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Newsrooms stuck in Mad Men era

Newsrooms stuck in the ‘Mad Men’ era

This website is all about giving women their fair share of voice in the news; because we know what is wrong with the system, as we also know how it is to be a woman in a newsroom. The recent story about the editor-in-chief of Bild, one of the flagships of the German Axel Springer group, is not a surprise – just a sad reminder that very few things have really changed…

In the Axel Springer case, the editor had remained in his position despite the accusations of power abuse and favoritism, until a New York Times story brought the laundry in public: 

The story was written by the newspaper’s media columnist Ben Smith. He said that after sexual harassment complaints against Reichelt, he was earlier this year on a short leave while questions of misconduct were investigated. The allegation included that he had promoted a woman he had an affair with to a top newsroom position. Reichelt denied the allegation that he had abused his authority. After a brief investigation, Reichelt was reinstated at the office – until he was fired after the New York Times made a world news story out of him (probably because he was not one of their own editors).

According to a survey commissioned in 2020 by the Gates Foundation ‘The Missing perspective of women in news’, written by Luba Kassova and published by the International Women’s Media Foundation, the A male-dominated culture is one of the leading stated reasons why there is no observed positive correlation between the proportion of women in newsrooms/senior leadership and the portrayal of women in the news. 

Women’s expert voices remain significantly muted in high profile news genres such as politics (where men’s share of voices is between three and seven times higher than that of women) and the economy (where men’s share of voices is between two and 31 times higher than that of women).

A pronoun analysis conducted by the international strategy consultancy AKAS, which examined women’s share of quoted voices as sources, protagonists or experts in the online editions of 19 news outlets between August 2020 and August 2021 found that none of the above-mentioned news organisations led by women editors are even close to gender parity in terms of share of voice.

Share of Voice – Women

  • Guardian Media ranks 5th with 37%
  • The Washington Post ranks 8th with 35%.
  • The Sowetan ranks 12th with 31%.
  • Reuters ranks 16th with 24%
  • Financial Times ranks 19th with 24%.
  • The Economist ranks 19th with 20%.


Read Also:  Do you also find this article by 'The Economist' terribly sexist?

Gender Pay Gap

A gender pay gap analysis of the latest available data in the UK conducted by AKAS again and written again by Luba Kassova, reveals that 95% of the news organisations tracked have not reached gender parity in salaries.

Amount women paid less than men (median hourly wage)

  • Guardian women ranks 2nd with 4.9%
  • Financial Times ranks 13th with 15.9%
  • Reuters ranks 14th with 17.6%
  • The Economist ranks 17th with 19.3%  

The percentages show clearly a direct correlation between how a news outlet treats women as employees and how as news sources and/or audience.

Until when will the patriarchs be allowed to set the rules the way it suits them?

Moonshot News is an independent European news website for all IT, Media and Advertising professionals, powered by women and with a focus on driving the narrative for diversity, inclusion and gender equality in the industry.

Our mission is to provide top and unbiased information for all professionals and to make sure that women get their fair share of voice in the news and in the spotlight!

We produce original content, news articles, a curated calendar of industry events and a database of women IT, Media and Advertising associations.

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