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Women in online news are less heard, more seen

A technician works in the "Acquisition Room", which receives televison feeds from around the world, during an event to mark the opening of the new Univision and Fusion television networks newsroom in Doral, Florida August 28, 2013. Spanish language behemoth Univision is ramping up its new English cable news network Fusion aimed at younger viewers, hiring hundreds of staffers and building a flashy newsroom as it prepares to enter the crowded field of cable news channels.    REUTERS/Joe Skipper  (UNITED STATES - Tags: MEDIA BUSINESS)
A technician works in the "Acquisition Room", which receives televison feeds from around the world, during an event to mark the opening of the new Univision and Fusion television networks newsroom in Doral, Florida August 28, 2013. Spanish language behemoth Univision is ramping up its new English cable news network Fusion aimed at younger viewers, hiring hundreds of staffers and building a flashy newsroom as it prepares to enter the crowded field of cable news channels. REUTERS/Joe Skipper (UNITED STATES - Tags: MEDIA BUSINESS)

Washington: Women are allegedly under-represented and marginalised in relation to men in the world’s news media and now, a new study suggest that when it comes to online media outlets, women are seen more than heard.

The research, using artificial intelligence (AI), has analysed over two million articles to find out how gender is represented in online news and found that men’s views and voices are represented more in online news than women’s.

The study also showed that while being overall under-represented, women appear proportionally more in images than men, while men are mentioned more in text than women.

A breakdown of topics shows that women feature more in articles about fashion, followed by entertainment and art, while being least present in topics including sport and politics.

A team of AI experts at the University of Bristol’s Intelligent Systems Laboratory (ISL), led by Nello Cristianini, Professor of Artificial Intelligence, teamed up with social scientist, Dr Cynthia Carter from Cardiff University, to ask a very old question on a very new scale. How many men and how many women are mentioned in the news, or portrayed in newspaper images, over a long period of time and in over hundreds of different newspapers?

Carter said that the large-scale, data-driven analysis offers important empirical evidence of macroscopic patterns in news content, supporting feminist researchers’ longstanding claim that the marginalisation of women’s voices in the news media under-values their potential contributions to society, and in the processes, diminishes democracy.

The study appears in PLOS ONE. (ANI)

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