Current Issue Summary

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2019


Early Political Coverage Exposes Bias Against Women

The crowded Democratic field of candidates for U.S. president includes a record number of women seeking the highest office in the country.  That in itself speaks well of the U.S. democracy. However, media coverage continues to portray women and men as having disparate interests and, dare we say, worthiness for the job. So far, we’re also seeing different shades of emphasis, as in which women are “more likeable” and can overcome sexism, and which men “can beat Trump.”

Threats, Violence Spiral Against Women Reporting on Conflict

It can’t be clearer: journalism has become a more risky profession, particularly for journalists at news flashpoints around the world.  The reporting environment has become more weighted by intimidation, threats of physical and sexual violence, incarceration, and attacks on journalists’ personal space and relationships. Reporters Without Borders, in its RSF Index 2018, makes it clear that undermining journalists is gaining ground as a political tactic.

Incremental Gains for Women in Latest Census of Speaking Roles

2018 may be remembered as the year in which things were not quite as they appeared for female film characters.  While female protagonists rebounded last year, reaching a recent historical high, the percentages of females as speaking characters and major characters remained relatively stagnant. That’s the takeaway from the latest It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. These are the findings of a content analysis of over 2,500 characters appearing in the 100 top domestic grossing films of 2018.

Research in Depth: Introducing Post-World War II Women’s Pages and the Women Who Steered them into A New Age by Kimberly Wilmot Voss

Research in Progress: Portraying Rape in the Top 20 SVOD Shows of 2018:  Changing Rape Myths in Television Narratives by Rachel R. Reynolds and Maria Giovanna Musso

Research in Progress: Online Harassment of U.S. Women Journalists and its Impact on Press Freedom by Caitlin Ring Carlson and Haley Witt

Commentary: Consumer Perceptions of “Real” Women in Advertising by Amanda Mabry-Flynn and Sara Champlin

Plus News Briefs and Book Reviews!

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!