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Women and Media: A Critical Introduction

ISBN: 978-1-4051-1607-7
304 pages
January 2006, Wiley-Blackwell
Women and Media: A Critical Introduction (1405116072) cover image
Women and Media is a thoughtful cross-cultural examination of the ways in which women have worked inside and outside mainstream media organizations since the 1970s.

  • Rooted in a series of interviews with women media workers and activists collected specifically for this book, the text provides an original insight into women’s experiences.

  • Explains the ways that women have organized their internal and external campaigns to improve media content (or working conditions) for women, and established womenowned media to gain a public voice.

  • Identifies key issues and developments in feminist media critiques and interventions over the last 30 years, as these relate to production, representation and consumption.

  • Functions as both a research case study and a teaching text.
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Preface and acknowledgments vi

About the authors ix

1 Introduction 1

Part I Research on women and media: a short history 15

2 Women in/as entertainment 17

3 Images of women in news and magazines 37

4 Women as audience 56

5 Women and production: gender and the political economy of media industries 75

Part II Women, media, and the public sphere: shifting the agenda 97

6 Toward a Model of Women’s Media Action 99

7 First path: politics to media 129

8 Second path: media profession to politics 155

9 Third path: advocate change agent 185

10 Fourth path: women’s media enterprises 208

11 Conclusion 231

Bibliography 240

Appendix: research participants 273

Name index 278

Subject index 284

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Carolyn M. Byerly, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Graduate Program of Mass Communication and Media Studies, Department of Journalism, Howard University, Washington DC (USA). She teaches seminars in mass communication theory, research methods, media effects, and political communication. Recent publications include Women and Media: International Perspectives (edited with Karen Ross, Blackwell, 2004), "After 9/11: Formation of an Oppositional Discourse," (Feminist Media Studies, Fall 2005), and "Women and the Concentration of Media Ownership" (in R. R. Rush, C.E. Oukrop, and P. J. Creedon, Seeking Equity for Women in Journalism and Mass Communication Education, Erlbaum, 2004).


Karen Ross, Ph.D., is Professor of Mass Communication at Coventry University (UK). She teaches research methods, gender politics and media, and audience studies and is has written extensively on issues of in/equality in communication and culture. Her previous books include: Gender and Newsroom Cultures: Identities at Work (with Marjan de Bruin, Hampton Press, 2004); Women and Media: International Perspectives (edited with Carolyn M. Byerly, Blackwell, 2004); Media and Audiences (with Virginia Nightingale, Open University Press, 2003. She is currently working on two studies relating to press coverage of elections from a gender perspective.

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  • Rooted in a series of interviews with women media workers and activists collected specifically for this book, the text provides an original insight into women’s experiences.
  • Explains the ways that women have organized their internal and external campaigns to improve media content (or working conditions) for women, and established womenowned media to gain a public voice.
  • Identifies key issues and developments in feminist media critiques and interventions over the last 30 years, as these relate to production, representation and consumption.
  • Functions as both a research case study and a teaching text.
See More
“Byerly and Ross not only advocate but succeed in integrating theory with empirical data, and may inspire a few readers to undertake their own media action.”
Linda Steiner, Rutgers University


“The first comprehensive attempt to theorize women's media activism and its relationship to social change. An inspiring chronicle of feminist interventions in media systems world-wide, and a welcome bridge between scholarship and practice.”
Margaret Gallagher, author of Gender Setting: New Agendas for Media Monitoring and Advocacy

“The essays are forays into areas of media studies which will only grow with the growing presence and innovations of women in this central field of contemporary culture.”
Midwest Book Review

"A useful outline of global feminist media scholarship for students and practitioners. The book opens up new directions for future research, tempering an engagement with historical development of women's media activism with attention to the real voices and experiences of current activists and practitioners."
Culture and Policy

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