Over half of all news shows have aggressive content: Study

Panels moderated by men far more hostile, finds women’s media group

Published - February 01, 2022 10:46 pm IST - New Delhi

Representational image

Representational image

A study by Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) of 31 primetime television news and talk shows in 12 languages including English, found aggression in more than 50% of all news shows and in 85% of talk shows.

The focus of this study was not on news bias or framing but on the performance of the reporter or the anchor.

The study also found the biggest expression of aggression was in tone of voice (76.76%), while sound and visual effects came in at 60%. The number of male anchors with an aggressive tone of voice (78.13 %) was only marginally higher than that of their female counterparts (75.28%); panels moderated by male anchors showed far higher (54.55%) aggressive behaviour on several metrics than those moderated by women (12.07%).Further, panels moderated by male anchors revealed relatively more (54.55%) aggressive masculinist behaviour on several metrics than those moderated by female anchors (12.07%).

More shouting by speakers over one another was also observed in male-moderated panels (48.75%) as compared to female-moderated panels (15.52%).

The NWMI has recommended that the News Broadcasters Association or other media bodies could develop an Ethical Editorial Handbook that can be distributed to all news channels. The channels could also be advised to create a checklist to score journalistic performance and programming on a toxic masculinity scale. The report also urges news channels to ensure more diverse panels during the talk shows.

“Greater diversity of guests on panels and talk shows is crucial. It is particularly important to include members of groups that have historically been marginalised on the basis of gender, caste, creed and other identities, class, occupation, location, disability, sexual orientation and so on,” the NWMI suggests.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.