April 26, 2014

"The Media Has a Woman Problem"

From the NYT:
The Media Has a Woman Problem 
APRIL 26, 2014 
... All but one of the individual winners of Pulitzer Prizes in journalism this year were male.

So, that suggests that women employees on average just aren't performing up to snuff, right?

Oops, forget that inference ever occurred to me! Don't let anybody notice you are inferring.


Anonymous said...

Just as, if not more likely that less deviation towards either extreme of journalistic ability in women is the reason why there are less female Pulitzer winners.

If running newspapers by staffing with the worst journalists possible was a viable business model and there was a prize for the worst journalism in the world, it would probably be won by males as well. And they would probably work for the Guardian.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer remarked:
"""Oops, forget that inference ever occurred to me! Don't let anybody notice you are inferring.""""

Or that someone happened to notice. Must be another slow news day. Well, the Yanks just started the season and the Knicks may not get out of the first round of NBA playoffs so it is a bit slow, a bit slow.

hardly said...

while i mostly agree, let's not set much store by these socially-decided markers of achievement. Same reason I think Charles Murray is setting a bizarre precedent when he talks of subjective "human accomplishment" metrics.
Like the Nobel peace prize, the day is not far when Pulitzer, Nobels etc will be decided based on who-whom. Which in the end isnt entirely wrong - currently, male perspectives dominate at the upper echelons, and hence male achievers are singled out for praise.

When women form a larger proportion of judges, they will value female achievement more, both due to female solidarity as well as the mere fact that feminine things will innately appeal more to them.

Many men may rate your writing skills very highly, but I doubt it appeals to women (not merely the content, but the style itself). They may prefer loopy female writing that focuses on sentiment and feelings. There's no objective way to say one is better than the other.

Objective standards - maybe international math olympiads, perhaps SAT and GRE scores.. Even the SAT and GRE were re-normed to make the math easy and the verbal hard - so perhaps a better metric may be verbal or math alone.

Anonymous said...

The average female journalist probably does just fine. But in journalism, as in basically every other endeavor, the very best are men.

Reg Cæsar said...

The media HAVE a woman problem. And a grammar one as well. Unless "media" is now a mass noun, like "feces".

(Yes, I know the Venerable Derb disagrees. I usually avoid the controversy by using "press".)

Whiskey said...

To really achieve greatness in journalism, you MUST break stories. Report I dunno, NEWS. Stuff that is new that people did not know before. So, bashing GWB for being a "cowboy" (the product of Andover and Yale and Harvard and son of a President and grandson of Senator) won't cut it -- that's female herd assertion as useless as mean girls cutting out the new girl just because it shows their social power.

Which describes about 95% of Journalism.

What say, the Journalists at Chicago Magazine did, reporting how CPD under-reports crime by "disappearing" murders and rapes and assaults, and downgrading others to misdemeanors, is real reporting. It required legwork, tracking each reported shooting, discovery of a body, etc. and matching it up with the official Chicago PD stats and reporting. Which is tedious, time consuming, and requires some floor of math and logic skills. Instead of mean girl fashion (see Maureen Dowd).

Tedium, legwork, math and logic skills? That's pretty much the definition of mostly but not exclusively male reporters right there.

Look at Woodward and Bernstein. Sure they were spoon fed info by Mark Felt. But they still had to verify it, which meant cross-checking and legwork and looking at donor forms and official reports and such. Which was tedious and required pattern recognition and basic math.

Anonymous said...

No one does investigative journalism anymore, because no one wants it. No one who calls the shots, that is.

The narrative on everything is settled in five minutes, a priori, as it were. After that, who needs the aggravation?

Gilbert P

Anonymous said...

Steve, you could equally well infer that goys aren't up to snuff.

Either way you'd underestimate the resistance of the elite networks to outsiders.

Felix M said...

As one of the anonyms noted, the different bell curves result in proportionately more higher performing reporters (the kind who tend to win prizes) and proportionately more under performing ones also. As the latter group are presumably encouraged to find alternative employment, the result is presumably an employment sector with a majority of competent women and with the top spots being occupied by men.

Come think of it, this also applies to other white collar jobs, such as lawyers. (Jobs which don't demand a good grasp of math or stats.)

Anonymous said...

What we need is playoffs. Choose the best three stories by women, the best three stories by men, and compare them.