Who else is counting?

I launched this blog to help find meaning in the scads of information I’m gathering for my thesis, which is focused on the role of women in emerging online news organizations. My methodology is still in the works, but I’m lucky to have some fantastic research to build upon. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to create a literature review — a document that describes “the critical points of current knowledge” on a topic.

But it won’t be your typical lit review. There will be video, photos, maybe even an interactive graphic, all designed to help understand what data is available, who’s collecting it and — perhaps most importantly — why. I’ve written already about some of the sources I’ll cite, including this list of blogs and books, a public Zotero bibliography and a post about The Gender Report, a byline surveillance project that’s found an underpresentation of women in online news.

I’m also talking to the Columbia Journalism Review in hopes of gleaning some useful information from its fantastic Guide to Online News Startups. There’s also some interesting research happening at MIT and in conjunction with the Boston Globe’s innovation lab. One or both of those projects could make for interesting video.

Who else should I include?

More female reporters = more female voices in the news

Here’s an interesting detail from the 4th Estate Project, a group that uses data to monitor media trends. The project amassed oodles of numbers from coverage of the 2012 elections.

As you can read here, men were used as expert sources far more often than women. But, when the researchers focused on stories from National Public Radio, they found something interesting:

There was a huge discrepancy in the sourcing patterns between men and women journalists at NPR… While men NPR journalists quoted men 80% of the time and women 20% of the time, women NPR journalists quoted men 52% of the time and women 48% of the time.  This is a dramatic difference, and suggests that NPR women journalists are doing their part in trying to change the culture of sourcing in new stories.  Interestingly, NPR women journalists stand out in this regard as compared to their counterparts in print or broadcast. We did not see the same discrepancy when looking at the sourcing patterns of men and women journalists working in either print or broadcast.