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Byline Inequality?

Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 2:07 PM

In the news: Is there a significant gap between the number of male and female bylines in magazines?

The publishing industry is taking great leaps forward as it adopts tablet and smartphone technology. But, according to some editors, it is still decades behind in terms of gender equality, and there is research to support this. Recently, Vida, an organization for women in the literary arts, published a series of pie charts showing the discrepancy between male and female bylines in various magazines in 2010. Harper's published articles by 25 women and 94 men. The New Yorker published articles by 163 women and 449 men.

So why the discrepancy? Some writers and editors claim this inequality plagues the entire magazine industry. The available numbers do little to disprove this. So are editorial managers giving preference to male writers? Are fewer females submitting work? A recent New York Magazine article online explores the implications of the recent findings. Read more.

Also notable:

Mounting E-book Popularity

One might argue that the book industry has made the most successful transition to digital publishing thus far. Some predict that, inside of five years, e-books will overtake print book sales. With sales skyrocketing (164 percent growth last year) and portable digital readers flying off shelves, it would appear that there's no turning back for books. But not so fast. Print books still account for a majority of book sales, and adoption of digital technology is an expensive undertaking for publishers. Read more.

Surveys on the Skids?

Joan Lewis, a research executive at Procter & Gamble, has predicted that, by 2020, social media will be the research tool of choice instead of traditional surveys. Because social media is interactive, she foresees a shift away from more rigid research methods like the survey. Read more.

Magazine Redesigns in the News

Both Newsweek and The New York Times Magazine have undergone editorial redesigns. Read writer and editor Andrew Losowsky's take here.

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