European Journal of Communication vol:25 issue:1 pages:69-84
For more than a decade now, it has been demonstrated that female news sources receive little attention in television news. Usually women account for no more than 20 to 25 per cent of all the time devoted to people speaking in the news. In this article we assess when exactly female news sources are depicted in the news. We use a 25,896 item and 1,600 hours of television news dataset, covering public broadcasting and commercial television in Belgium (Flanders) for the years 2003 to 2005. The analysis shows that female news sources are strongly stereotyped and limited to traditional ‘female’ topics. The impact of the gender of the reporter was limited. Contrary to expectations the broadcasting corporation with a longstanding gender diversity policy actually scored worse than its counterpart without such a policy. In the conclusion, we discuss the apparently difficult relation between traditional news standards and depicting gender diversity.