“I first wrote about this issue in my column’s early days, like 14 or 15 years ago!” Nation writer Katha Pollitt told me via e-mail, after I asked women from the organization Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) to chime in. After last year’s VIDA charts came out, Pollitt published a piece in Slate assigning blame to both editors and the general lack of participation from men in conversations about byline equity.
“If you really want more women writers, get more women editors,” she wrote. “The phone works both ways, after all
It’s naive to think that the fact that most top editors are men isn’t part of the story.”
With the gender gap sustaining its staggering girth, one can only imagine how wide the chasm is when it comes to racial equity in bylines. Who’s going to compile those figures?
I’d bet it won’t be the white male editors who currently sit at the top of the media food chain. Better luck next year, ladies.
For further reading:
Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS): http://www.jaws.org
Women, Action, and the Media (WAM): http://www.womenactionmedia.org
The Applied Research Center: http:// www.arc.org
*Example of calculations:
London Review of Books, 30 to 186 in 2011 (total 216 for total of 13.88 percent female); 74 to 343 in 2010 (total 417 for 17.74 percent female).
Granta, 34 women, 30 men in 2011 (53.12 percent); 26 to 49 in 2010 (34.66 percent).
Boston Review, 60 to 131 in 2011 (191, 31.41 percent); 93 to 173 in 2010 (total 266, 34.96 percent).
The Nation, 118 to 293 in 2011; 411 total or 28.71 percent for 2011 (no 2010 data).
Correction: This piece originally reported that, in the most recent set of pie charts released by VIDA, the color red denoted the number of female bylines that appeared in major magazines last year. In fact, red is used to denote male bylines. The relevant sentence has been corrected. CJR regrets the error.