WMC Releases Annual Report on Women in U.S. Media

WMC-logo-tagline smudge line goneAnd the picture it paints is not so rosy, to be honest. In her forward to the report, Women’s Media Center President Julie Burton sums it up in one sentence: “Media on all platforms are failing women.”How, you’re wondering? A few of the report’s key findings:

  • Men still dominate news coverage. In 2014, 62.1 percent of news reporting bylines, on-camera appearances, and producer credits went to men. Men also made up 74 percent of all guests on Sunday morning talk shows.
  • In film and television, there are more men in front of and behind the camera. Among the 200 movies and shows that made the most money in 2012 and 2013, male actors outnumbered female actresses by about two to one. (Looks like the Bechdel test isn’t going to be obsolete anytime soon.) Unsurprisingly, there were also many more male directors, writers, and showrunners.
  • There’s a wage gap in TV, too. Women television writers earn 92 cents for every dollar earned by white male writers.
  • Female journalism grads are looking outside of the media for jobs. With a stalled media job market, more and more women with journalism degrees are opting for careers in advertising and PR.

There are a few bright spots in the report. For instance, a number of high-profile publications like The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New Republic, and The New York Times Book Review have seen significant increases in their percentages of female book reviewers over the last few years. Probably not coincidentally, those outlets are also reviewing more books written by women.Overall, though, if you were looking for proof that gender inequality still exists across the media, you just found it. Burton hopes the report prompts more action to correct these imbalances. “There is an opportunity both to do good and to do well by expanding the talent and source pools to better serve the majority audience that is women,” she writes. “We can do better. And we must.”