Study on women's representation in political news: media reactions

Female voices are still underrepresented in political news in Austria and journalism itself plays a crucial role for this asymmetry: Women's representation depends on journalists' own gender and on journalistic culture, while newsrooms' gender guidelines do not automatically ensure a fair gender diversity. These are the key learnings of a recent paper by CMC's Andreas Riedl, Tobias Rohrbach (University of Fribourg) and CMC's Christina Krakovsky. Austrian journalism has itself now addressed these findings in several media reactions.

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In an interview with the news agency APA Science (10.08.2022), lead-author Andreas Riedl explains that women’s media representation is the result of a complex interplay of journalistic factors which include journalists' professionals roles and measures on the organizational level of newsrooms, but also individual aspects of journalists' identity. The finding of journalists' own gender being the strongest predictor for women's representation demonstrates how deeply gendered ways of thinking and doing are woven into journalism in Austria. In an interview with the daily newspaper Der Standard (14.08.2022), Riedl discusses that newsrooms' guidelines for gender-sensitive representation do not necessarily translate into a higher share of women in the actual media coverage. He emphasizes that research must take a close look at how such guidelines are implemented and enacted. As soon as it is assumed that guidelines alone solve the problem of representation, they are no more than the literal fig leaf.

Further media reactions (German only):

Full study:

Riedl, A., Rohrbach, T., & Krakovsky, C. (2022). “I Can't Just Pull a Woman Out of a Hat”: A Mixed-Methods Study on Journalistic Drivers of Women's Representation in Political News. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1177/10776990211073454