While in Idaho, I’ve been waking up at 5 a.m. and watching the morning news. Always female anchors. The national news coverage starts at 5 a.m. on the weekends which means that if I grew up here I would never have seen CBS’s Sunday Morning program b/c I’m generally still asleep at o’dark thirty. In any case, here are my notes on this weekend’s local (as in ID) news morning programs:
“Woman” is made to mean
· early—really really early
· white (no other ethnicity represented on the major channels, and not even on the cable networks like CNN and Fox)
· rich (lots of gold and sparkly baubles, manicured hands, luxurious fabrics and tailored suits, and blonde—lots of blonde hair
· 40 something—which is refreshing because women are usually really young if they are on tv. Good to see some crows feet
· Authoritative but also compassionate and nurturing. Women reporters covered the personal interest stories, especially the impact of hurricane Wilma and local personal interest stuff (a house fire, for example). Interestingly male reporters covered the weather/meteorology (science… suggesting men do science, women do compassion), the war in Iraq (but if irt’s a story on the families of soldiers, a woman covered it), and movie reviews. I don’t know what to make of that.
“Man” is made to mean
· Interested or expert in science, war, and analysis of film.
“Race”/ethnicity is made to mean
· Anglo-European No diversity in race of news reporters. The people in the stories were often non-Anglo European suggesting the victims and perpetrators of crime are non-white which is statistically disproportionate.
· Only coverage had to do with terrorism, Al-Quaeda, and Islamic fundamentalism suggesting that Islam is an aberrant or dangerous religion