University of Nevada, Las Vegas, professor Alicia Shepard had students analyze the New York Times' front page for two months, revealing a substantial gender disparity.
Students Alexi Layton and Rochelle Richards penned an article for Poynter's website, summarizing their study. Layton and Richards found that front page New York Times stories cited far more male than female sources. In total, the students analyzed 352 front page stories during the months of January and February 2013. From all the sources cited, 65 percent were male and only 19 percent were female. Seventeen percent of sources were unknown.
"This is not an extensive analysis, and the Times numbers aren’t necessarily reflective of the number of female sources in news stories published by other outlets," Layton and Richards wrote. They also reached out to the Times for comment. Associate Managing Editor for Standards Phil Corbett said in an email to the students, "I’m not surprised that there is a significant discrepancy between male and female sources. But I am disappointed to see just how big the gap is, and how pervasive it is across various types of stories."
Other studies have reported similar findings. A 4th Estate study released last year found that newspapers quoted more male than female sources in articles about the 2012 election—even when the issues discussed pertained primarily to women.