Men still outnumber women by four to one on UK TV and radio news bulletins

Women were least likely to appear on Radio 4's Today programme

Men still outnumber women by a ratio of four to one on UK radio and TV news bulletins, a new study has found.

Despite efforts in recent years to reverse the trend, researchers at City University found that there are still at least three male reporters for every one female.

Of all the news programmes analysed, including Radio 4’s Today programme, BBC News at 10, ITV News at 10, Channel 4 news and Sky News, listeners were least likely to hear a woman speak on the Today programme.

Despite Mishal Husain’s appointment to the flagship show host last July, the vast majority of guest speakers and interviewees on the programme were still found to be male.

But the programme has shown slight improvement since 2012, when listeners could go an hour without hearing a female voice.

“The Today programme between 6am and 7am still has the worst ratio of any programme monitored in any category for the representation of women,” the survey said. “It has just over three males on air to every female.”

Mishal Husain is an anomaly among a white male-dominated industry

Former Countryfile presenter Miriam O’Reilly, who fought ageism at the BBC and won in 2011, told The Independent that attitudes towards women in the media were still “shocking and dire”.

“There are some tremendous women out there who should be made more visible but are still not getting equal representation on these programmes,” she said.

“The men are prominent, promoted and given opportunities that women are not. Mostly, that’s to do with the fact that men are in charge and they don’t take women seriously.”

A BBC spokesperson insisted that the representation of women on air is a “priority” that the broadcaster has been “working hard to achieve”.

O'Reilly won a landmark ageism victory against the BBC in 2011 O'Reilly won a landmark ageism victory against the BBC in 2011 "With Mishal Husain we now have two women presenters on the programme and have made consistent progress with our number of female contributors, although we recognise that there is still room for improvement,” it said.

Husain, a non-white Muslim, is an anomaly in an industry dominated by white men aged 30 to 50.

“I don’t understand it,” O’Reilly continued. “The BBC says it’s reaching out to women, but why are the women still not there? We’re hearing a lot and not seeing any action and we’re tired of it. We have a voice and we are going to use that voice to bring about change.”

Last month, Professor Mary Beard, a fellow of the University of Cambridge’s all-female Newnham College, suggested that female broadcasters must copy the deep tones of their male colleagues to succeed in radio.

Classics academic and TV presenter Mary Beard Classics academic and TV presenter Mary Beard  “My sense is that lower register voices are perceived as more authoritative. Listening to Radio 4 suggests that,” she said. “Some of these are 'natural'. I suspect, but don’t know, that when those voices aren’t natural, women in public positions get encouraged, as Margaret Thatcher was, to go down a register.”

Former Today programme presenter Sue MacGregor added her view that you “do have to be careful not to come across as high-pitched, shrill or squeaky” on the radio.

“It helps for women who read the news to have a voice which is easy on the ear but I can’t think of any current women on the radio who have unusually deep or ‘male’ voices,” she said.

City University’s report follows the BBC’s recent ban on “unacceptable” all-male comedy panels.

Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam