#newsrooms #gender #journalists
A large body of research has documented gender bias in the news coverage of women. Despite small gains in recent years, namely on television, and the growing percentage of females in the workforce, substantial underrepresentation of women in the news has remained. To explore journalists’ social and professional world as a milieu of the lived professional and culturally grounded understandings of gender, we conducted participant observation of a television newsroom. Drawing on symbolic interactionism, our study explored daily interactions and communicative performances, focusing on how gender is built in everyday work encounters in ways that may be connected to potential changes in the practices of gender representations. The study identified three primary themes: newsroom environment, gender assumptions, and issues of language. Our findings support that gender is not given but performed mostly according to institutionalised common practices following gender expectations and presuppositions, making change more difficult and slower than necessary. Future research should complement the limitations of the cultural generalizability of our study. Recommendations include the study of gender construction in relation to other components of gender as a social institution and gender in television journalism practice.