Arianna Huffington apparently prefers men. That’s the conclusion anyway of a study done for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting by former HuffPoer Jessica Wakeman. Wakeman tracked the 13 featured blog posts on Huffington Post’s homepage (full disclosure: we once worked there) twice daily for for nine weeks and coded them by gender. Per the report: “During the study period (7/7/08 — 9/5/08), only 255 of 1,125 bylines — 23 percent — belonged to women.”
The study found at least one female byline on the home page at all times. [However!] Of the 89 times bylines were checked during the study, not once did the number of women’s bylines equal those belonging to men. Only eight times did women account for more than a third of all bylines. And Arianna Huffington, appearing 57 times, accounted for more than a fifth of all women’s bylines; 45 of those occupied the most visible top post.
So, these numbers — Wakeman points out they fall “perfectly in line with elite print media’s abysmal gender numbers” — possibly do not reflect so well on a woman who professes to be an ardent supporter of “fearless” strong women. That said, does the study reflect HuffPo as a whole?
The front page, which is the page this study is based on, is one of seven main pages that compromise the site, and while we have done absolutely no research of our own on this, one imagines the ratio of men to women on the Style and Living pages probably skew in the opposite direction (as they would in magazines on similar subjects). Also, up until last week Rachel Sklar was the most visible face of HuffPo next to Arianna and Mayhill Fowler their biggest headline grabber. Still, the numbers aren’t that promising (anywhere, actually). No wonder Jezebel is so popular!