REPORT: Women Are Underrepresented In Cable News Segments On Foreign Affairs, National Security

In 2014, weekday evening cable news programs featured significantly more male than female guests and commentators to discuss foreign affairs and national security stories, with women making up merely 22 percent of the total featured guests and commentators across the three networks.

Women Make Up Less Than A Quarter Of Guests Discussing National Security And Foreign Affairs

Fewer Than One-In-Four National Security And Foreign Affairs Guests Were Women. Women comprised just 22 percent of nearly 6,000 total guests and commentators featured during weekday evening and primetime foreign affairs and national security coverage on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC in 2014.

Cable News Offered Little Time For Women In 2014

Enormous Gender Disparity Present Across All Three Outlets. Fox News featured women in roughly 25 percent of recorded segments, while MSNBC and CNN each featured female guests in just over 20 percent of segments discussing foreign affairs and national security.

Every Network Has A Serious Problem With Gender Diversity


Media Matters conducted a Nexis search of transcripts of evening (defined as 5 p.m. through 11 p.m.) programs on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. We identified and reviewed all segments that included any of the following keywords: terror! or diplo! or foreign policy or foreign affairs or world events or human rights or John Kerry or Secretary Kerry or Chuck Hagel or Secretary Hagel or Samantha Power or Ambassador Power or Pope Francis or Venezuela or Brazil or Africa or Iraq or Libya or Syria or Egypt or Israel or Turkey or Iran or Afghanistan or Pakistan or Crimea or Ukraine or Russia or China or North Korea or Snowden or Guantanamo or Bradley Manning or Chelsea Manning or drones or sanctions or refugees or ISIS or al qaeda or al qaida or boko haram or United Nations or UN or NATO or NSA or FBI or CIA or Army or Navy or Air Force or Marines.

The following programs were included in the data: Crossfire, The Situation Room, Erin Burnett OutFront, Anderson Cooper 360, Piers Morgan Live, CNN Tonight, 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, and The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. Media Matters only included segments that had substantial discussion of foreign affairs and national security.