A recent FAIR study (Extra!, 8/10) looked at politically themed books reviewed by the New York Times Book Review and the C-SPAN show After Words and concluded that both outlets heavily favored white male authors and reviewers. The Times came off particularly badly in the study, which revealed 95 percent of the U.S. authors reviewed, and 96 percent of the reviewers, were white.
As far as gender was concerned, women–who obviously make up roughly 50 percent of the population–accounted for just 13 percent of the authors and 12 percent of the critics.
Today, Slate weighed in on the New York Times Book Review‘s biases. Picking up on a controversy sparked by author Jodi Picoult‘s charges of gender bias at the review, Slate published a study showing that 62 percent of the the fiction book’s reviewed by the section were written by men, and the subset that were also reviewed in the daily paper were 71 percent male-authored.
Are New York Times book reviews a white male ghetto in an otherwise more diverse newspaper? Well, no. On gender, numerous byline studies have shown the paper heavily favoring male reporters, particularly on the front page. One such study conducted for FAIR (Extra!, 8/04) found that 88 percent of the Times front-page articles were written by men.
Now a new study has emerged showing that the Times runs more than six times as many obituaries on men as they do on women. According to the website NYTPicker (8/29/10),so far in 2010, 85 percent of the paper’s obituaries have been about men, with men’s obits out pacing women’s 606 to 92.
So the Times‘ male bias prevails, even in death.