Current Issue Summary

Vol. 50, No. 2, Spring 2022

CPJ Tracking Press Threats in Ukraine, Russia

The Committee to Protect Journalists is compiling a weekly timeline of the war’s impact on journalists and independent media outlets in the region. At this writing at least seven journalists have been killed while covering the war and CPJ is investigating whether others died because of their work. Journalists also have been injured or detained by Russian forces across Ukraine and scores of reporters in Russia have left their own country or are facing prosecution in the face of harsh crackdowns on independent media. CPJ’s monitor is updated frequently at https://cpj.org/2022/03/russia-ukraine-war-press-freedom-watch/

IFJ Launches Global Study of Journalism’s Gender Wage Gap

The International Federation of Journalists is partnering with Wageindicator to collect information on jobs in journalism in an effort to find out where, how, and why women’s pay consistently lags behind that of male colleagues.

“The gender pay gap is not linked to women being less qualified but rather to their access to highly paid positions being limited, the fact that shared parenting responsibility is not the norm yet, that few media companies provide for full transparency regarding pay and bonuses, and that too few collective agreements have been adopted with solid provisions on reducing pay inequalities between women and men and balancing work and family life,” IFJ says.

To take the survey, visit https://wageindicator.org/salary/salary-survey/salary-surveys-journalism

UNESCO: Media Business Model Broken, Fundamental Right to Information at Risk

A New UNESCO report examining global trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development from 2016-2021 highlights the existential threat social media now poses to the very survival of the professional news media. In the last five years, both news audiences and advertising revenues have migrated in vast numbers to internet platforms.

The report finds that Google and Meta/Facebook now soak up approximately half of all global digital advertising spending, while global newspaper advertising revenue has fallen by half in the last five years. UNESCO’s full report can be read here: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000380618

Reuters Institute Study Sees Few Women in Top Editor Jobs

The Reuters Institute has analyzed the gender breakdown of top editors in a strategic sample of 240 major online and offline news outlets in 12 different markets across five continents. Building on and extending its work from past years (Andı et al. 2020; Robertson et al. 2021), the Institute examined a strategic sample with varying levels of gender equality, as measured by the UN Gender Inequality Index.

Among the findings: Only 21% of the 179 top editors across the 240 brands covered are women, despite the fact that, on average, 40% of journalists in the 12 markets are women. In 11 out of 12 markets, the majority of top editors are men, including in countries where women outnumber men among working journalists. No market in the sample has a majority of women.

Academic Citations Continue Patterns of Gender, Race, National Exclusivity

A recent wave of studies has focused on the identities of communication scholars, quantifying the degree to which whites and males dominate the discipline. A new study by scholars at the University of North Carolina and the Reuters Institute in the UK analyzes the communication citation elite (CCE)—a group of more than 1,000 of the most-cited scholars in communication research—in terms of race, gender, and country of employment over 20 years.  Applying both computational and content analysis methods, they found that 91.6% of CCE members are white, 74.7% are men, and 77.8% work in the United States.

Research in Depth: Getting to Know Women as Wage Earners: A Foucauldian Analysis of News Magazines by Kathryn A. Cady

Research in Depth: An Analysis of Mommy Influencers Through the Lens of The Feminine Mystique by Mikayla Pevac

Retrospective: Mirabella and Talley: Legacies of Two Fashion Journalism Giants by Sheila Gibbons

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!