AAAI Publications, The Twenty-Sixth International FLAIRS Conference

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A Gramulator Analysis of Gendered Language in Cable News Reportage
Xin Wen, Philip Michael McCarthy, Amber Chauncey Strain

Last modified: 2013-05-19

Abstract


News reportage is intended to serve the public in terms of nurturing a better understanding of political and societal concerns. But such a goal may be stymied if reporters lack a sufficient understanding of the effect gendered language may have on the conveyance and interpretation of news. To address this issue, we use the Gramulator to conduct an applied natural language processing study of the linguistic and topical features of gendered language in news reportage. Our goal is to offer some insights as to how the choice of language and topics might affect the efficacy of news reportage. Results suggest that current news reportage largely conforms to an established gender divide: Specifically, we find evidence that male reportage is more quantitative and likely to focus on topics such as politics, crime, and the military. By contrast, female reportage is more qualitative, and likely to focus on issues such as home and education. The study is of interest to all current affairs writers (e.g., journalists) because it offers a systematic approach to identifying and assessing the linguistic and topical differences that contribute to gendered language in new reportage.

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