women in election coverage

This infographic was produced by an organization called The 4th Estate, whose mission is to create visualizations that detail who has a voice in newsmedia. As they describe on their website: “The 4th Estate collects data from a sampling of news stories from US national print outlets, TV broadcast and radio transcripts covering the 2012 election. These stories are contextually analyzed and broken down by topic, sentiment and newsmaker. The data for this graphic includes quotes and statements from newsmakers who provide subjective insight. Statements from candidates are not counted.”  This work specifically looks at the gender breakdown of those who were quoted in major news outlets during the 2012 election on topics related to “Women’s Issues” during the campaign, including abortion, birth control, the Planned Parenthood organization and women’s rights in general.


Provide a basic analysis of this infographic. Is there an imbalance in terms of the gender of contributors discussing these issues in major news outlets? Is it consistent across all media formats, or does it differ based on the medium or specific producer?

What do you think are the implications of this gender composition in media contributions? Does it make a difference for the types of stories that are told in media? Does that have an impact on broader society?

What might be done to shift this gender composition toward greater equity?

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