Gendered Communication Styles in the News: An Algorithmic Comparative Study of Conflict Coverage

Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt*, Christian Baden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over the past few decades, numerous studies have examined the question of whether women and men tend to use different communicative styles, strategies, and practices. In this study, we employed a high-resolution algorithmic approach to examine the role of gender in structuring conflict news discourse, focusing on a comparison between the texts produced by foreign and domestic women and men journalists in their coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Extracting recurrent semantic patterns from over 80,000 texts, we show that women and men journalists tend to interpret journalistic professionalism in slightly different ways: While women emphasize precision and professional distance, men focus more on certitude and providing orientation. Moreover, women journalists tend to give more centrality to various groups of people in their coverage. We discuss these findings in the context of scholarship on gender and language use, journalism, and conflict.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)233-256
Number of pages24
JournalCommunication Research
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.

Keywords

  • communication style
  • computational text analysis
  • conflict news
  • gender
  • journalism

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