Current Issue

Vol. 45, No. 3, Summer 2017

Anger Over Advancement, Compensation Deficits

Media organizations are being called out for lax efforts to improve professional advancement pipelines for women and compensating them equitably on their way to the top jobs and after they arrive at advanced levels.  On the hot seat: the BBC and the Wall Street Journal.

Analyses: Better Female Storytelling on TV

The small screen is proving to be fertile ground for mega-stars whose careers are best known through feature films, say two observers who’ve watched the shift: Jill Serjeant of Reuters and Frank Bruni of the New York Times.  Roles are more complex, meatier, and dispensing with tired stereotypes that have characterized so much of TV’s entertainment content.  “Forget playing ‘the girlfriend’ or ‘the mom,’” Serjeant says. “Television is proving an embarrassment of riches for women thanks to complex, original characters and female-centric plots that are attracting Oscar-caliber movie stars to the small screen.” Likewise, Frank Bruni of the New York Times is enthusiastic about what he sees as television’s opening up to significant roles for women in ways that film hasn’t, and in his view, probably won’t.

‘Verticals’: The Way to Go  to Capture Female Interest?

A Poynter Institute analysis looks at the introduction of “verticals,” content shaped for, and targeted to, female audiences who likely bypass more general media content.

Women’s Page Editor Turned Publisher Marjorie Paxson: Recognizing Women Journalism Pioneers

Kimberly Wilmot Voss looks at the career of legendary newspaper publisher Marj Paxson, not credited at the time of her death with all the headway she made in the profession, and expresses concern that the retirements, layoffs, and buyouts at newspapers mean a loss of institutional memory that marginalizes women.

Bias Toward Black Girls Starts As Early As Age 5, Report Says  

A groundbreaking study released in June by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality finds that adults view black girls as less innocent and more adult-like than their white peers, especially in the age range of 5-14.  The study, detailed in the new report, Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood, is the first of its kind to focus on girls, and builds on previous research on adult perceptions of black boys. That includes a 2014 study led by Phillip Goff that found that, beginning at age 10, black boys are more likely to be viewed as older and guilty of suspected crimes than white peers.

Indie Films Showcase Women’s Impact, Opportunity

The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film has released Women in Independent Film, a study that analyzes women’s behind-the-scenes representation on films screening at 23 high-profile film festivals in the United States in 2016-17.   Overall, women were 28% of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the independently and domestically produced films considered.  This represents an increase of 3 percentage points from 2015-16.


Research in Depth — Gamergate, violence and video games:  Re-thinking a culture of misogyny by Jeremy Freed

Research in Depth — Images that Divide: Faith and Feminism  In Television and Film by Rachel Winters, Erin Stiehler, and Sheila Peuchaud

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!