Toronto Metropolitan University

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Not Seen, Not Heard: Gender Representation on Canadian Television News during the Leadup to the 2011 Federal Election

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-02, 16:07 authored by Marsha BarberMarsha Barber, Julia Levitan

The findings suggest that a significant majority of clips came from men. On average, women account for less than one fifth of the interview clips. Women are sometimes used as non-experts, and interviewed when an opinion is solicited from an “average” person on the street. However, when expert opinion is sought, women are interviewed less often than men. In addition, when partisan opinion is solicited, women are rarely consulted. Interestingly, there is no correlation between whether the reporter is male or female. Female reporters are as likely to interview male experts, as male reporters are to use male interview subjects. This dearth of women on the air is important. Those given air time during events such as elections have the opportunity to influence national discourse. In addition, the priorities and observations of those interviewed have the potential to influence political campaigns. Traditional women’s issues, such as childcare, may be seen to carry less weight with the population at large if few women are given a forum where they might express their opinions. This paper presents the research findings and explores the implications for journalism school students and the public at large.





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