In 2011, I started
#diversityaudit on Twitter encouraging people to tweet about (lack of representation) in TV and radio programmes, the lineup of speakers at events they attended and in their daily life. I was subsequently interviewed and quoted in this Guardian article by Kira Cochrane on women and their lack of representation in the media.
“In a typical month, 78% of newspaper articles are written by men, 72% of Question Time contributors are men and 84% of reporters and guests on Radio 4’s Today show are men. Where are all the women?
I don’t know when the breaking point came. Was it the 2010 election, in which the most prominent women on the national stage seemed to be the leaders’ wives? Was it a drip, drip, drip of Question Time panels featuring one woman alongside four men and a male presenter? Could it have been the low growl of voices waking me each morning on theToday programme, or a growing feeling that I hadn’t seen a female byline on the cover of some newspaper sections for weeks? Was it images of the Commons? Images of the Lords? Was it the prime-time television comedy shows with their all-male panels? Or the current affairs shows, also apparently aimed at a mixed audience, that barely featured women?
It was all those factors, in truth, and so in mid-June I began a count. I started with bylines (the name of the journalist who has written the article). For four weeks I counted every byline in the Monday-to-Friday editions of seven newspapers, looking at the number of male and female writers. I knew there were only two female editors of national newspapers: Tina Weaver at the Sunday Mirror, and Dawn Neesom at the Daily Star. But I wanted a clearer picture overall.”
You can read the rest of the article here.