Breaking the Media's Glass Ceiling
July 26, 2020
by Sean Kullman
Shortly after Bari Weiss’s resignation letter about the ideological bias at The New York Times, Global Initiative for Boys & Men wrote its own article and posted an informal poll on Twitter. The poll targeted viewers of CNN, FOX News, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
The question was simple: The New York Times HAS an “In Her Words” column focused on issues for girls and women. The New York Times DOES NOT have an in His Words column to discuss issues regarding boys and men. Do you believe the New York Times should include an In His Words column?
Of the 263 votes, 42.6% were in favor of a column for boys and men and 57.4% were not in favor of a column for boys and men. The poll did not include information regarding the reasons people voted in a particular way.
Although this was not a scientific poll, the poll targeted particular groups in an attempt to engage people with varying viewpoints and evenly across the political spectrum. There were over 27,079 impressions of this poll on Twitter and the total number of engagements was 623. For those unfamiliar with Twitter, a Twitter impression is a total tally of the times a Tweet has been seen. A Twitter engagement is the total number of times a user interacted with the Tweet.
The engagement was quite high given GIBM Twitter presence is new. A good engagement rate for those with followers is between 0.02% to 0.09%. The majority of GIBM engagements come from non-followers and was 2.3%.
GIBM’s other forays into social media have gone extremely well, but boys and men’s groups will need to consistently contend with social media outlets that prevent media boosting of content even when that content belongs in the social discourse: Something Bari Weiss and a number of other journalists have identified as a growing intolerance in media of varying viewpoints and, instead, a media reliance on prescribed narratives with ideological precepts.
There are a number of takeaways from the Twitter poll. The most obvious is the lack of coverage and knowledge surrounding boys and men’s issues and the need to break through the media’s glass ceiling. Another takeaway might suggest people are engaging with social media boosts around boys and men’s issues without much knowledge of the topics.
It’s going to take a sustained narrative to influence the laws, policies, and practices that impact boys and men. The media must adopt policies that look more deeply into the important social issues impacting boys and men. This act will require a concentrated effort on the part of boys' and men's groups as well as enormous financial support to achieve the type of equality for boys and men in media, government, and academia as we've seen with other groups over the past several decades.