Seeking Equity for Women in Journalism and Mass Communication Education: A 30-Year Update

By Ramona R. Rush; Carol E. Oukrop et al. | Go to book overview

16
Women Graduates
(and Men Too)
Express Reservations
About Journalism Education
Katherine C. McAdams
Maurine H. Beasley
Izabella Zandberg

Since the mid-1970s, researchers have established that a gender shift has occurred in journalism education (Beasley & Theus, 1988; Becker, Kosicki, Hammatt, Lowery, Shin, et al., 1999). What was once a male-dominated field of study has changed so that, nationwide, schools and colleges of journalism of all sizes have found their populations dominated by women since the late 1970s. About two thirds of journalism students were women throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and the trend to femimzation in terms of enrollment persists for both undergraduate and graduate students (Becker, Tudor, Hsu, & Prine, 2001).

Until recently, few people have felt this trend worthy of note, but we have thought for the last decade that the ongoing phenomenon of the gender shift in journalism education was worthy of further examination. We believe the data we have gathered are particularly useful now that the increasing number of women students in universities in general is drawing media and researcher attention. The headline of a recent front-page article in The Washington Post proclaimed, “Gender Gap Among College Graduates Has Educators Wondering Where the Men Are” (Fletcher, 2002). Nearly 60% of college students are women today, and more women than

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