Three-quarters of this year's campaign coverage in newspapers was penned by men, according to a new survey from the Women's Media Center and the 4th Estate Project. It's as easy as it is instinctive for West Coast liberals like me to look at those numbers and sniff disdainfully at the way women continue to be treated as second-class citizens in the news media.
But hold on a second. This is no longer Brenda Starr's news industry. Today, many of the people who decide which reporters get to cover elections are women.The top editor of the world's most respected news organization, The New York Times, is a woman. The top editor of Newsweek – still one of the nation's most widely-read news magazines – is a woman. The top editors of AP and Reuters Thomson Digital – women. And let's not forget Arianna Huffington. (Let alone Pacific Standard's own illustrious editor in chief.)
All of which suggests pretty persuasively that it's a whole lot easier today for women to get where they want to be in the profession. Which makes me wonder: could it be that at least part of the numbers disparity is because there are just more men than women who want to be campaign reporters?