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Women are still outnumbered by men on news and current affairs shows for TV and radio, claims study


By Seb Joseph, News editor

May 15, 2016 | 3 min read

The gender gap in news and current affairs broadcasting is still a wide one, according to a report.

Women are still outnumbered by men on news and current affairs shows for TV and radio

The study, which was commissioned by action group Women on Air, reveals that on both the BBC and ITV’s 10pm news programmes, male reporters outnumber females by three to one, reports The Sunday Times. The gap for Sky News and Channel Four is two to one.

The report, which is expected to be revealed at a conference later this week, will reportedly show that the number of female experts on air has risen. Despite this, there are still more men being asked on air to share their opinions.

Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s deputy director of news, is set to use the conference to unveil the corporation’s plan to reintroduce broadcasting training courses for women with expert knowledge in order to help close the gender gap. Last month, the broadcaster pledged that women will make up half the people who appear on its TV and radio stations and in leading on-screen roles by 2020.

The report follows the release of last week’s white paper on proposed reforms to the BBC that called for a more diverse organisation and stated it should have an equal ratio of men to women both on and off-screen by 2020.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey, who will give a keynote speech at the Women on Air conference later this week, said: “There’s no reason why there should not be greater gender equality both on and off air. I want the industry to continue the good work already started. However, the pace of change is too slow. Our TV screens and radio waves need to better reflect the society we live in. We are enshrining diversity in the next BBC charter, but all broadcasters must redouble their efforts.”

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