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Progressive women's group has some surprising praise for Fox News

The progressive nonprofit Women's Media Center found that Fox News had the greatest gender diversity in its online reporters. (Andy Kropa/Getty Images)

Compared to newspapers and television broadcasts, online news has the greatest gender diversity of any news medium, according to a new study from a group founded by feminist trailblazer Gloria Steinem and actress Jane Fonda.

Perhaps surprisingly, when it comes to online news, Fox News has the best gender diversity, the nonprofit Women's Media Center's "Divided 2017" study found — with 50.1 percent of bylines by men and 49.9 percent of bylines by women.

Huffington Post followed behind Fox News with men taking credit for 50.8 percent of bylines and women garnering 49.2 percent of the publication's bylines.

"When men or women turn to or on the media, yet fail to see women in our true diversity, there is a sense that all or some women literally don’t count," co-founder Steinem  said in a statement. "It’s crucial that the media report and reflect, not conceal and distort."

The survey studied the gender diversity of broadcast news, including ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS; and newspapers including the Chicago Sun-Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, San Jose Mercury News, Denver Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and USA Today.

"Divided" also looked at the online news sites of CNN, Fox News, Huffington Post and the Daily Beast.

According to the "Divided" study, women made up 46.1 percent of the online news publications' bylines — the greatest percentage in all the areas in media studied. Men made up 53.9 percent of online bylines.

In comparison, men garnered 61.9 percent of bylines in print news, and women made up 38.1 percent of the bylines. In broadcast, men reported 74.8 percent of the news compared to the women who reported only 25.2 percent, according to the report.

Fox News, CNN and MSNBC were not studied in the broadcast category.

"Men still dominate media across all platforms — television, newspapers, online and wires — with change coming only incrementally, and in the case of broadcast news, regressing at the three major networks," said Julie Burton, president of the Women's Media Center, in a statement.

"Our research projects on coverage of campus rape and coverage of reproductive rights show that the gender of the journalist affects how they cover topics and whom they choose as sources," Burton continued. "Women are not equal partners in telling the story, nor are they equal partners in sourcing and interpreting what and who is important in the story."

The "Divided" study found that "PBS NewsHour" had the greatest gender diversity in evening news broadcasts with 55.0 percent of the news produced by men and 45.0 percent produced by women. However, "ABC World News" came in last as women only produced 11.8 percent of the news compared to men, who produced 88.2 percent of news.

The study concluded that none of the print newspapers achieve gender parity. It did note that the San Jose Mercury News and the Washington Post have the narrowest gaps — with 55.7 percent men, 44.3 percent women and 57.5 percent men, 42.5 percent women, respectively.

The New York Daily News has the greatest gap with 76.0 percent of the news written by men and 24.0 percent written by women, the "Divided" study found.

The study also found the men generate the most bylines when it comes to sports, crime and justice and weather. Women more often write lifestyle, education and health news.

Women's Media Center was founded by Fonda, Steinem and poet Robin Morgan in 2005 as a progressive women's media organization, according to its website.


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