This study investigates the effect of journalists’ gender on the perceived credibility of news articles. In an experiment, participants evaluated the credibility of two different news articles with a typical male and female topic either written by a female or male journalist. News articles written by male journalists were perceived as significantly more credible overall, but especially when the article had a typical male topic. Both effects were stronger for female participants than for male participants. Younger male participants rated female journalists overall as less credible compared to older male participants. The experiment highlights that audiences still have a preconceived idea about what female journalists are meant to report about, while generally giving preference to male journalists. This underlines the need for a better visibility of female journalists in all areas of reporting to viably change these perceptions.
Authors: Elena Klaas and Mark Boukes