Dr Heather Savigny featured in New Statesman on women in politics and media

Dr Heather Savigny, Senior Lecturer in Politics at BU and Deirdre O’Neill, Lecturer in Journalism at Trinity College Leeds, have written for New Statesman website about their research into the representation of female politicians in the media.

“It’s 2014 – yet media and politics is still a man’s game” outlines the results of an archival study of newspaper coverage of female MPs since 1992. The study was originally published in Journalism Education and funded with the help of a grant from the Association of Journalism Education.

Using their research, Savigny and O’Neill concluded that the way women in politics are represented in the media is getting worse, writing,

“Female politicians were more likely to be reported negatively – for example, by 2012 we found that although all Conservative politicians received negative coverage, Conservative women MPs received negative coverage that was double that of their male counterparts. Labour women, meanwhile, were receiving coverage that was four times more likely than Labour men to be negative.”

They went on to state that it wasn’t just the negative bias of the coverage but also a case of numbers of female MPs gaining press coverage and the treatment of them differs too, the media preferring to focus on physical appearances rather than policies. Savigny and O’Neill finished by calling for a more mature approach to reportage when it comes to women in politics.

You can read the full article on New Statesman.