Women are quoted one-third as often as men in Canadian news stories, says a resource centre dedicated to closing the gap, as it unveils a new project to monitor the discrepancy.
Informed Opinions, a project under Media Action – a non-profit organization that aims to improve the representation of girls and women in the media – has just released a new tool to highlight the persisting disparity and hold newsrooms to account.
The Gender Gap tracker, which launched Monday, has been mining data from a set of online news sources since August.
“What gets measured gets done,” Shari Graydon, Informed Opinions’ founder and catalyst, told J-Source.
Currently, the tracker is processing data from seven outlets: the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, Huffpost, CTV, CBC News, Global News and the National Post.
Informed Opinions, which offers a database of women experts as part of a strategy to support improved gender representation on the “supply side,” held a series of roundtables in 2015 with journalists and editors across four cities, including those from the newsrooms currently being analyzed.
Graydon says what they heard “loud and clear” across the country – though particularly in Toronto newsrooms – was “‘you need to stay in our faces. We know we’re not doing a good job, and it’s hard, but if you don’t keep on our case, we’ve got other priorities and it’s not going to happen.