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Abstract

The largest content analysis of Canadian op-ed newspaper content, 80 published articles in the 2009 print editions of Canada’s two largest circulation newspapers (the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail), reveals a significant imbalance in male (80%) v. female (20%) authorship. Analysis found women authors were even more unrepresented in op-ed article that dealt with “hard news” issues such as politics, international affairs and economics (10%). In addition, analysis showed a pattern of male hard news authors freely venturing into op-ed authorship of “social” issues but the reverse pattern was not apparent among female op-ed authors finding space to write on political and economic issues. The results are contradictory to historically stated rationales for establishing op-ed space in newspapers and other media, namely to provide alternative perspectives on the traditional mass media coverage of current events.

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