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Even NPR Lacks Women's Voices

April 2, 2010

Today NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard published a thorough, insightful study on NPR’s failure to adequately represent women’s voices. The ombudsman's role is to serve as a trusted intermediary between the organization and its constituency -- and NPR is serving its listeners well by honestly evaluating where disparities lie and working to address them.   With well-researched statistics and studies, Shepard proves that while NPR has been an industry leader with female correspondents and hosts (a fact we applaud them for), it strongly favors featuring men over women in choosing commentators and sources.  In fact, typically only 26% of sources interviewed by NPR offered women’s perspectives.   In reflecting on these findings Shepard consulted Women’s Media Center President Jehmu Greene, who commented: “Many times we hear there are no women, or there are more men to tap into as experts.  I think that's a mindset that is common in the media. Clearly, it is worth it to do the extra work for the story to get the female perspective which many times can be different, unique and necessary."   Findings like these go to the heart of the Women’s Media Center’s mission, and injustices like these are exactly what our organization seeks to amend.  Our Progressive Women’s Voices media and leadership training program helps progressive women position themselves as leaders in their fields.  And through our SheSource database of 500+ experts, the Women’s Media Center is serving as a go-to resource for media outlets like NPR so they can easily book women.  No longer can a producer say there are no women experts on issues like national security, immigration, and health care reform, because the Women's Media Center is just a click away.   To find women experts on a wide variety of issues, visit our SheSource page here: http://www.shesource.org/shesource/index.php.

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