Toronto Metropolitan University

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Gender Representation on Canadian Television News during Provincial Elections: A Longitudinal Study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-02, 16:08 authored by Marsha BarberMarsha Barber, Julia Levitan, Maija Kappler

This article uses content analysis to investigate coverage on CBC, CTV, and Global television networks in the crucial one-month periods leading up to the last three elections in Ontario, Canada. The research addresses both the number and length of clips (sound bites) from women, as compared to clips from men. It measures clip counts, airtime, and explores whether clips came from candidates, partisans (working for a party), experts, or non-experts. The findings from this content analysis indicate that a majority of clips came from men. Significantly, two of the networks have more “expert” clips from men than women over all three elections, and all three networks have more clips from men than women in the elections of 2007 and 2011. This means that pundits who comment upon and analyze provincial elections are usually male. This article explores the implications of these findings and considers confounding factors such as evidence that women may be more reluctant to offer expert opinion, even when they are as qualified as the men who do so. The analysis is important because those given airtime during events such as elections have the opportunity to influence discourse. In addition, the priorities and observations of those interviewed have the potential to influence political campaigns. Women’s issues, for example, may be seen to carry less weight with the population at large if fewer women than men are given a public forum where they might express their opinions.





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