Who covers what? Analyzing audience perceptions of gender differences in news beat coverage

Martina Santia, Lars Willnat, Stan Jastrzebski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigates differences in news beat coverage between female and male journalists and their potential effects on audiences. We employ data from a representative survey of 1,600 U.S. journalists to show that female journalists are more likely to cover feminine beats (i.e., culture and health) and less likely to cover masculine beats (i.e., politics and sports) than male journalists. We complement this data with an online experiment to examine whether audiences value feminine beats covered by female journalists less than masculine beats reported by male journalists. Our results show that female journalists are not necessarily rated more positively when reporting on feminine beats—and feminine beats are not seen as more important when delivered by a female journalist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournalism
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Female journalists
  • gender differences
  • news beat coverage
  • online experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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