchanged by News Coverage Tone, Focus

On Election Night 2016, there was tremendous consternation among journalists for being so wide of the mark in their expectations about the U.S. presidential election outcome. Their bewilderment continued into the following days, with journalists acknowledging that they bore some of the responsibility for being disconnected from readers and viewers.

Their role, and their ability to serve the American public, will be debated for months and years to come, especially now that the incoming president, and members of his inner circle, are openly hostile to the mainstream press and eager to limit its role and access to officials and to information.

That’s the larger debate. A narrower portion of the concern involves the type of coverage Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each received. Analyses summarized in this comprehensive article about media coverage indicates Clinton was deprived of reporting that ought to have contained better context about her activities, more attention to her positions on national issues, and more caution about contributing to a narrative that positioned her and Trump as equivalent in their negatives.

Gender Gap Persists in the Political Punditocracy

Men provided the majority of primetime commentary during the Republican and Democratic conventions on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX even as viewers witnessed history with the nomination of the first female presidential nominee, according to analysis from a project monitoring the gender balance in coverage of the election.

CNN beat out MSNBC and FOX with women appearing on screen 35% of the time during the Republican convention and 39% of the time during the Democratic convention, although the cable news network did not achieve parity.

Pantsuit Nation Rocks Facebook with Soaring Membership Numbers

The Pantsuit Nation Facebook page became the Internet phenomenon of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. An astonishing form of political expression and political therapy for supporters of Hillary Clinton, the page started by Libby Chamberlain after watching Donald Trump refer to Clinton as “a nasty woman” took off.  t was a secret page, mean-ng that one member had to invite another member in. It snowballed, and at this writing, is north of three and a half million members.  What Pantsuit Nation offered was a safe Internet space – a rare thing — for women to put a lie to the notion that Clinton is not an inspiring public figure.

Earlier Country Music Era Lyrics Better for Women

Was it really better when Billy Ray Cyrus recorded “Achy Breaky Heart” in 1992, and Deanna

Carter recorded “Strawberry Wine” for her album titled, “Did I Shave My Legs for This” in 1995? Maybe so. Although content analyses have examined the portrayal of women in objectifying and demeaning

ways in many forms of media, including several genres of music, little research has explored the portrayal of women in country music. A study in the current issue of Sex Roles (Girl in a Country Song: Gender Roles and Objectification of Women in Popular Country Music across 1990 to 2014 by Eric Rasmussen and Rebecca Densley) analyzed the lyrics of 750 country songs popular in the United States across almost three decades for their portrayal of female gender roles and objectification of women. Findings revealed that country songs from 2010 to 2014 objectified women more, referred to their tight clothing or revealing clothing, focused on their appearance, and depicted them in traditional roles.

Research in Depth: Fandom as a fortress: The gendered safe spaces of online fan fiction communities by Christine Dandrow

Research in Depth:  How to cover rape: U.S. journalists’ critique of Rolling Stone’s campus rape story by Stine Eckert and Linda Steiner

Commentary: AP Stylebook Updates Gender References, Sort Of by Tracy Everbach

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!