Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Where Are the Women? Press Club Panel Discusses How to Increase Sourcing, Commentary

The thorny and persistent problem of underrepresentation of women as news sources and sources of commentary received a thorough airing at the National Press Club Jan. 13.  A distinguished panel of journalists, ably moderated by Linda Kramer Jenning, Washington editor for Glamour magazine, discussed why this is and how it continues to bedevil editors, reporters and readers while also compromising the quality of journalism.

With poor gender balance, "You're not going to get the full range of opinions," said panelist Sally Buzbee, Washington bureau chief for the Associated Press. "I remember vividly during the Iraq war, the challenges of being able to talk to Iraqi women, and how one-sided that made much of our coverage."

But even without war and cultural barriers as explanations, women don't appear much in domestic news, either, as numerous content analyses have shown -- even when the subject matter directly affects them.

This panel discussion didn't offer a magic solution to how to solve the problem, but instead offered a spirited conversation about what is possible, what is being done, and how women can assert themselves as sources, reporters and commentators to occupy more of the real estate on news and editorial pages.  It's 107 minutes long and can be viewed here.

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