The challenge

In 2016, WiM partnered with Isentia to conduct an analysis of media to determine the visibility of female journalists and the topics they cover, as well as how women are represented, to complement a survey of women working in the media. The project is used to support WiM’s ongoing calls for “greater representation, profile and power for women in the industry”.

Women in Media Image

Our approach

Isentia conducted a large-scale analysis of over 9,000 Australian news reports and provided stark evidence of gender imbalance in the media. This research was then presented to WiM with some key findings.

Isentia analysed over 9,000 Australian news reports to help WiM to prove that gender disparity exists in Australian media, and to lobby for change.


The research uncovered:

  • Despite almost equal proportions of men and women in the workforce, female journalists were named or acknowledged as journalists in less than one-third of media coverage;
  • Under a quarter of all sources quoted in the news were female; and that
  • About one-quarter of experts quoted were female.

We also found that the disproportion between female and male journalists, sources and experts was particularly accentuated incoverage of certain topics, notably sport and politics.

On the basis of our research and in-depth report, WiM are now implementing changes, engaging existing males and female decision makers and urging newsmakers to think about the kind of contributions female spokespeople are asked to make. 

"This research has become a rallying cry for women working in an industry that has a pay gap worse than construction and mining are"

Katelin McInerney, MEAA, Director of Media

"Isentia did a superb job with our Women in Media report. The research is quoted often in newspaper, radio and television interviews, and is used to argue our case for greater representation, profile and power for women in our industry.”

Tracey Spicer, Women in Media Convernor