Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Only Three Percent of Media Decision Makers Are Women

On June 3, 2008, the day Barack Obama claimed the title of presumptive nominee of the Democratic party, CBS News released a poll that showed that nearly half of voters (45 percent) thought the media had been harder on Clinton than they had been on other candidates. Sixty-seven percent of those who thought the media has been harder on Clinton felt that it was at least somewhat the result of her gender.

I was reminded of the results of that poll today when I read the article by Carol Jenkins in the Christian Science Monitor titled Voices Too Often Missing In Op-Ed Land: Women's. Jenkins, the president of the Women’s Media Center, reports: “Overall, the figures on women syndicated opinion writers have been locked under 25 percent for years now. At the {Washington} Post, 17 of their 19 weekly or biweekly columnists are men. This pattern is repeated in many major publications in the United States.”

Jenkins goes on to say:

“But the problem goes beyond the bylines. The dismal representation of women on the op-ed pages is just the tip of the iceberg. Research from the Annenberg Public Policy Institute found that just 3 percent of the "clout" positions – the owners, publishers, and other ultimate decisionmakers – are women. The net effect of this is that almost everything we know about our world is cast through the male perspective. Women are just beginning to catch on to this fact.”

Given the male dominance of the media, it’s no wonder that throughout her campaign, Hillary Clinton faced an uphill battle against sexism and misogyny in news coverage. Tragically, not once did Democratic party leaders step forward to condemn this outrage. In fact, as I’ve said repeatedly, the DNC was only to happy to collude with the good old boys network in the media to hand the Democratic party’s nomination to Barack Obama.

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