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WIMN's Field Guide
to Media Research

How are women, people of color, youth and LGBT people represented in news content, and how can journalists fairly and accurately cover diverse populations and the issues that matter to them?

How many women and people of color are present in positions of power in the media industry, and what can media companies do to build diverse newsrooms, entertainment studios and production houses?  

What are the effects of media coverage of war and terrorism?  

Are commercial influences corrupting media content?  

Dozens of studies, reports and style manuals have been produced in recent years to answer these sorts of questions, and to document media issues in the areas of representation, participation, production and impact. WIMN's Field Guide to Media Research aggregates some of the most relevant, cutting-edge research on the following topics:

WIMN understands that it is impossible to separate the issues of race, gender, class, age and sexual orientation into discrete, non-overlapping categories. In order to streamline this research guide, we have chosen to list each reference in only one category. If you are using this guide to find information pertaining to one primary issue area, please scan additional categories for other relevant information.

For links to women's publications, independent media outlets, media advocacy organizations, media blogs and feminist publishers, see WIMN's Resource Guide for Media Activists.

To suggest studies, surveys and other substantial research, please contact WIMN.

» Research on Media and Women/Gender

• "Selling Anxiety"
Caryl Rivers' keynote address, WAM!2006 Women, Action & Media conference, April 1, 2006. Documents the many ways in which media promote inaccurate, misleading and anxiety-provoking myths about women and work, family, motherhood, marriage and children. Listen to the broadcast on Uprising Radio. Download Rivers' full presentation (.pdf file is quite large).

• "Man Alive: Is the New York Times still pro-choice? You wouldn’t know it from reading the op-ed page"
The American Prospect
Online, March 20, 2006

Women Make the News 2006: Editorial Responsibility to Women
Initiative sponsored by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) [Archives 2001–2005]

The Gender Gap: Women Are Still Missing As Sources for Journalists Project for Excellence In Journalism, May 23, 2005

Who Makes the News? Global Media Monitoring Projects 1995–2005
World Association for Christian Communication, in conjunction with numerous partner organizations throughout the world. Includes downloads of GMMP reports from 1995, 2000 and 2005, campaign highlights and data from individual participating countries (including findings from U.S. media).

Who's Talking: An Analysis of Sunday Morning Talk Shows
Three studies on the gender composition of guests on influential news debate shows, produced by the White House Project in 2001, 2002 and 2005.

• "Running In Place? Minorities and women in television see little chance, while minorities fare worse in radio" (.pdf)
Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA); published in My Communicator, July/Aug 2005.

Women and Minorities in Radio and Television News
Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) and Ball State University. Annual data available from 2000–2005.

American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) 2005 Newsroom Employment Census
ASNE's statistical breakdown of newspaper newsroom employees by race, gender and job category. Annual data available from 1997–2004.

The Glass Ceiling Persists: The Third Annual APPC Report on Women Leaders in Communications Companies (.pdf) [correction (.pdf)]
Annenberg Public Policy Center, Dec. 22, 2003 [press release (.pdf)]

The Glass Ceiling in the Executive Suite: The 2nd Annual APPC Analysis of Women Leaders in Communication Companies (.pdf)
Annenberg Public Policy Center, August 2002 [press release (.pdf)]

Watch Out, Listen Up! 2002 Feminist Primetime Report
Analysis of primetime television by the National Organization for Women (NOW), October 2002 [previous primetime TV reports]

Progress or No Room at the Top? The Role of Women in Telecommunications, Media and E-Companies (.pdf)
Annenberg Public Policy Center, March 14, 2001 [press release (.pdf)]

Women Journalists of Color: Present Without Power
International Women’s Media Foundation, Sept. 1999

• "Affirmative Action Coverage Ignores Women—and Discrimination: A six month study of media coverage"
Jan/Feb 1999

A Different Kind of Media?
Collection of essays and discussions on MediaChannel about women and the media, in particular the impact of women making media.

Style Over Substance: Newspaper coverage of female candidates: Spotlight on Elizabeth Dole
The White House Project; study examines coverage from Aug. 1, 1999–Oct. 20, 1999

Framing Gender on the Campaign Trail: Women’s Executive Leadership and the Press
The White House Project; 1998 study analyzed gender differences in media coverage of six executive campaigns, including gubernatorial elections and a primary for Attorney General.

FAIR research on sexism and the media
FAIR's current and archived studies, surveys, articles and action alerts on representation of women in news media. Notable highlights include:

Media Report to Women: Industry Statistics
Provides statistics on women's portrayal in news and in television entertainment, plus data on women's use of the Net and women in media careers. Updated December 2005.

