Aug 1 1992

Clarence the Credible

How Journalists Blew the Thomas Story

News media repeatedly told the U.S. public that Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas were two equally credible people with conflicting stories. And if we believe the polls, most of the country found his version more persuasive. But if the press had given the public more information, would they have doubted Thomas? Numerous stories that raised questions about Thomas’ credibility were known to the press during the hearings–many of which never saw the light of day until after his confirmation. The other women Anita Hill was not the only women to allege that she had been sexually harassed by Thomas. Angela […]

Aug 1 1992

Abortion Coverage Leaves Women out of the Picture

As a background graphic for reports on abortion, TV has sometimes used a depiction of a late-term fetus hanging in space, with no connection to a pregnant woman. The “floating fetus” logo is in sync with the media’s tendency to push women out of the public’s mental picture of the abortion issue. In recent years, national media have heavily covered the issue of abortion. In 1989 and 1990, close to 1500 articles on abortion appeared in major dailies; the weeklies — Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report — have featured stories on abortion more regularly than any other social […]

Jan 1 1992

Gender Bias in Televised Sports

Special Issue on Women, 1992

When CBS and ESPN covered the 1989 college basketball championships, commentators and graphics referred to the men’s events as “The Final Four” and “The NCAA National Championship Game,” while viewers were constantly reminded that they were watching the “Women’s Final Four” and the “NCAA Women’s National Championship Game.” This presentation of women’s games as derivative of a male standard signaled a consistent presentation of female athletics as inferior, according to a study of sports journalism sponsored by the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles that examined these basketball and tennis events. (The study was conducted by Margaret Carlisle Duncan, Michael […]