Despite efforts made to sway gender bias in the media, new research has found that bias toward women still exists within the publication of many news stories.
A team at Simon Fraser University (SFU) published their findings in PLOS One, unveiling how women are less quoted in the media compared to men.
The Canadian-based researchers had collected data from several news outlets over a span of two years, between Fall 2018 and Fall 2020. Using the Gender Gap Tracker, the news coverage arising from outlets such as CBC, CTV, Global, and HuffPost Canada, were analyzed to identify people quoted based on gender.
The assessment of the data showed that 71 percent of people quoted in the media were men, while only 29 percent were women.
“We found that, although men and women politicians appear regularly, men are quoted far more often. This is the case even despite Canada’s gender-balanced cabinet,” said Maite Taboada, a professor of linguistics at SFU, in a news release.
“While this proportion varies across news outlets and time intervals, the general pattern is consistent. We believe that, in a world with about 50% women, this should not be the case. Although journalists naturally need to quote newsmakers who are men, they also have a certain amount of control over who they approach as sources,” Taboada stated in the findings.
Researchers now aim at raising awareness among news outlets to promote more diversity in their daily coverage.
The study was also authored by Fatemeh Torabi Asr, Mohammad Mazraeh, Alexandre Lopes, Vasundhara Gautam, Junette Gonzales, and Prashanth Rao.