#WFIMediaWatch - Can Question Time be the best?



This week Kirsty Strickland crunches some numbers and acknowledges a turnaround by Question Time.

Prepare for a barrage of numbers, folks. By virtue of the dreich, grey, insult-to-July weather we’ve had there has been plenty of time to catch up on current affairs programmes. Gender balance checked, #manels counted, heating grudgingly turned on; here’s what we found out. 

(Photo shows Scotland Tonight . . read on for the numbers.)



We’ll start with Scotland 2015. As a previous Gold Star winner we really expect better than this week’s lacklustre offering. No, we’re not angry. Just a wee bit disappointed (it worked when my Mammy used to say it to me – just go with it.)  While there were no all- male panels *small mercies* there were still 18 men to just 5 women over the course of 4 episodes.

13th 4 men 1 woman

14th 6 men 1 woman

15th 5 men 1 woman

16th 3 men 2 women


Scotland Tonight didn’t fare any better, unfortunately. 11 men, 2 women and *ominous drumroll* TWO #manels.  We get the challenges that broadcasters face, especially those that are on nightly.  As well as programme makers taking more notice of gender imbalance, it is clear that women too have to feel more confident in putting themselves forward.

This article by Simone Charlesworth covers those issues and is well worth a read.  Simone attended a WFI meeting in Clydebank where the brilliant Editor of Common Space, Angela Haggerty, gave her insight into women in the media.  http://www.anyvoice.co.uk/featured/women-in-media/

Scotland Tonight

13th 4 men 0 women

14th 2 men 1 woman

15th 3 men 0 women

16th 2 men 1 woman

Wooden spoon this week goes to a programme we don’t normally monitor – The Andrew Marr Show.  Over the past 2 weeks the only women who appeared have been during the paper review. No women were invited to be interviewed. This is a bit galling from a UK-wide show which is only on for 1 hour per week.  



11th  5 men 1 woman

19th 5 men 1 woman

You are in our sights now, Marr. Must do better next week.

Just to mix things up a bit, this week’s Gold Star goes to a show that has been a previous recipient of our Wooden Spoon – Question Time.

Over the past 6 weeks there has been near gender-balance from the panel show. Tally is currently 18 men to 15 women.  If over the next couple of weeks they do as well then we could be looking at our first ‘Gender Balance Boss’ award (yes we have just made that up - don’t hate)

Could it be that having all the guests together focuses the mind to better representation? Whatever the reason, we are chuffed.  Keep it up, Dimbleby & Co.


That’s all from us this week. Tweet along using the hashtag #WFImediawatch and point us in the direction of any good/bad examples of gender balance.

Still looking for volunteers too, so if you are interested contact Kirsty on @mrsjackdaniels.


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