Can uni journalism shrink the gender gap?

A few days ago PBS addressed the question if journalism schools can address the gender gap in the media. Katherine Krueger excellently pointed out in her story the difficulty it is for women to enter a business that is predominately male-oriented. She stressed that it is intimidating for women to learn the needed skills to succeed in today’s world of journalism: data-driven, visualization-heavy angles. Krueger suggests that the breeding ground to learn the necessary code to succeed in the profession should come from schools. The university level should look to address this issue so that women can feel they will be able to succeed in journalism.

In Australia, papers like the Sydney Morning Herald have tried to harness this push for data visualizations. A quick look at their, or any news agency, job listings, they almost all have to do with analytics. The jobs are there, but are journalists taught the necessary tools to succeed?

Walk into an engineering or maths class at UNSW and you will probably see a room full of guys. If the sciences and maths are still relegated as “men’s studies,” and in journalism you need to have strong skills with data to have an upper hand in the job market, then where is the place for women in the media?

It seems Krueger identified the problem down to the decimal. The gender gap is a serious problem when trying to present an equal world view. Less women journalists, means less of a particular point of view. The best solutions would probably be for journalism schools to teach code to all their students. If you cannot pass, you cannot get your degree. Too harsh or just right to narrow this gender gap?


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