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Spring 2015

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


Newspapers: It’s (Still) a Man’s World

Study shows lack of women writers in nation's most widely read opinion pages  

Illustration by Lou Brooks

Despite making up more than half of communication school graduates each year—and half of the population—women are still vastly under-represented on the newspaper opinion pages that drive public policy.

In a recent study published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, communication Assistant Professor Dustin Harp found that opinion pages are still largely a bastion of white males. She and her co-authors examined the work of columnists during a two-month period at the nation’s highest-circulating newspapers and found that, of the average 22 columnists each newspaper featured, only six were female and only one an ethnic or racial minority. Further, the average editorial board included 11 members, only four of whom were women (whites comprised eight of the 11).

“The lack of diversity, whether in race or gender, shows the inability of media to reflect different life experiences and perspectives,” Dr. Harp says. “It thus presents an inaccurate picture of the world.”

Along with the lack of women writers on the opinion pages, Harp and her colleagues discovered that women are less likely than men to be cited as sources in investigative reports or appear in authoritative roles in editorial and opinion columns. They also are depicted less frequently and less prominently than males—for example, appearing further down in the columns or having their words paraphrased instead of quoted.

David Boardman, president of the American Society of News Editors Board of Directors, acknowledges the new study and believes the nation’s news sources should make every effort to ensure that the demographics of their newsrooms reflect the makeup of their communities.

“Obviously, that means having women in key positions, including in leadership and as opinion writers,” he says. “The finding that white men still dominate opinion pages is disconcerting and should serve as a call to action for America’s editors.” 

Harp’s study adds to other research that argues that putting a column by a woman on the same page as those by men conveys a message that women’s opinions matter and that women are worth taking seriously. Moreover, scholars have argued that gender equality cannot be achieved in the United States if females do not have access to and equal representation in cultural symbols of power such as op-ed pages.

“We hope our study will lead news organizations to consider the inclusion of female voices and to carefully examine their hiring and promotion policies,” Harp says. “Women make up more than 50 percent of the U.S. population and when they are permitted to join the conversation, they help broaden perspectives in the public sphere.”

Illustration by Lou Brooks

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