• "The Eight Characteristics of Women's Media and the Five Categories of Women's News"
Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press founder Dr. Donna Allen, The Quill, May 1991

Women in Journalism Oral History Project
Nearly 60 interviews with women journalists who have made significant contributions to society through careers in journalism since the 1920s. Hosted by the Washington Press Club Foundation.

» Related articles by Jennifer L. Pozner

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» Research on Media and Race

Sunday Morning Apartheid: A Diversity Study of Sunday Morning Talk Shows
National Urban League Policy Institute, Nov. 2, 2005

Reporting Katrina
Project for Excellence In Journalism, Sept. 12, 2005. Examines coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath , including notable reportage, content critique and citizen journalism.

FAIR research on racism and the media
FAIR's current and archived studies, surveys, articles and action alerts on representation of people of color, race issues and racism in news media. Notable highlights include:

National Association of Hispanic Journalists "Network Brownout Reports"
NAHJ reports from 2001–2005 documenting the underrepresentation of Hispanics on television. Also see NAHJ Newsroom Diversity resources

Representing the Total Community: Relationships Between Asian American Staff and Asian American Coverage in U.S. Newspapers
Asian American Journalists Association, Aug. 18, 2005

SAJA Stylebook for Covering South Asia & the South Asian Diaspora
SAJA (South Asian Journalists Association), last updated Dec. 16, 2004

Diversity in the Washington News Press Corps
UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc., and the University of Maryland 's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Aug. 4, 2004

Voices of Anger, Cries of Concern: Some NABJ Views on the Retention Problem and Some Solutions
National Association of Black Journalists, updated July 29, 2004

Out of Focus, Out of Sync: A Report of the Film and Television Industry (.pdf)
NAACP, November 2003 [press release]

Surveying Asian Americans: Challenges, Current Practice, Solutions (.pdf)
Asian American Journalists Association and the Reynolds School of Journalism, University of Nevada-Reno, August 2003

Reading Red Report 2003: A Call for the News Media to Recognize Racism in Sports Team Nicknames and Mascots (.pdf)
Native American Journalists Association with research from the News Watch project at San Francisco State University

Reading Red Report 2002: A report and content analysis on coverage of Native Americans by the largest newspapers in the United States (.pdf)
Native American Journalists Association with research from the News Watch project at San Francisco State University.
Also see NAJA publications for print research including "Pictures of Our Nobler Selves: A history of Native American contributions to the media" and "The American Indian And The Media"

Asian Male Broadcasters on TV: Where Are They? (.pdf)
USC Annenberg School for Communication for the Asian American Journalists Association, August 2002  

AAJA Handbook — All American: How to Cover Asian American and Pacific Islanders and Asian American and Pacific Islander issues
Asian American Journalists Association

Asian Americans in Newsroom Management: A Survey of TV and Newspaper Managers (.pdf)
Asian American Journalists Association and Medill

Guidelines for Countering Racial, Ethnic and Religious Profiling
Society of Professional Journalists 

Newsroom Diversity: Meeting The Challenge – A survey of journalists of color at newspapers (.pdf)
The Freedom Forum, 1999

» Related articles by Jennifer L. Pozner

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» Research on Media and Youth

Reframing Power: An Evaluation of the Youth Media Council's First Three Years
Includes case studies of youth and racial justice groups' campaigns to engage with and change the media. Available in print from YMC.

Where the Girls Aren't: Gender Disparity Saturates G-Rated Films (.pdf)
Study on representations of girls aged 11 and under, conducted by the See Jane Program at Dads & Daughters, February 2006 [press release]

Looking Deeper: Visibility and Invisibility of Youth, Policy and Race in the San Jose Mercury News (.pdf)
Youth Media Council, May 20, 2005

Speaking for Ourselves: A Youth Assessment of Local News Coverage
Youth Media Council, 2002. Also read The Nation's coverage of this study.

