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Hard worker versus pretty eyes : evaluating the numerical and substantive representation of ministers in newspaper articles

Elise Storme (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
Politicians exist in a mediatized political environment where the media are citizens’ primary source of information. Therefore, any systematic gender bias in media coverage is likely to contribute to the underrepresentation of female politicians. Research has shown how female politicians are less visible in the news. In addition, articles refer more often to women’s family life, gender, personality, age, and appearance. Most of these studies focus solely on the representation of women as electoral candidates, a highly heterogeneous body. Furthermore, studying all political periods instead of focusing on campaigns is vital as voters’ perceptions of politicians are constructed during routine years as well. This paper wants to address both shortcomings by conducting an in-depth quantitative content analysis of 4,298 individual mentions in 3,528 articles from five different Flemish newspapers about male and female ministers during three distinct periods of the political cycle. We find that the numerical underrepresentation of women is less evident than in previous research. In terms of substantive media representation, female politicians’ private lives, age, and personality traits are not referred to more often than those of their male colleagues. However, we do notice a strong focus on women’s gender throughout the political cycle and their physical appearance during the election period.
Keywords
Content analysis, newspaper coverage, gender bias, Flanders, representation, women, politics

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Storme, Elise. “Hard Worker versus Pretty Eyes : Evaluating the Numerical and Substantive Representation of Ministers in Newspaper Articles.” Politicologenetmaal 2022, Proceedings, 2022.
APA
Storme, E. (2022). Hard worker versus pretty eyes : evaluating the numerical and substantive representation of ministers in newspaper articles. Politicologenetmaal 2022, Proceedings. Presented at the Politicologenetmaal (Annual Political Science Workshops of the Low Countries), Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Chicago author-date
Storme, Elise. 2022. “Hard Worker versus Pretty Eyes : Evaluating the Numerical and Substantive Representation of Ministers in Newspaper Articles.” In Politicologenetmaal 2022, Proceedings.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Storme, Elise. 2022. “Hard Worker versus Pretty Eyes : Evaluating the Numerical and Substantive Representation of Ministers in Newspaper Articles.” In Politicologenetmaal 2022, Proceedings.
Vancouver
1.
Storme E. Hard worker versus pretty eyes : evaluating the numerical and substantive representation of ministers in newspaper articles. In: Politicologenetmaal 2022, Proceedings. 2022.
IEEE
[1]
E. Storme, “Hard worker versus pretty eyes : evaluating the numerical and substantive representation of ministers in newspaper articles,” in Politicologenetmaal 2022, Proceedings, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 2022.
@inproceedings{8761007,
  abstract     = {{Politicians exist in a mediatized political environment where the media are citizens’ primary source of information. Therefore, any systematic gender bias in media coverage is likely to contribute to the underrepresentation of female politicians. Research has shown how female politicians are less visible in the news. In addition, articles refer more often to women’s family life, gender, personality, age, and appearance. Most of these studies focus solely on the representation of women as electoral candidates, a highly heterogeneous body. Furthermore, studying all political periods instead of focusing on campaigns is vital as voters’ perceptions of politicians are constructed during routine years as well. This paper wants to address both shortcomings by conducting an in-depth quantitative content analysis of 4,298 individual mentions in 3,528 articles from five different Flemish newspapers about male and female ministers during three distinct periods of the political cycle. We find that the numerical underrepresentation of women is less evident than in previous research. In terms of substantive media representation, female politicians’ private lives, age, and personality traits are not referred to more often than those of their male colleagues. However, we do notice a strong focus on women’s gender throughout the political cycle and their physical appearance during the election period.}},
  author       = {{Storme, Elise}},
  booktitle    = {{Politicologenetmaal 2022, Proceedings}},
  keywords     = {{Content analysis,newspaper coverage,gender bias,Flanders,representation,women,politics}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Nijmegen, the Netherlands}},
  pages        = {{22}},
  title        = {{Hard worker versus pretty eyes : evaluating the numerical and substantive representation of ministers in newspaper articles}},
  year         = {{2022}},
}