He Said He Said

Forget he said/she said. In mainstream media, it’s more like he said/he said.

4th Estate’s new study of 2012 election-year coverage shows that major American newspapers and TV news programs feature up to seven times as many quotes from men as women. This is true even when “women’s issues” are the subject.

4th Estate analyzed a sample of leading media outlets from Nov. 1, 2011 through May 1, 2012. During this period, eighty-one percent of the sources quoted in print articles about abortion were men. Seventy-five percent of those quoted in articles about birth control were men. Sixty-seven percent of those quoted in articles about Planned Parenthood were men.

And here’s the kicker: Even in articles about women’s rights, men held the edge, claiming 52 percent of the quotes.

And here’s another kicker: The gender bias uncovered in the study was not limited to media with a conservative bent. In fact, MSNBC’s Hardball did an even lamer job of seeking women’s opinions about election issues than the Fox Special Report. The Fox show quoted men 77 percent of the time while Hardball quoted them 81 percent of the time. (Thanks a lot, Chris Matthews.) And the New York Times — the old gray lady herself, whose executive editor is Jill Abramson — quoted men 65 percent of the time.

This, despite the fact that women comprise 51 percent of the population. This, despite the fact that women, too, will vote in the upcoming election and just might deserve to have their views represented.

Check out 4th Estate’s infographic below and weep. Or throw up. Your choice.


Infographic courtesy of 4th Estate

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