Women’s role in media often in shadows

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By: Kayla Hunt, Columnist

“The Middle” is an American sitcom that depicts the daily lives of a middle class family in Indiana. I recently watched an episode of this series, in which one of the main characters, Frankie, was at work and she presented an idea to her boss. Her boss was intrigued by the idea, but asked one of his male employees to repeat Frankie’s suggestion so that he would feel more comfortable with approving of it.

Many sitcoms such as “The Middle” are known for providing comedic relief on societal issues. It has been underlined for many years that males are superior in the classroom, in the workplace, in society. It has been seen in many studies and in personal experiences that women do not feel comfortable sharing their opinions in male dominated forums. Has this uncomfortableness trickled down into the production of news?

As an aspiring female journalist, it is disappointing to see sexism being portrayed in the field of media. According to a survey conducted by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) in 2016, women continue to dominate about two thirds of graduates in the mass communications field, however, they only make up one-third of the media industry. It was reported in 2017 by the Women’s Media Center (WMC) that men are dominating U.S. media.

Women receive 38 percent of byline and other credits as opposed to men who receive 62 percent. Also according to WMC,  men produce most sports and crime justice, whereas women are more likely to report on topics such as health and education. It can be assumed that men are seen as more reliable, dependable sources than women, therefore resulting in men covering the majority of hard news. More women choose to pursue the field of journalism, however they do not nearly cover most of the news that we consume.

 

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