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The Media's Enormous Gender Problem, In One Chart

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By now, it should be obvious that women are drastically underrepresented in the news media. But a new study by the Women's Media Center shows just how pervasive the media's gender gap is across all kinds of news outlets.

The center issued an update to its annual State of the Media report on Wednesday, with new research about the number of male and female contributors to organizations in print, on television and online. The results were clear: 63 percent of the 27,000 pieces of content examined by the study were contributed by men. 36 percent were contributed by women—a nearly 2-1 difference.

The platform didn't matter. The eight newspapers studied had 63 percent male contributors; the four evening newscasts had 65 percent; the four websites had 60 percent; and the two main wire services had 65 percent.

The gender of the people at the top wasn't an easy predictor of the levels of gender parity either. Diane Sawyer, for instance, had the second-highest percentage of male contributors (66) out of all the evening newscasts. (She was beaten by Scott Pelley, whose CBS newscast had a whopping 72 percent male contribution rate.) And New York Times editor Jill Abramson is presiding over the biggest gender gap out of all of the top 10 newspapers in the country.

And the gender gaps are especially pronounced in areas like crime, politics and world affairs. Women, it would seem, are still being disproportionately confined to more stereotypically "feminine" beats such as lifestyle and health.

Take a look at the WMC's findings in the sobering graphic below.

women in media

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