Study: Less Than 25% Of Top News Outlets Have Female Editor

Less than one-quarter of the top news outlets around the world are led by a female editor, according to a new study from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, released on International Women’s Day on Sunday.

The study looked at 200 major online and offline (TV, print and radio) news outlets in 10 different markets across four continents. 

It took a sample of 10 top online news outlets and 10 top offline news outlets in 10 markets: South Africa, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea from Asia; Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom from Europe; Mexico and the United States from North America; and Brazil from South America.



Not a single market in the study has a majority of women among top editors, which includes editors-in-chief, executive editors and other titles with equivalent responsibilities.

Only 23% of the 162 top editors across the 200 major outlets are women, despite the fact that on average, 40% of journalists in the 10 markets are women.

Every market in the study has a majority of men among the top editors, including countries like Brazil and Finland, where women outnumber men among working journalists.

Offline brands more often have male top editors: 14% of top editors of offline brands are women and 37% of top editors of online brands are women.

In Japan, none of the outlets covered have a female top editor. 

In South Africa, eight of the top editors (47%) are women — the most of the 10 markets studied. 

Of the outlets looked at in the United States, 41% had a female top editor.

When comparing the data to the UN Gender Inequality Index — which measures gender equality in society — the Reuters study found no correlation. Countries like Germany and South Korea that score well on the index have few women among the top editors.

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