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Where Are The Women? Media analysis of gender representation in Brexit news

By Melody House, University of Strathclyde

It’s the portmanteau that strikes fear, loathing, and dismay in those who hear it: Brexit. With the leave date now potentially extended to October, it is clear that the only certainty with Brexit is uncertainty. As such, it is and has been – and will continue to be - a major topic of discussion in the news.

Gender Equal Media Scotland tasked me with monitoring news around Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement vote that took place on the 15th of January this year. As such, I chose to focus on the day before, the day of, and the day after the ‘meaningful vote’ (14-16 January), as these saw a large number of news stories dedicated to analysing and debating Brexit. I focused on Scottish news media, and looked at three different types: television, radio, and, print. I recorded two television shows (BBC’s Reporting Scotland, and, STV’s Scotland Tonight); two radio shows (BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, and, BBC’s Newsdrive); and seven newspapers (The National, The Scotsman, The Scottish Sun, Scottish Daily Mail, Daily Record, The Herald, and, The Press & Journal). In the end, I recorded 288 news stories across the three media, and a further 94 letters-to-the-editor in the newspapers.

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