2021 Women for Media – Take the Next Steps Report

We are delighted to share a significant new report: ‘Take the Next Steps’ – the fifth and most comprehensive report in our Women for Media series. 

Led by journalist and academic Dr Jenna Price with Dr Blair Williams, the report explores the role of female voices in Australian news, those quoted in news stories, and those who wrote the stories. 

The 2021 report combines quantitative and qualitative analysis of more than 60,000 articles across the month of May 2021, plus in-depth interviews with leading figures in the media landscape. Media icon and business leader, Ita Buttrose, was interviewed for the report and made a comment on the need to ‘take the next steps,’ from which this report takes its name. 

The report includes two sets of data: Big Picture and Top Billing. Big Picture was an examination of online news articles published in the month of May – a huge sample of more than 57,000 articles. Top Billing was a smaller sample of nearly 4000 articles appearing on page one of print publications or on the main section of the publication’s home page. 

“While the findings of this 2021 report demonstrate that we still have quite a way to go, I am buoyed by a shift in attitude and commitment from Australian media management. Almost everyone interviewed agreed that diversity and gender equality in our news coverage is important to address – especially when considering the purpose of our media and the role it has in fairly representing and supporting Australian people now, and into the future. Many are now trialling ways to tackle this, and learning from positive progress elsewhere.”  

WLIA Founding Chair, Carol Schwartz AO

Click to read the 2021 Women for Media – Take the Next Steps report.

Key Findings

What women write about is gendered. Topics most likely to be reported on by women include health (53%) and entertainment (44%). What men write about is also gendered, and the topics that are “men’s topics” include politics (65%) and sports (87%).

Men are entitled to have an opinion about everything. Of all opinion pieces published in the month of May 2021, men wrote 65 per cent of them.  

Share the report’s findings

(double click to open and download)

Related Resources