Nellie Bly need not apply

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This week J-Source did a double take on sexist language in the media. A review of past posts suggests that how female politicians are treated in the news may be related to how female staffers are treated in the newsroom. From editorial masts to op-ed pages, women are greatly under-represented, although they form the majority of j-school grads. In a 2007 survey, 79 per cent of female journalists said sexism and discrimination are at play in Canadian journalism. (Worth noting: the majority of their male colleagues disagreed.)

From the days of Bly and Tarbell, it’s not as if women haven’t fought to be on the frontlines. So where are you, women journalists and j-grads? Are you, like Barbara Budd, toiling among a corps of part-timers occasionally declared redundant? Or do you work where only hotties need apply? Visit J-Source and tell your story.

(Photo: Nellie Bly. Public domain)       

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This article links to another, Gender equity elusive, surveys show, which indicates that female students were more likely to take internships in public relations than were their male counterparts while still in school and that the female students more often cared more about salary and benefits than did their male counterparts. Those findings, if correct, pretty clearly explain what's going on: the women are going for the jobs that pay more and provide them with better benefits. Perhaps the way to encourage more women to go into media jobs, then, is to simply promote the hiring of men for those higher-paying public relations jobs which come with better benefits. By filling up more of those higher-paying public relations jobs with men, maybe the female students would then make the choice that pays less and offers fewer benefits and go into media jobs. Of course, that would tend to lower the average wage of women. But at least it would finally create that level playing field. There would be more men in public relations and more women in media jobs. And, hey, isn't equality what it's all about?

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