Economic News Remains a Man's World: But More Women Covering Business

Article excerpt

Women and money are not a happy mix in the media. In print and on TV, the subject of economics is still a he-man bastion.

Females are the also-rans in stories about banking, finances and other high-minded economic pursuits, according to a new study the Media Studies Center released Thursday..

They don't rate as the subjects of these stories or as sources for journalists who produce them. Women tend to appear, the study noted, in topics covering "the bottom rungs of the economic ladder."

Women surfaced primarily in stories about labor issues, family finances and poverty.

The more high-profile topics - financial markets, banking, fiscal policy, trade, business deals and macroeconomic issues - were a distinctly male domain.

Some good news, though, is that TV networks are using more female economic correspondents than they did. The number of women in the field actually doubled in the past 10 years.

Still, these women account for only a third of the total on-air group.

ABC leads the way here, using Betsy Stark as the lead correspondent. NBC and CBS both use men in the role.

"It's encouraging to hear news of progress," said Robert Giles, who directs the Media Studies Center. "But the coverage of women's contributions to the economy is still far from adequate."

The solution lies, he said, in the editorial process itself.

"The key to continued progress is assigning more women to cover the story of the economy and encouraging journalists to seek more women [as] sources for their business stories," Mr. …