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Women in Broadcasting

Autor:   •  November 13, 2018  •  Essay  •  1,781 Words (8 Pages)  •  73 Views

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Women in Broadcasting

Imagine turning on your television and seeing a women presenting a ground breaking news story. This is not as simple as you may think. This is because, to this day we are used to seeing women present soft news stories, while the men present the hard news stories. Women are more than half of the population, and we do not see them or hear them in equal numbers to men. Women have been fairly successful in breaking into the news business. “In the late 1970s and early 1980s, only thirteen percent of reporters were women, whereas today about half of reporters are women. However, women are still far from equality as they face professional barriers of appearance and age” (Irvin II). Although women have made strides in the broadcast news in recent years, they still face challenges including issues with appearance and age, an ability to get the “hard stories,” and a problem with being accepted as serious news sources.

Women are seen to be disadvantaged by sex discrimination more than anything else in the broadcasting industry. In 2010 an online survey noted that male news reporters do not need to be young and handsome because they are judged based on their intelligence and not their appearance. The survey also reported on how female news reporters serve as “eye candy” to the masses” (The Difference between Male and Female News Anchors). The level of sexuality women must display in order to be a featured news caster is much higher than men. Libby Copeland, a previous Washington Post reporter and editor, did a study on the Sleeveless Sheath Dress and the appearance of women on television. The study focused on cable news programs and found that sixty two percent of segments analyzed contained predominately female journalists with high sex appeal. Specifically the journalists were physically attractive, suggestively dressed with open blouses and tight-fitting skirts and filmed in ways that accentuated these features. The fact that news networks use these tactics to appeal to news suggested that said networks are more interested in entertaining and marketing than news (Copeland).

The female newscaster of today does sexy in a very specific way. The “sleeveless sheath dress”, now found on cable and local news along with morning news programs, is practically a uniform for television newswomen. “Only seven years ago, when Katie Couric took over the CBS evening news, critics worried whether she might be scandalizing the nation by showing too much leg. Now legs are the least of it. They have been joined by bare arms and dresses so form fitting that Couric has said many of her colleagues look like they are going “clubbing” (Copeland). The seriousness of the news has been broken down from the un-seriousness of the attire of the women presenting it. Copeland states that there is a reason why the women on television news have embraced “sleevelessness” while treading

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