REPORT: Women Represent One-Third Of Cable News Economic Guests


In the second quarter of 2014, women comprised just over one-third of weekday cable news guests invited to discuss issues relating to the American economy. The disparity between men and women still marks an improvement over previously measured trends in gender diversity among cable news outlets.

Women Make Up Just Over One-Third Of Guests Invited To Discuss Economy

34 Percent Of Guests In Economic Coverage Are Women. From April 1 through June 30, women accounted for just over 34 percent of guest appearances in segments featuring prominent discussion of economic issues during evening programming on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. The gender disparity among economic guests marks a slight improvement over previously recorded trends, collected from April 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014.

Cable News Guests Lack Gender Diversity

Gender Disparity In Economic Segments Most Apparent At Fox News. Fox News registered the worst gender disparity during segments on the economy, with women representing just 32 percent of featured guests. CNN and MSNBC outperformed Fox News in terms of the proportion of women featured as guests while also outperforming the combined average of 34 percent female guests across all three networks. 

 Fox Lagging Behind Competition In Gender Diversity

Representation Of Female Economists Significantly Improved

Proportion Of Female Economists Nearly Doubled From Previous Ratio. Female economists accounted for nearly 17 percent of total economist appearances in the second quarter of 2014. Despite leaving considerable room for improvement, this marks a substantial development over previously recorded trends in which female economists accounted for just 9.6 percent of economists featured during related segments.  

Women Make Up Less Than One-Fifth Of Featured Economists


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 April 1 through June 30. 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, and The 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. In cases where it was unclear whether or not the guest held an advanced degree, they were classified in the next most descriptive cohort. 

Previous data on the annual ratio of male and female guests is available here: April 2014

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Gender, Economy
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