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Home   /   Whose news? Report finds only 30% of experts on prime-time TV news are women

A ‘snapshot’ report published by UK research team Women in Journalism has revealed significant inequalities in the diversity of staff and guests featured in prime-time media across the UK.  

The findings were gleaned from a study undertaken in a single week during July 2020, when WiJ monitored the UK’s major newspapers and key radio and TV news programmes for data on the ethnicity and gender of people appearing across the nation’s most ubiquitous media outlets. 

It found women represented 52% of prime-time TV news presenters, but made up only 30% of TV news guest experts. 

Of all front-page stories in newspapers, 25% were attributed to women. Only two front-page stories were attributed to BAME female journalists.  

The research also revealed low figures in representation of Black and BAME journalists across the field, particularly in the papers, where not one front-page story was written by a Black reporter.  

Four front-page stories were written by BAME men – one of whom wrote two of the stories.  

On prime-time TV news, less than one in 50 experts interviewed were Black women. 

Radio shows were even less accommodating, with only 19 appearances from Black female experts out of the 816 total people given airtime. 

While the data collated in this study is, by WiJ’s own admission, ‘not exhaustive’ the report is indicative of widespread imbalances in the diversity of perspectives behind (and in front of) the most prolific stories in the UK’s circulation of news media. 

  • The full report by Women in Journalism can be found here

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