In the Twitter Universe of Washington Journalists, Women Tend to Be Ignored

A new study led by Nikki Usher, an associate professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, finds that in the Twitter universe of Washington-area political journalists, women tend to be ignored by their colleagues.

Dr. Usher and her research team analyzed nearly 2 million tweets of nearly, 2,300 journalists in the Washington area. They found that of the 25 journalists who had the most followers on Twitter, only four were women. Male journalists were three times as likely to retweet posts made by other men than to retweet posts by women journalists. And men responded to tweets by other men 91.5 percent of the time.

“The dynamics within this group are particularly important because they affect the way news is made and amplified,” Dr. Usher said. “Just being [male] means you get a follower advantage that is highly important for setting the tone of how people respect you. And more people are more likely to follow you if they see you already have more followers.”

Dr. Usher is the author of Making News at The New York Times (University of Michigan Press, 2014) and Interactive Journalism: Hackers, Data, and Code (University of Illinois Press, 2016). She is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Southern California.

The full study, “Twitter Makes It Worse: Political Journalists, Gendered Echo Chambers, and the Amplification of Gender Bias,” was published in the International Journal of Press/Politics. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply