After our brief election break, the WFI Media Watchers were glad to be back with our red pencils this week, checking the gender balance & totting up the numbers so you don't have to.
We'll start with the good news. The General Election is behind us, so no more canvassing blisters and no more John Curtice popping up in your dreams talking about exit polls. The really good news, of course, is that nearly 1/3 of MP's are now women, rising from 23% in 2010.
The not so good news is that this broadening of female representation hasn't done much to improve gender balance on political programming this week. Here is what we found out.
Scotland Tonight had a mixed performance. There were nearly double the male guests as there were female, finishing with a tally of 9 men & 5 women over the course of the week. Not a disaster, but there were still episodes with no female guests on at all, such as on Monday's episode about Trident & Trade Unions.
Scotland 2015 - After an impressive few weeks, Scotland 2015 has lagged behind again. They have been great in the past at getting really articulate, interesting female guests. So often in Scottish Politics we see the same handful of male journalists, pollsters & economists. Not only is it good for the representation of women to aim for gender balance, but it also makes the interviews & topics being discussed more interesting and fresh. We will put down your final tally of 26 men & 9 women as a blip, Scotland 2015 - we know you can do better!
Monday - 4 men 2 Women
Tuesday 5 men 2 women
Wednesday 12 men 3 women
Thursday 5 men 2 women
There is no gold star this week, we're afraid. We have pretty high standards here at WFI Media Watch and nobody quite cut the mustard. However, after a plea on Twitter for examples of good gender balance, a few people got in touch with praise for Frankie Boyle's Election Autopsy. Rather than invite the usual male comedians, Frankie Boyle had on the brilliant Sara Pascoe & Katherine Ryan. It was wickedly funny and gets our nod of recognition this week. Which is *nearly* as good as the gold star.
Our wooden spoon this week goes to Sunday Politics Scotland, although perhaps a 'repeat offender' badge might be more appropriate. They had 6 men & 1 woman. Not the most earth shattering in terms of numbers, but this is a programme that is only on for an hour a week. Call us optimistic, but we think that in they should be able to find some female commentators & politicians in that time so that coverage wasn't so glaringly imbalanced. Maybe SPS producers should ask WFI HQ, we hear they know a few ;-)
That's all for this week folks. Use #WFImediawatch to keep us up to date with the gender balance in the shows you are watching or listening to. We are still in need of some more volunteers to tally up the scores for us throughout the week. If you are able to help out, get in touch with Gillian (@MisssyM) or Kirsty (@mrsjackdaniels).
Have a good week everybody, let's hope we have lots of contenders for our gold star next week!