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Gender bias in media coverage of election campaigns


Gilardi, Fabrizio; Wüest, Bruno (2017). Gender bias in media coverage of election campaigns. In: American Political Science Association. Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 31 August 2017 - 3 September 2017.

Abstract

We study gender bias in media coverage of candidates during election campaigns. Our analysis focuses on the 2015 Swiss national elections and relies on an almost comprehensive sample of print and online news items covering the full duration of the campaign, including over 200,000 documents from 70 sources and all 3,927 candidates. First, we analyze media attention with regression methods and find a significant gender gap, except for incumbents. Second, we use structural topic models to identify the main themes of newspaper coverage and how they covary with the candidates’ gender. Controversies and scandals are discussed disproportionately together with male candidates, while reporting on the electoral contest occurs disproportionately in connection with female candidates. Third, we use the same technique to search for gender stereotypes in the election coverage. Across 100 topics, we find only faint evidence of their presence.

Abstract

We study gender bias in media coverage of candidates during election campaigns. Our analysis focuses on the 2015 Swiss national elections and relies on an almost comprehensive sample of print and online news items covering the full duration of the campaign, including over 200,000 documents from 70 sources and all 3,927 candidates. First, we analyze media attention with regression methods and find a significant gender gap, except for incumbents. Second, we use structural topic models to identify the main themes of newspaper coverage and how they covary with the candidates’ gender. Controversies and scandals are discussed disproportionately together with male candidates, while reporting on the electoral contest occurs disproportionately in connection with female candidates. Third, we use the same technique to search for gender stereotypes in the election coverage. Across 100 topics, we find only faint evidence of their presence.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Event End Date:3 September 2017
Deposited On:27 Mar 2018 09:26
Last Modified:13 Apr 2018 11:48
OA Status:Green
Related URLs:http://web.apsanet.org/apsa2017/ (Organisation)

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