According to a University of Nevada analysis of 352 front-page New York Times stories in January and February of this year, women have nothing interesting to say.
Well, that’s not quite true. It’s just that men are six times more quotable than women on the topic of international affairs, four and a half times more quotable on politics, and even twice as quotable on style. Overall, the writers (who were twice as likely to be men) quoted men by name 65% of the time, women 19% of the time, and unnamed or unknown sources 17% of the time.
As a female reporter for a media outlet that works really hard to feature and spotlight a diversity of outstanding women in the highly male-dominated fields of business and technology, I know it’s not always easy to find women (or people of color) to interview. But I also know that if you actually make it an actionable goal, it’s doable. And it leads to a better, fresher publication.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes is unabashed about how he achieves such diversity: quotas. In other words, have a metric for diverse and high-quality representation and stick to it. “We just would look at the board and say, ‘We already have too many white men. We can’t have more.’ Really, that was it … Always, constantly just counting,” he told the Columbia Journalism Review.