BBC News Editor James Harding Plans to Work on Gender Gap

The incoming news director at BBC, James Harding, said he is aware of the low amount of female broadcasters on the network and plans to make changes. 

"I think that as an outsider there is clearly an issue about the number of female broadcasters - the number of broadcasters on air - that is one thing you do notice," he said. "And we're going to have do something determined about that."

When he was asked if he could improve the number of women on the news programs, Harding said, "We're going to have to do it… as a viewer and listener you're aware of it. And you think to yourself, 'Hang on, the BBC can do better than that.' And we can."

"I'm saying it's something important to do." Tony Hall, the BBC Director-General, is under pressure to make changes about the gender imbalance. BBC is also facing scrutiny over the lack of women interviewees in stories.

Over the past month, the lack of female broadcasters over the age of 50 has been an object of criticism. The gender imbalance exists on many news organizations, not just BBC.

A report by Media Matters showed that out of 1,677 total guests on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, CNN had the largest proportion of men (76 percent.) Women did not make up more than 33 percent of guests on any of the networks studied.

The report also found that white guests were hosted more often on cable news, with Fox News having the highest amount of white guests (83 percent).

Sources: Salon, Media Matters


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