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“A Double-Edged Sword:” Revealing the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Disproportionate Impacts on the Productivity of Women Print Journalists through Mixed-Methods Research


“A Double-Edged Sword:” Revealing the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Disproportionate Impacts on the Productivity of Women Print Journalists through Mixed-Methods Research

Gepner, Clara (2022) “A Double-Edged Sword:” Revealing the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Disproportionate Impacts on the Productivity of Women Print Journalists through Mixed-Methods Research. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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In 2020, surveys revealed the COVID-19 pandemic was increasing gender inequalities among different professions, including journalists and academics. There was therefore a need to examine the first wave’s impact on Canadian reporters. The aim of this study was to determine whether women and precariously employed journalists were unequally affected and, if so, to help prevent negative effects on them in the event of a future crisis. This mixed methods project used an explanatory sequential design. Quantitative data on productivity was measured by comparing the number of by-lines published by journalists in three daily francophone publications between March 1 and May 31, 2020, to the same period in 2019. Six semi-directed qualitative interviews with journalists picked from the quantitative sample were then conducted. Analyzed through thematic analysis, they explored the hypotheses formulated to explain the changes in productivity discovered and served to contextualize the quantitative results. Overall, journalists in the sample were slightly more productive than the previous year. The increase was driven by women, whose productivity increased by 7% (men’s decreased by 3%), and by staff, whose publication rate increased by 9% (precarious journalists’ decreased by 33%). Women staff’s productivity increased more than men’s while that of women precarious journalists decreased more. Based on these findings, we argue that women were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Staff women likely experienced more pressure to produce because of the gendered division of beats, and therefore published more, while precariously employed women lost more work than men and likely experienced more financial insecurity.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Journalism
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Gepner, Clara
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Digital Innovation in Journalism Studies
Date:8 August 2022
Thesis Supervisor(s):Daoust-Boisvert, Amélie
Keywords:research-creation, COVID-19 pandemic, journalism, gender, productivity
ID Code:990995
Deposited By: CLARA GEPNER
Deposited On:27 Oct 2022 14:17
Last Modified:27 Oct 2022 14:17


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