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More women quoted in Canadian media – but still not enough

Carleton professor’s study reveals women’s voices make up only 29 percent of those quoted in media.

By ASHLEIGH VANHOUTEN | APR 05 2016

A new study has revealed that women’s voices in Canadian news have increased to 29 percent in 2015 from 22 percent in 1993. Marika Morris, adjunct research professor at Carleton University’s school of Canadian studies, came to this conclusion after reviewing 1,467 articles and broadcast segments from seven Canadian news media outlets and programs. Informed Opinions, a social enterprise that works to amplify women’s voices and build leadership capacity through training, presentations and workshops, commissioned the study last fall in order to provide data on the gender of people quoted in major Canadian media with national reach. The plan is to apply the same methodology to a subsequent study in three years’ time to measure any additional progress.

The study makes a number of recommendations for media to continue the upward trend of showcasing women’s voices, including: actively seeking more diverse opinions, redirecting questions to other panel members if one member is dominating the conversation, and giving the same “respect, airtime and acknowledgement of titles, qualifications and achievements to female experts as you would to a male expert.” In short, Informed Opinions reports that the study found “when journalists make an effort, the ratio improves.”

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