Results from a study of Irish newspapers by Impact. From top: The 18 people who were mentioned first in each lead article in the study; and the female/male ratio of bylines and lead articles
The trade union IMPACT has carried out a study of the front pages of The Irish Times, the Irish Independent, and The Examiner.
The decision followed the publication of a paper “Seen but not Heard: How Women Make Front Page News” which looked at the national daily papers in Britain.
Lughan Deane and Patricia O’Mahony, who carried out the study, write:
We decided to look at the ways in which gender is represented on the front pages of Ireland’s three national daily broadsheet newspapers: The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times.
We analysed a week’s worth (Monday to Saturday) of each newspaper’s front page. We collected Examiner front pages from Monday the 5th of September 2016 until Saturday the 10th. We collected Independent front pages for the following week (12th – 17th Sept.) and Irish Times articles for the week after that (19th – 24th Sept.).
For each front page we recorded the number of male and female journalists whose bylines appeared and whether the lead article was written by a man or woman.
We also made note of every single name mentioned in the contents of the front page articles (as well as photo captions, etc.) and divided them according to gender.
Separately, we recorded the first name to appear in the front page’s lead article and made a note of the individual’s gender.
We counted all words within quotation marks – direct quotes – and, wherever possible, noted whether the quotes were attributed to men or women.
We counted the number of men and women represented in photographs and pictures on the front pages.
How often do female journalists secure a spot on the front page? Our analysis of bylines showed that just 21% of bylines on the front page are those of women (79% are those of men). In total, 21 of the 98 bylines we encountered were female.
…We found, in our three papers, that women only wrote (or co-wrote) the lead article 8% of the time. 92% of lead articles are written by men. Note that the percentages [above] should only be taken as indicative of a larger pattern as the sample involved (a week in each case) is so small.
Over the three weeks and across the three papers, 235 names were mentioned within the contents of the front page articles. Men’s names dominated the contents of front page news. We found that 82% of people mentioned or quoted (192 individuals) were male and that just 18% (43 individuals) were female.
Here is the full list of names mentioned on the front pages. The female names are in red.
We also recorded the gender of the first person to be named in the lead article on each front page (18 names in total).
Of these names 17 were male (Taoiseach Enda Kenny was the first person named on two occasions) and 1 was female. That’s 94% male and 6% female.
None of the first names in the lead articles of the Examiner or Times was female. The Independent had one example.
While percentages derived from such small numbers are not fully reliable, the pattern is indicative of a wider picture.
[Pictured top] are the 18 people who are mentioned first in each lead article.
Note that the only woman pictured is the late Caitriona Lucas, volunteer coastguard and IMPACT member, who lost her life in tragic circumstances earlier this month.
Read the study in full here
Thanks UCD English Grad Soc