Diana J. Mason, Diversifying Sources

Diana J. Mason, Diversifying Sources

Senior policy service professor for the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, GW School of Nursing

What does diversity mean for journalism and science writing? While 68% of students in schools of journalism are women, women comprise only 38% of newsroom staff; and women of color, only 7.9%. Women also are underrepresented as sources in news stories. In 1995, the Global Media Monitoring Project reported that women were represented in 17% of news stories. In 2015, this percentage had increased to only 24%. A recent study of the representation of nurses as sources in health news stories found that only 2% of all quotations were by nurses and nursing was only mentioned in 13% of the stories — despite nurses being the largest group of health professionals in the United States with an increasing number holding leadership positions, PhDs, and clinical doctorates.

During Lunch with a Scientist, Barbara Glickstein and Diana J. Mason will discuss the findings of a qualitative study of health journalists’ experiences with using nurses as sources and their perceptions of barriers and facilitators to diversifying their sources. The overarching theme of this study was that biases about women, nurses, and positions of power and authority within the health care system exist in newsrooms and among journalists.
Registration is required (no charge). Limit: 28. This event is now full.

Diana J. Mason is the immediate past president of the American Academy of Nursing, former editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Nursing, and co-producer and moderator of a weekly radio program on health care issues since 1985. She is the lead editor of the award-winning book Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care, now in its 7th edition, and the author of over 200 publications. Her scholarship focuses on health policy and what can be learned from nurse-designed models of care. Mason is the co-principal investigator for a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to explore how nurses address building a culture of health in their innovative models of care. The study is a collaboration between the American Academy of Nursing and the RAND Corporation. She is a member of the board of directors for the Primary Care Development Corporation and the National Advisory Board for Kaiser Health News. She holds two honorary doctorates, as well as numerous awards for her teaching, policy leadership, publications and journalism.



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