Three Decades of Women
and Mass Communications
The Ratio of Recurrent and Reinforced
Residuum Hypothesis Revisited
Ramona R. Rush
More than twenty-five years after the international community began formally to recognise the scale of gender inequality in every aspect of life, and despite the adoption of many measures to redress gender imbalances, the power to define public and media agendas is still mainly a male privilege. … So although in most countries more women are entering the media professions than ever before, it would be unreasonable to imagine that this will result in a radical transformation and media content. It is certainly possible to see the mark made by individual media women, as women, on certain types of output. … But the fundamental patterns of media representation that preoccupied the women's movement of the 1970s remain relatively intact thirty years later.
—Gallagher (2001, pp. 3–4, italics added)
Baseline data established in the late 1960s (Rush, Oukrop, & Ernst, 1972) during the first study about the role and status of U. S. women and journalism education made it possible to keep track of what was happening to women in this field over time. While I was updating the earlier study for an invited article in the Latin American journal Chasqui in the early 1980s (Rush, Buck, & Ogan, 1982), a trend became apparent to me in the secondary data I was examining.