Kevin Drum summed up the state of gender equality in media well when he said that “the news remains pretty bleak.”
When VIDA recently compared the number of articles written by men to those written by women at 14 thought-leading publications in 2011, including The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New Republic, and The Atlantic, only one publication, Granta, emerged with a roughly equal gender division—30 male and 34 female bylines. (Granta is somewhat of an outlier, though, given that it only publishes four times per year and one of its 2011 issues was dedicated to feminism.) Adding to the good list, GOOD magazine’s executive editor (and MoJo alum) Ann Friedman notes that their past three issues have seen a 50-50 split between male and female bylines.
So how did Mother Jones measure up? We crunched the numbers for all of our 2011 print magazine articles, and Mother Jones broke exactly even across those six issues: 41 bylines went to men, 41 bylines went to women. And not that I need to mention it, but we’re one of the few “thought-leader” magazines in the country headed by women.
It’s 2012, but gender inequality is still a reality in just about every sphere of public and private life. If our update about women in media hasn’t convinced you, just consider the renewed war on contraception, the almost 5 to 1 male-female ratio in Congress, and the disparity between men and women’s wages. But as Mother Jones proves, it’s not all bad news.