Talking Tough: Gender and Reported Speech in Campaign News Coverage

By Elisabeth Gidengil and Joanna Everitt

A paper by Elisabeth Gidengil, spring 2000 fellow, and Joanna Everitt from the Department of History and Politics, University of New Brunswick – St. John, builds upon the concept of “gendered mediation” to argue that conventional news frames construct politics in stereotypically masculine terms – which has implications for the coverage of female leaders. Content analysis of reported speech in television news coverage of the 1993 Canadian election, combined with the results of an experiment, reveals that the speech of women leaders was subject to more interpretation by the media and was reported in more negative and aggressive language. The study concludes that gendered mediation serves to hinder women’s chances of electoral success.

Download the paper (PDF).