The rules of the (leadership) game: Gender, politics and news

Ross, Karen and Comrie, Margie (2012) The rules of the (leadership) game: Gender, politics and news. Journalism, 13 (8). pp. 969-984. ISSN 1464-8849

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1464884911433255

Abstract

The abiding interest of researchers to explore the nature of political communication continues to provoke lively debates about who controls the moveable feast of the news agenda – politicians or journalists. This article argues that despite journalistic claims of impartiality, a careful, multilayered analysis of print and broadcast news of a general election (New Zealand, 2008) and, more specifically, reportage about the leaders of the Labour Party (Helen Clark) and National Party (John Key) demonstrates clear bias against the long-serving (older female) incumbent in favour of the (younger male) challenger. This bias is manifest in several ways, including the visibility of the two leaders measured by column inches, their uses as quoted sources and the tone and tenor of reportage. Whilst we found few examples of explicitly sexist commentary, there were numerous ways in Clark’s personal attributes, including her sex and age, were slyly used to undermine her continued suitability for the top job.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: journalistic routines, media sexism, news bias, woman Prime Minister, women politicians
Subjects: L200 Politics
P300 Media studies
P500 Journalism
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2013 09:02
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2017 08:17
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/13880

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