Glassy architectures in journalism

Authored by: Linda Steiner

The Routledge Companion to Media and Gender

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  December  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415527699
eBook ISBN: 9780203066911
Adobe ISBN: 9781135076955


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Many theories have been proposed to explain why more women are not news media executives and why, as either journalists or leaders of news organizations, women have not had more impact on journalism. Using data about US news media, this chapter considers several concepts used to explain (none convincingly) why women and men should behave differently, but seemingly do not, when producing news content or running newsrooms. For several decades, when any single newsroom had only one or two women reporters, the leading theory was that when women are present only as tokens they cannot challenge prevailing practices so cannot achieve significant organizational change. Meanwhile, the assumption was that media representations have major impact, that representations reflect their makers, and that when women could, they would want to produce different kinds of content. Now that women are at least one-third of newsroom staffs, the paucity of women at the upper echelons of media industry organizations is a popular explanation for newsrooms’ resistance to new ways of doing journalism. It’s more complicated, however.

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