Networked Tactics for Gender Representation in the Media


Women's voices are a small minority of published news content and audience attention. Decades of efforts to measure and change women's representation in the news have focused on publishers as gatekeepers of representation. Those publishers are no longer the sole gatekeepers of who speaks and who is heard. Reader-curated "follow" lists, likes and shares on social media, content curators, and algorithms have emerged as networked gatekeepers of representation online.

This thesis offers an argumentative essay on networked, computational tactics to measure and change gender representation in the news, illustrated with a portfolio of designs and experiments. These designs explore real-time representation metrics, personal tracking of media attention, and participatory rhetoric about media representation. I hope that my arguments, supported with working designs, can inspire other approaches to media reform among networked gatekeepers.

You can read the full thesis at MIT Dspace. The thesis committee was Ethan Zuckerman, Kate Crawford, and Tom Steinberg:

Matias, J. N. (2013). Networked tactics for gender representation in the news (Masters dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).