British newspapers male-dominated, women's group finds

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2012, 4:19am


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Sexist stereotypes, humiliating photographs of women, and male bylines dominate the front pages of British newspapers, research reveals.

Male journalists wrote 78 per cent of front-page articles and men accounted for 84 per cent of people mentioned or quoted in lead pieces, according to analysis of nine national newspapers by the Women in Journalism (WiJ) organisation.

Over the course of four weeks, WiJ found that the most male-dominated title was The Independent newspaper, with 91 per cent of its 70 front-page articles written by men.

In contrast, 50 per cent of the 24 bylines leading the Daily Express were woman journalists.

Among the so-called quality press, the Financial Times had the biggest proportion of woman writers appearing on its front page - just 33 per cent. At The Daily Telegraph 89 per cent of bylines were male; at The Sun the figure was 86 per cent; at The Times 82 per cent; and at The Guardian 78 per cent.

Of the 668 people named in lead articles, just 16 per cent were women, who were disproportionately likely to be quoted as victims or celebrities rather than in a professional capacity.

Although there was greater sexual equality in the front-page photographs, there was not a single woman politician in the top 10 images.

Where powerful women were featured, the images were often unflattering. For instance, British interior minister Theresa May appeared as the main picture four times during the month, but three of those were the same image of her grimacing.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was pictured three times, but twice the shot was of her with her hands up in the air, puffing her cheeks out.

There were few pictures in which women looked powerful or serious.