Women as Experts
If you had to guess: what percentage of pundits interviewed by national media (tv and print) are women?
If you said less than 20%, you're right...
4th Estate, an organization that does statistical analysis on the national media, has created an interesting infographic about the national media's coverage of the 2012 elections in regards to the gender breakdown of pundits and interviews with "experts."
The results of the chart are particularly staggering. (Click for the full chart.) It breaks down a sample of data from national media outlets between November 2011 and May 2012. In every section the results are the same -- men are quoted at significantly higher rates than women. This holds true on every topic and on every media outlet.
The top TV news show that quoted women made up less than 33% of the quotes (Meet the Press). That was the very best ratio. The worst offender was CNN State of the Union, which only included quotes from women about 10% of the time.
Even on topics relating to "women's issues" such as abortion, birth control or Planned Parenthood, men were quoted at disproportionate rates to women. See chart below (and click for full chart). On the topic of abortion, men were quoted more than 80% of the time.
These weighted ratios inherently lead to biased reporting. How can you accurately report a story on abortion funding, for example, if more than 80% of the people you interview could never personally have or need abortion services?
This proves yet again how important it is to closely watch the media, as hard numbers and analysis like this makes women's underrepresentation in the media objective.