May 23, 2005

The Gender Gap

Network Morning News

When it comes to broadcast news, women are most likely to find themselves on the network morning shows. Looking at the first hour of morning news on each network, which tends to be the segment most devoted to traditional hard news coverage of events of the day, roughly a third of stories (34%) cite at least one female source. This is still significantly less than those that cite one or more male sources (55%), but morning news is the only medium—print or cable—where males have less than a 2:1 advantage.

In addition, morning news programs tend to cover lighter news topics such as The Today Show's story about how "The Vagina Monologues" promotes awareness of violence against women. The Project’s 2005 Annual Report on the State of the News Media found morning shows devoted half as much time as their evening counterparts to foreign affairs (7% versus 14% for commercial evening news) and also less time to government affairs (20% versus 27%). (1) When they do cover issues like the war in Iraq, the morning shows often do so from a more human-interest angle such as interviewing men or women soldiers on the home front as opposed to battle results.

(1) The 2005 Annual Report studied the same universe of content as this study. Please fine the full report online at .