Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Mass Communication

Document Type



America prides itself on having a free press. Ideally, this free press would look like the communities in which they cover. However, research shows that gender discrepancies are quite common in newsrooms (Anderson 2014; Briscoe 2012; Norris 1997; Willnat and Weaver 2014). Women often have a marginal presence in newsrooms, and this is troublesome, because scholars have noted that men and women approach newsgathering and reporting differently (Beam and Cicco 2010; Briscoe 2012; Grabe et al. 2011; Weaver 1997). While research has focused on gender discrepancies in various types of media, little to no research has looked at the field of photojournalism specifically. This research aims to examine the gender demographics of photojournalism in American newspapers, as well as the organizational factors that could influence the amount of women in the field. Using census data provided by the American Society of News Editors, I was able to find support for three out of four hypotheses. Women are quite rare in the field of photojournalism, and factors such as the previous year’s demographics and a newspaper’s circulation impact the amount of women present in photo departments. With this research, I hope individuals working in newspapers examine their news organization’s approach to women in photojournalism, and that newsrooms will aim to create a newsroom that is friendly to both genders and that reflects the communities in which they cover.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Dunaway, Johanna