79% of sources quoted in 6 Australian newspapers are male

Women continue to account for just a fraction of the experts quoted by journalists or published as commentators. 

The latest research from the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia (WLIA) found just 21% of sources across a massive 6000 newsprint articles analyzed were female.

The study covered articles across Australia’s six key newspapers during a three week period in February 2016, including The Australian Financial Review, The Australian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Herald Sun, and The Daily Telegraph.

Breaking down just where women are quoted in the papers highlights even more of a gender divide, with women accounting for 13% of sources on articles in business, 14% in finance and 20% in politics. Men were far more frequently quoted on topics related to ‘tax reform’, ‘investors’, ‘ASX’, ‘china’ and ‘profit’. 

Health sections presented more opportunities for women, with 41% of sources being female, followed by education and social issues (both on 39%). Topics relating to ‘children’, ‘Nauru’, ‘murder’ and ‘foreign policy’ more frequently featured female sources. The most quoted female sources were ‘spokeswoman’, followed by Julie Bishop, Michaelia Cash, Sussan Ley and Jill Hennessy. 

The Australian Financial Review featured the lowest proportion of women quoted, at just 15%, followed by The Australian on 16%. Women were much more likely to be quoted in the tabloids with The Herald Sun (28%) and The Daily Telegraph (30%) featuring the highest proportion of women sources.

In a finding that shows having more female journalists involved can make a difference, the study revealed female journalists quote female sources 27% of the time, compared with just 17% for male journalists.

Read the Women’s Agenda story here….. Download the report here

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