Fawcett Media Day Report: Photographs in the daily UK newspapers. By Charlotte

What I did
I looked at and counted all the photographic images of people in the following newspapers of 3rd July:
The Guardian, Independent, Times, Daily Telegraph – I’ve called these ‘broadsheets’
The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Metro – I’ve called these ‘tabloids’.
I included all photographs that included people, except if a tiny person was in the background of non-people picture, and I didn’t include any line drawings or other images. I categorised these photographs into: men only; women only; mixed men and women. Where there was a spread of individual portrait photographs, I counted each as a separate photograph. I kept separate counts of different portions of the newspapers, such as news, sport, etc and I made a few notes about the roles that people were photographed in.
The only really unusual aspect of the day appeared to be that important women’s matches were reported from the Wimbledon tennis championship, with a number of photographs of women tennis players in all papers.
The numbers reported should be taken as a snapshot of one particular day, and it cannot be assumed that the same figures would result if averages were taken over a few weeks of publication.

What I found
•    In all the newspapers together, there were 1241 photos of people and more than twice as many pictures of men than women. Approximately 6 out of 10 images were of men only (61%), 3 out of 10 were of women only (26%), and 1 out of 10 were men and women together (13%).

•    The broadsheets included less women than the tabloids – broadsheets 22% women only and tabloids 30% women only.
•    Women featured even less in some sections of the papers. In the broadsheets, there were three times as many pictures of men than women in the news sections, and four times more in the sports section. (despite Wimbledon!). There were no obituaries of women (as there very rarely are in my experience).
•    Men and women were often photographed in different roles. For example, the 38 photos of men in the Guardian featured: terror suspects, police, sportsmen, tycoon, convicted murderers, national & international politicians, artists, columnists, traindriver, obituaries (4). The 8 photos of women featured: models (3), a shopper, 2 new shadow cabinet members, an Argentinian senator, and a columnist. The Times had a page of portraits of ‘self-made Britons, all of which were men (check this) and a page of government portraits which were 13 men and 5 women.
•    In the tabloids, there were the expected images of women as sex objects, but there were also many pictures of women, and men and women mixed, in both celebrity and more ordinary roles.
•    There was a great variety of  photos of women – just too many of them as sex objects and not enough of them in public roles – and just NOT ENOUGH OF THEM!

Back to Media Representations main page
Back to Projects page
Back to Bristol Fawcett home page