Citation

Reporting on a Candidate’s Bag or Baggage: Has Media Coverage of Female Candidates Matured Beyond Stereotypes?

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Abstract:

In the last 30 years, the United States has seen a growth in the number of women candidates for high national office (CITE). Given this new norm, one would expect the media to be accustomed to covering candidates without gender bias or stereotypes.

But is this the case? Assuming that the media provides citizens with information for prospective voting (Downs 1957) and that the media acts as a heuristic for low-information voters (Popkin 1994; Lupia and McCubbins 1998), bias based on gender should be alarming. We know that the media can indeed affect voters’ decisions, whether due to their presentation of material (Iyengar and Kinder 1987), their reinforcing of beliefs (Berelson, Lazarsfeld, and McPhee 1954; Zaller 1991), or because of their unequal treatment of the candidates (Kahn and Goldberg 1991).

Seminal works on gender variance in press coverage, like Kahn (1994), focused largely on the amount, type, and negativity of coverage given to candidates in the 1980s. But studies attempting to measure the media’s coverage of personal topics, or its inclusion of gender bias, lead to a mixed bag of conclusions. Our study uses the recent election to determine whether differences still exist in the amounts, issues, favorability and possible bias in coverage. The paper looks at the media treatment of two prominent 2010 Senate races in California and Wisconsin, comparing the content of the coverage given to female candidates versus male candidates.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

candid (154), femal (112), articl (110), coverag (78), race (78), male (66), person (54), focus (53), issu (51), gender (50), media (45), incumb (38), campaign (38), like (37), number (34), discuss (32), observ (28), negat (28), kahn (27), women (26), look (26),
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Association:
Name: Southern Political Science Association
URL:
http://www.spsa.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p544204_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Danley-Scott, Jennifer., Greene, Ravelle. and Tompsett-Makin, Deborah. "Reporting on a Candidate’s Bag or Baggage: Has Media Coverage of Female Candidates Matured Beyond Stereotypes?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Hotel InterContinental, New Orleans, Louisiana, Jan 12, 2012 <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p544204_index.html>

APA Citation:

Danley-Scott, J. , Greene, R. L. and Tompsett-Makin, D. J. , 2012-01-12 "Reporting on a Candidate’s Bag or Baggage: Has Media Coverage of Female Candidates Matured Beyond Stereotypes?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Hotel InterContinental, New Orleans, Louisiana Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p544204_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In the last 30 years, the United States has seen a growth in the number of women candidates for high national office (CITE). Given this new norm, one would expect the media to be accustomed to covering candidates without gender bias or stereotypes.

But is this the case? Assuming that the media provides citizens with information for prospective voting (Downs 1957) and that the media acts as a heuristic for low-information voters (Popkin 1994; Lupia and McCubbins 1998), bias based on gender should be alarming. We know that the media can indeed affect voters’ decisions, whether due to their presentation of material (Iyengar and Kinder 1987), their reinforcing of beliefs (Berelson, Lazarsfeld, and McPhee 1954; Zaller 1991), or because of their unequal treatment of the candidates (Kahn and Goldberg 1991).

Seminal works on gender variance in press coverage, like Kahn (1994), focused largely on the amount, type, and negativity of coverage given to candidates in the 1980s. But studies attempting to measure the media’s coverage of personal topics, or its inclusion of gender bias, lead to a mixed bag of conclusions. Our study uses the recent election to determine whether differences still exist in the amounts, issues, favorability and possible bias in coverage. The paper looks at the media treatment of two prominent 2010 Senate races in California and Wisconsin, comparing the content of the coverage given to female candidates versus male candidates.


Similar Titles:
Variation in Media Coverage of Women Candidates: Gender Stereotypes and Novelty

Personalities, Dress Sizes and Body Shapes: Media Coverage of Women and Men in Statewide Political Races

Candidate Gender, Campaign Issues, and Female Political Engagement


 
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