Academic articles

Pushy or a Princess? Women Experts and British Broadcast News

Four times as many males as females appeared as experts on flagship television and radio news programmes in the United Kingdom as of the early 2010s. This study draws on four complementary sets of data to explore the reasons behind this disparity. The findings point to a combination of journalists’ news production processes and women’s perceptions of appropriate social norms and roles. A high proportion of woman experts surveyed lack confidence, saying they fear they will be perceived as self-promoting and “pushy” for wanting to appear on air. Broadcast journalists report women need to be persuaded and wooed, acting like “princesses” and therefore making male experts less trouble to recruit.

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Journalism, Gender and Power

Journalism, Gender and Power revisits the key themes explored in the 1998 edited collection News, Gender and Power. It takes stock of progress made to date, and also breaks ground in advancing critical understandings of how and why gender matters for journalism and current democratic cultures.

Part 1 Chapter 4 by Suzanne Frank and Lis Howell “Seeking women’s expertise in the UK broadcast news media” looks at the Expert Women project. The book contains 24 contributions.

This new volume develops research insights into issues such as the influence of media ownership and control on sexism, women’s employment, and “macho” news cultures, the gendering of objectivity and impartiality, tensions around the professional identities of journalists, news coverage of violence against women, the sexualization of women in the news, the everyday experience of normative hierarchies and biases in newswork, and the gendering of news audience expectations, amongst other issues.

These issues prompt vital questions for feminist and gender-centred explorations concerned with reimagining journalism in the public interest. Contributors to this volume challenge familiar perspectives, and in so doing, extend current parameters of dialogue and debate in fresh directions relevant to the increasingly digitalized, interactive intersections of journalism with gender and power around the globe.

Journalism, Gender and Power will inspire readers to rethink conventional assumptions around gender in news reporting—conceptual, professional, and strategic—with an eye to forging alternative, progressive ways forward.

Read the full manuscript here or you can also access the full article here on this open account from City, University of London