Women are invisible to the Australian media

By Chris Pash | 8 April 2019

The media in Australia don't see women as good sources for stories, according to analysis of 15 local news websites.

The 2019 Women for Media Report, You Can’t Be What You Can’t See, by the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia took a  snapshot of influential news sites on four consecutive Thursdays in October last year.

Report authors Jenna Price and Anne Maree Payne say stories in the media do not reflect the fact that women make up 50.7% of the population. 

"What do we read when we enter the top space of those websites? We read stories about men, by men," Price and Payne write.

"Our snapshot showed men were quoted far more often than women and that the stories by male journalists were positioned slightly more often in the top spots on the home pages of these websites. Women write about royals and men write about political leaders. Men write about sport, women write about media, the arts and entertainment."

The research found women accounted for 34% of direct sources quoted and 24% of indirect sources (sources named but not directly quoted). 

About 50% of the sites achieved gender parity on the representation of male and female journalists.

Female journalists wrote 76% of celebrity and royals stories, about 40% of stories relating to government, politics, business, finance, law, crime and justice, and 12% of sport stories. 

The Australian Financial Review had the lowest of female sources at 14%. BuzzFeed had the highest at 59%.

The results: 

websites sources

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