Mostly Male and White Guests in the US Evening Shows

Published: 29 May 2013

Country: US

media mattersRepresentation of diversity is heavily disrespected in the US prime time cable news, a report by Media Matters for America discloses.

The study, carried out by the research and information centre Media Matters for America, was based on 13 evening news shows on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC during the month of April 2013.

It reveals that guests were overwhelmingly male and white, while women and minorities resulted to be considerably underrepresented in all cable networks.

As the most recent USA Census data indicates, white men make up only 31 percent of the US population. Still, they represented a much larger percentage of guests – 62 percent on CNN, 60 percent on Fox, and 54 percent on MSNBC.

White women were only 21 percent of guests on cable, though they represent 32 percent of the population. “Non-white women fared even worse,” Media Matter writes. They were only 8 percent while they make up 19 percent of the population. “Non-white men were also underrepresented; only 13 percent of guests on cable were non-white men while they make up 18 percent of the population,” the report says.

Gender diversity

Out of 1,677 total guests, CNN had the largest quota of men (76 percent). But data of other cables are not reassuring: women did not even reach 34 percent of guests on any network. On The Record, on Fox News, hosted the smallest proportion of women. Out of 128 guests in April, only 22 were women.

Ethnic diversity

White guests dominated on Fox News with 83 percent of guests. Among the non-white groups, the African-American was the most represented on all networks, with 19 percent, 10 percent, and 5 percent of guests on MSNBC, Fox, and CNN, respectively.

All In With Chris Hayes, on MSNBC, had both the largest proportion of women and the largest proportion of non-white guests – both 41 percent.  “Hayes’ show was the only evening cable news program to obtain such diversity”, Media Matters concluded.