Male Journalists vs. Female Journalists: Discrimination debate?

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Difference between Male Journalist and Female Journalist

Journalism is a field in which both men and women can succeed, but it is a profession that has traditionally been considered the domain of men. Many of the stereotypes and prejudices that initially made it difficult for women to break into this profession during the late 19th century are still causing difficulties for female journalists today, particularly in some fields of journalism and in certain countries and cultures.

Stories Covered

One of the main differences between male and female journalists is in the types of news stories that they tend to cover. There has traditionally been a bias towards giving the hard news stories such as current affairs, politics and economics to men, and softer news stories such as education, entertainment and lifestyle to women. Men have also been more likely to be given sports reporting positions. These types of biases have become weaker in modern times as the lines between what are traditionally considered male and female domains have been blurred.

One important effect of the differences in the types of stories assigned to male and female journalists is that it has affected the amount of news coverage written or produced by male and female journalists and the chances that they will hit a major story and so progress in their careers. When male journalists tend to be covering the more important stories, they tend to be seen as more professional and to become more successful.

Career Prospects

Male journalists have tended to be more likely to advance in their profession than female journalists. Journalism is one of the fields in which there is still a significant disparity between the career prospects of men and women, although this is changing. Management and editorial positions in the field of journalism are still more likely to be held by men than women.

In 2004, women made up 37 percent of all daily newspaper employees, 20,177 out of 54,164, with 4,471 women in supervisory or management positions

In 1970, only about 30 percent of people graduating with degrees in journalism were women. By 2003, this proportion had increased to 65 percent. However, the proportion of women actually working in the field had not increased to the same extent. Only about 33 percent of working journalists in 2003 were women. The disparity was even greater at higher management positions, indicating that career progression within journalism is more difficult for female journalists. In 2002, about 70 percent of managing editors and 60 percent of assignment editors were male.

Vulnerabilities and Access

Both male and female journalists enjoy certain professional advantages because of their sex. Male and female journalists may have better access to domains that are dominated by men or women. For example, in many cultures men and women tend to live separate lives, so a male journalist may not be allowed to mix with women in order to hear their side of the story. Similarly, a female journalist may be able to achieve better results when interviewing female victims of sexual assaults, as they may find it easier to gain the trust of the interviewee. Conversely, in some cases, an interviewee may be more willing to talk to a male journalist. There has also been some debate over the safety of female journalists in certain situations. Female journalists tend to be more vulnerable to sexual assault, although both male and female journalists have been physically and sexually assaulted while covering stories.

Similarities and Differences

  • Male and female journalists are both capable of succeeding in their profession, but there are some key differences in the way that the world of journalism treats men and women.
  • Management and editorial positions are more likely to be held by men.
  • Male journalists tend to be assigned hard news stories.
  • Soft news stories are often assigned to women.

 
 

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