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
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
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.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine