REPORT: Weekday Evening Cable News Silences Women On The Economy

Over the past year, weekday evening cable news shows have hosted significantly more male than female guests to discuss the economy, and have hosted only a handful of female economists.

Women Make Up Less Than A Third Of Guests Brought On To Discuss Economy

Only 28 Percent Of Guests In Segments About The Economy Are Women. From April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014, women accounted for only 28 percent of guest appearances in segments primarily focused on the economy during evening programming on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.


Gender Disparity In Segments About Economy Worst On Fox News. Of the three networks examined, Fox News hosted the smallest percentage of female guests in segments on the economy, with women only representing 26 percent of total guest appearances. CNN and MSNBC both provided proportionally more female guest appearances than Fox News, performing better than the average across all networks.


Female Economists Almost Entirely Absent From Discussion

Only 9.6 Percent Of Economists Were Female. Female economists accounted for roughly 9.6 percent of total economist appearances throughout the year. The lack of women economists on news programs belies the fact that in 2012, almost 32 percent of new economics doctorate recipients were women.



Media Matters conducted a Nexis search of transcripts of evening (defined as 5 p.m. through 11 p.m.) programs on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC from March 31, 2013 through April 1, 2014. We identified and reviewed all segments that included any of the following keywords: econom!, jobs, growth, debt, and deficit. When transcripts were incomplete, we reviewed video.

The following programs were included in the data: Crossfire, The Situation Room, Erin Burnett OutFront, Anderson Cooper 360Piers Morgan Live, The Five, Special Report with Bret Baier, The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,The Kelly File, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton,The Ed Show, All In with Chris Hayes, The Rachel Maddow Show,andThe Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Media Matters only included segments that had substantial discussion of policy implications on the macroeconomy.

We defined an economist as someone who either holds an advanced degree in economics, has worked in the economics profession, or has served as an economics professor at the college or university level.