Posted on | February 25, 2014 | 26 Comments
On Wednesday, the Women’s Media Center released its annual Status of Women in U.S. Media Report, which tracks how many women are being hired, seen, and heard in American journalism and entertainment. . . .
According to the report, women made up 36.3 percent of newsroom staffers atAmerican newspapers in 2013, a figure that’s decreased slightly since the American Society of Newspaper Editors Newsroom Census started its gender count in 1999. They made up just 27 percent of opinion columnists in the major U.S. newspapers andcontent syndication services last year.
Let’s expose the hidden premises of this familiar liberal syllogism:
- If women are less than 50% of employees in any profession, the only explanation is sexist discrimination.
- Working as a journalist is a career opportunity that women seek out as often as do men.
- It is not possible that women are rejecting journalism, rather than the other way around.
The false premises of “diversity” arguments are something I’ve grown tired of noticing, much less refuting. Many years ago, the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) began featuring panel discussions at their annual conventions on how to promote “diversity” in newsrooms. This was never really the main problem in the industry, and the ASNE should have had annual panel discussions like, “How Can Newspapers Stop Losing Subscribers and Advertisers, Bleeding Red Ink, and Being Forced to Lay Off Reporters?”
For the benefit of ASNE douchebags or anyone else who cares, let me clue you in on a “secret” that should be obvious to anyone with a lick of common sense: The same basic aptitude necessary to be a newspaper reporter — i.e., skill in verbal reasoning and written communication — is also an aptitude highly valued in the legal profession.
If a young person has very high SAT scores in this area, why would they want to pursue a crappy low-paying career as a reporter, when they could go to law school and get rich?
If there is any shortage of females or ethnic minorities in America’s newsrooms, this can be explained to a great extent by affirmative action programs at America’s law schools. Imagine — just as a hypothetical — that some random jug-eared kid from Hawaii whose father happened to be Kenyan had a choice between (a) going to work at a newspaper, or (b) attending Harvard Law.
We might wish he would have pursued journalism, but . . .
Just as a kicker, there’s this:
In the 100 most profitable films released in 2012, only 28.4 percent of speaking characters were women, the lowest percentage registered in the five years that the USC Annenberg School has been counting them up. (Women were also disproportionately portrayed as children and teenagers compared to men.) And behind the scenes, women’s representation hasn’t increased in 15 years—they made up 16 percent of writers, directors, editors, and producers in the 250 top domestic-grossing films in 2013, compared to 17 percent in 1998. From 1998 to 2013, the percentage of female film writers dropped from 13 percent to 10; the percentage of female directors dropped from 9 to 6.
Hollywood’s War on Women!