Study: U.K. Newspaper Front Pages Feature Few Women Beyond Kate, Pippa Middleton

2:12 AM PST 10/15/2012 by Georg Szalai
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After recent criticism of a lack of female hosts at the BBC, Women in Journalism says papers are dominated by male writers and celebrities, such as Simon Cowell.

LONDON - Male bylines and male personalities dominate the front pages of U.K. newspapers, according to a new study by industry group Women in Journalism.

The survey, carried out over four weeks, found that the only women to be regularly featured in front-page pictures were Kate Middleton and sister Pippa Middleton along with a crime victim that was in the headlines during the research period.

Males were much more prominently featured. The three that made the most front-page photo appearances during the period were Simon Cowell, whose biography came out around that time, Prince William and Nicolas Sarkozy who fought a losing re-election battle in France then, according to the Guardian, which reported the results.

Female journalists also got little front-page exposure, with men writing 78 percent of articles, according to Women in Journalism.

And 84 percent of the people mentioned or quoted in lead stories were men, it found. Women were most likely to be quoted as celebrities or victims, it said.

Women's rights groups previously criticized about sexist stereotypes in the media during the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics and standards.

New BBC director general George Entwistle recently vowed to address concern about a lack of females on the public broadcaster's programs. Critics have spoken of ageism and sexism against women, including former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips.

Entwistle has also promised to look for ways to promote more female experts on news shows.

Among newspapers seen as high-quality news providers, the Financial Times had the biggest proportion of female writers on the front page with 34 percent, according to Women in Journalism.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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