Highlights

International Adoption Fraud & Corruption

Sexual Harassment of Teens at Work

Articles:

"Anatomy of an Adoption Crisis," ForeignPolicy.com, Sept. 12, 2010

"The Baby Business,"
Democracy Journal,
Summer 2010

"The Lie We Love,"
Foreign Policy,
Nov./Dec. 2008.

"Do Women Count,"
Brandeis University
Magazine, Spring 2008.

"Is Your Daughter Safe at Work?" Good Housekeeping, June 2007. 

"The Mommy War Machine," Sunday Washington Post Outlook section, April 29, 2007.

"The Opt-Out Myth," 
Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 2007.

"Striking Back," 
The Boston Globe, Sep. 3, 2006.

"The Skinny Pink Paycheck Syndrome," Los Angeles Times, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006.

"Too Pretty a Picture," The Washington Post "Outlook" section, Nov. 25, 2005.


Unless stated otherwise, all the articles listed above were written by E.J. Graff, Associate Director and Senior Researcher at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. Graff leads the Institute's Gender & Justice Project.

Last page update:
September 9, 2010

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Gender & Justice Project



The Gender & Justice Project reporting beat examines continuing injustices and biases that are harming women and their children—in the workplace, in family life, in the courts, in health care, in public policy, and in the media—and yet are not being fully or accurately reported.

The Institute is taking up this beat because a number of studies show that the news media under-represent women’s knowledge and opinions, and underreport women’s and children’s issues.

The March 2010 preliminary report “Who Makes the News?” by the Global Media Monitoring Project recorded information about almost 7,000 news stories and 14,000 news sources in 42 countries. Here’s some of what they found:

  • Women are dramatically underrepresented in the news: only 24 percent of news subjects—the people who are interviewed, or whom the news is about—are female.
  • Men are 81 percent of experts and 82 percent of spokespersons.
  • When women do make the news, it is as “stars” (i.e., celebrities, princesses) or as “nobodies” (i.e., women on the street, neighbors, eyewitnesses).
  • Women are more than twice as likely as men to be portrayed as victims.
  • While women have achieved some parity in the news when offering representative, “popular opinions,” only 19 percent of experts featured were women and only 18 percent of spokespeople interviewed were women.
  • Women are almost four times as likely as men to be identified by family status, as wife, daughter, mother and so on.
  • Even on topics like gender-based violence, men get 91 percent of the print space or air time.

Similar statistics have been collected in the U.S. For instance, The Gender Gap: Women Are Still Missing as Sources for Journalists, Project for Excellence in Journalism, 2005:

  • Out of 16,800 news stories from 45 different American news outlets—broadcast, print and Web—more than 75 percent of news stories included male sources and only 30 percent included even a single female source.
  • Only in lifestyle stories do women show up in more than 50 percent of the stories.

This is true even when women are equally qualified. Women in Congress received fewer total newspaper articles; fewer mentions in front-page, national, foreign, metro, business and sports articles; fewer issue-based articles; and fewer mentions and quotes in newspaper articles than their male counterparts (Anat Maytal, "Media Report to Women," Summer 2005). See article.

Who Comments on the News?

  • Women were outnumbered four to one as guests on the Sunday morning public-affairs television programs in the United States from 2005 to 2006. Women members of Congress appear represented only 13.5% of all lawmakers who appeared on Sunday morning shows between January and July 2010. ("The White House Project Report: Benchmarking Women’s Leadership" 2009; “Industry Statistics: Women’s Portrayal in the News.” Media Report to Women, 2010.)  
  • Bylines in the nation’s top intellectual and political magazines are heavily male.
    • In an analysis of 11 magazines published between October 2003 and May 2005, male-to-female byline ratios ranged from 13-to-1 at the National Review to 7-to-1 at Harper’s and The Weekly Standard to 2-to-1 at the Columbia Journalism Review (Columbia Journalism Review, July-August 2005).
    • A similar byline study, this one a year long, of the Atlantic, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, found a 3-to-1 ratio of male to female bylines. (Ruth Davis Konigsberg, 2006). One-third of those were articles on gender or family or were short stories or memoirs.
  • Only five of 20 “thought-leader” magazines have ever had a woman as editor-in-chief. Two of those jobs were held by Tina Brown. See article.


The Gender & Justice Project gratefully acknowledges the valuable contributions of the Duke Law School Research Team, who assisted the Institute from 2007-2008.