Friday, March 25, 2005

Shirley directs us to FAIR's study on inclusion and exclusion

On the subject on inclusion and exclusion, Shirley e-mails to draw our attention to FAIR's recent study "Women's Opinions Also Missing on Television: Women of color virtually invisible on Sunday shows."

From the study:

In recent weeks, criticism of the shortage of women's bylines on newspaper op-ed pages has roiled the media waters, prompted by syndicated columnist Susan Estrich's attack on Los Angeles Times op-ed page editor Michael Kinsley for his failure to bring more women onto the Times' op-ed page.
This issue certainly deserves discussion, but the problem extends beyond newspaper op-ed pages and into television.
[. . .]
Surprisingly, NBC's Chris Matthews Show came out almost exactly even on gender, with 51 men and 49 women. Unfortunately, the show is unique in its gender balance: This Week and Fox News Sunday hewed more closely to the print media's unspoken "quota of one" for female pundits, featuring 22 percent and 25 percent women respectively. Meet the Press—which occasionally included more than one woman per panel and once (2/20/05) even filled its panel with four—had 39 percent women. All of the program hosts, who direct the discussions, are white men: NBC's Chris Matthews and Tim Russert, ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Fox's Chris Wallace.But which women get to speak? Certainly not women of color. While the Chris Matthews Show did well on gender parity, every one of its 49 female panelists was white. The only two appearances by non-white women in the six months studied were PBS's Gwen Ifill (Meet the Press, 10/24/04) and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile (This Week, 2/27/05). And Brazile falls into a somewhat different category—unlike the other shows, This Week's pundit roundtable sometimes includes newsmakers like her in addition to journalists.

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