2021 Women for media report – Jenna Price, Blair Williams, Women’s Leadership Institute Australia

‘Take the next steps’

Australian news organisations are taking the next steps to elevate the voices of women. When Women’s Leadership Institute Australia (WLIA) published its last report in 2019, few news organisations were willing to go on the record about the challenges of addressing gender representation both in their newsrooms and in the news. It’s a different story now.

The report includes two sets of data: Big Picture and Top BillingBig 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.

In the inaugural Women for Media 2012 report, women accounted for 20 per cent of all comments. The Women for Media research methodology has evolved since then, but in 2013 and 2016 the report showed little movement. In 2019, a discrete sample of page one stories or of the main story on the home page revealed improvement in the elevation of women’s voices – 34 per cent of stories featured women. In 2021, the huge ‘Big Picture’ data set shows that 31 per cent of quotes in the month of May were by women.

Read the full report here.