Is KMEL the People's Station? A Community Assessment of 106.1 KMEL
Youth Media Council, Nov. 11, 2002

Off Balance: Youth, Race and Crime in the News
Building Blocks for Youth, April 2001

In Between the Lines: How the New York Times Frames Youth (.pdf)
New York City Youth Media Watch, a joint project of Youth Force and We Interrupt This Message. Also see: Democracy Now! radio interview with study researchers Shaquesha Alequin, Joseph Vazquez and Pia Infante; Youth Media Council interview with Shaquesha Alequin  

Soundbites and Cellblocks: Analysis of the Juvenile Justice Media Debate & A Case Study of California Proposition 21 (.pdf)
We Interrupt This Message

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» Research on Media and LGBT People

GLAAD Media Reference Guide, 7th Edition, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

GLAAD Center for the Study of Media & Society (CSMS) research initiative, brief summaries of, and PDF downloads for, studies and reports including:

  • A Language of (In)Visibility: Latina and Latino LGBT Images in Spanish-Language Television and Print Media [Also available in Spanish: El Idioma de (In)Visibilidad: Las Imágenes LGBT Latinas en las Noticias de Televisión y Prensa Impresa en Español]

  • Media Coverage of Lawrence v. Texas : An Analysis of Content, Tone, and Frames in National and Local News Reporting

  • "Business Not Politics": Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgender People and the Consumer Sphere

GLADD Center for the Study of Media & Society (CSMS) white papers
Summaries and PDF downloads for papers including:

  • Matthew Shepard and Billy Jack Gaither: The Politics of Victimhood

  • In Their Own Words: LGBT Youth Writing the World Wide Web

  • An Analysis of Ex-Gays and Reparative Therapy in the News

Lesbians and Gays in the Newsroom: 10 Years Later (.pdf)
Annenberg School for Communication in conjunction with the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, 2000

NLGJA English & Spanish Stylebook Supplement on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Terminology
National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. Available in English and Spanish

NLGJA Journalists' Toolbox — How to Cover LGBT People: Education and Resources for Journalists
National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association

NLGJA Leroy F. Aarons Journalism Education Project — Educators' Toolbox
National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association

» Related articles by Jennifer L. Pozner

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» Research on Media and War

• "If News From Iraq Is Bad, It's Coming From U.S. Officials: Study Data"
Extra!Update, February 2004

Misrepresentations, the Media and the Iraq War: Study finds widespread misperceptions on Iraq highly related to support for war
Program on International Policy Attitudes, Oct. 2, 2003

Jessica Lynch: Media Myth-Making in the Iraq War
Project for Excellence In Journalism, June 23, 2003

• "Amplifying Officials, Squelching Dissent: FAIR study finds democracy poorly served by war coverage"
May/June 2003

The war in Iraq on television: A split reality
Media Tenor Institute for Media Analysis, April 16, 2003

Embedded Reporters: What are Americans Getting?
Project for Excellence In Journalism, April 3, 2003

Archives of the Program on International Policy Attitudes
PIPA archives feature more than a dozen studies documenting U.S. public opinion on war, terrorism, defense spending, weapons proliferation, U.S. foreign policy and global trade.

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» Research on Media and Commercialism

Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed
A multimedia report on television newsrooms' use of material provided by PR firms on behalf of paying clients, produced by the Center for Media and Democracy, April 6, 2006. Includes video footage of 36 "VNRs" (video news releases) incorporated into TV newscasts.

Who Owns What
Searchable media ownership information produced by the Columbia Journalism Review, last updated March 28, 2006

• Fear & Favor: How Power Shapes the News [2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000]
Annual report produced by FAIR, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting

Does Ownership Matter in Local News? A Five-Year Study of Ownership and Quality
Project for Excellence In Journalism, April 29, 2003

Quality and the Bottom Line
Studies on the relationship between journalistic quality and profits by the
Project for Excellence In Journalism, April 9, 2003

» Related articles by Jennifer L. Pozner

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» General Research on the Media

The State of the Media 2006: An Annual Report on American Journalism
Project for Excellence In Journalism; a broad survey of print, network TV, cable, radio, online and ethnic media, and blogs.

One-Fourth of Public Considers Rush Limbaugh a journalist (.pdf)
Annenberg Public Policy Center , June 13, 2005

Is HIV/AIDS not a relevant topic for the media? Coverage of HIV/AIDS in opinion-leading media
Media Tenor Institute for Media Analysis, Feb. 8, 2005

Public and Press Differ About Partisan Bias, Accuracy and Press Freedom (.pdf)
Annenberg Public Policy Center , May 24, 2005

Why Has TV Stopped Covering Politics?
Project for Excellence In Journalism, Oct. 22, 2002

FAIR studies and reports on media issues
FAIR's current and archival studies, surveys and reports on a wide range of media issues. Notable highlights include:

Game Developer Demographics: An Exploration of Workforce Diversity
International Game Developers Association  

Tyndall Report
Produced by ADT's Andrew Tyndall, the Tyndall Report monitors ABC, NBC and CBS’s nightly newscasts every weeknight, analyzing the number of minutes devoted to each story. Weekly summaries with helpful charts, a year in review and brief analysis from the researcher are available at this site.

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