Women and Men in Television News – The Unequal Voices

Author: Viktorija Car, Karolina Leaković, Anja Stević, Jelena Stipović


Presence of women’s faces, voices and characters in media, especially audiovisual, has a significant influence on perpetuating and/or creating values, attitudes and behaviors of public (citizens), in terms of gender and gender stereotypes. This research focuses on gender representation in the national primetime television newscasts on HTV, Nova TV and RTL. The goal was to determine correlation between authorship and representation of women and men in the news – who and about whom reports, who is (re)presented, whose voices are being heard? The authors have conducted research on gender representation, aimed at determining whether and to what extent mentioned mediated image of the world is gender-marked. Quantitative content analysis of 3148 news units of 180 prime time newscasts broadcasted over five years (2009 – 2013) was undertaken. The research shows that women in primetime newscasts occupied leading positions: women authors were 42.6% of the analyzed units, while 23.9% of them were men; editors positions are held in the parity ratio (38.33% women and 39.44% men), however, men as authors are more visible – they appear in the author’s role in a quarter of cases, while women in only one fifth. As news presenters or anchors, men appeared in 60% of primetime newscasts analyzed. Women are strongly under-represented as news main characters as they appear in only 8.3% of cases, and men in four times more – 33.4%. Men are three times more likely to have the opportunity to speak in the news, while female voices are missing from the 40% of news units whose authors are women and from more than a half of whose authors are men.

Key words: authorship, gender equality, gender representation, journalists, news, television
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