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Getting straight to the source: who evaluates the leadership skills of premiers in Canada and Australia?
Meagan Auer, Linda Trimble, Jennifer Curtin, Rissa Reist, Angelia Wagner, and V.K.G. Woodman
Journalists have the power to shape the public’s perception of new premiers. They also share that power with the sources they interview. Sourcing is therefore important when making claims about the news media’s role in reproducing gender biases in representations of political leaders. We examine the question of sourcing through an analysis of newspaper coverage of 22 newly elected women and men subnational government leaders in Australia and Canada to answer the following questions. How do news writers rely on sources in evaluations of new premiers? To what extent do they employ different patterns of sourcing and are these sourcing patterns gendered? We focus on two pairs of leadership traits that dominate news coverage of premiers in the first week: strength/weakness and competence/incompetence. We find that journalists use unattributed assessments rather than sources when evaluating premiers’ skills and abilities, but when sources are cited, these are usually elite men.
Full citation: Auer, M., Trimble, L., Curtin, J., Reist, R., Wagner, A., & Woodman, V.K.G. (2022). Getting straight to the source: who evaluates the leadership skills of premiers in Canada and Australia? Online first September 1, 2022 in Australian Journal of Political Science DOI: 10.1080/10361146.2022.2114873
Auer, M. Trimble, L., Curtin, J., Wagner, A., & Woodman, V.K.G. (2020). Invoking the Idealized Family to Assess Political Leadership and Legitimacy: News Coverage of Australian and Canadian Premiers. Feminist Media Studies, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/14680777 .2020.1790627
Auer, M. Sutcliffe, J., & Lee, M. (2019). Framing the ‘White Widow’: Using Intersectionality to Uncover Complex Representations of Female Terrorism. Media, War & Conflict, 12(3): 281-298. https://doi.org/10.1177/1750635218769931
Trimble, L., Curtin, J., Wagner, A., Auer, M., & Woodman, V.K.G. (2019). Gender, Novelty, and Media Personalization of Australian and Canadian Premiers. International Political Science Review, 42(2): 164-178. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192512119876083
Trimble, L., Curtin, J., Auer, M., Wagner, A., & Woodman, V.K.G. (2022). Works Well with Others: Gendered Mediation of Collaborative Leadership Skills. Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 43(2), 245-255.
Wagner, A., Trimble, L., Curtin, J., Auer, M., & Woodman, V.K.G. (2021). Representations of Political Leadership Qualities in News Coverage of Australian and Canadian Government Leaders. Politics & Gender, 1-32. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1743923X21000131
Auer, M., Sammons, E., & D’Orazio, D. (2022, August 24). How to mentor your TAs and realize the role’s full potential. University Affairs. https://www.universityaffairs.ca/career-advice/career-advice-article/how-to-mentor-your-tas-and-realize-the-roles-full-potential/
Light, J. & Auer, M. (2020). WebSafe: Tools for Newcomers to Counter Digital Disinformation. CONTACT Magazine 47(1): 12-20. Open Access: http://contact.teslontario.org/issues/spring-2021/
Sammons, E., Auer, M., & D’Orazio, D. (2022, April 29). Enhancing teaching and pedagogy in graduate education.” University Affairs. https://www.universityaffairs.ca/career-advice/career-advice-article/enhancing-teaching-and-pedagogical-development-in-graduate-education/
Trimble, L., Auer, M., & Wagner, A. (2019, March 5). How the media makes sense of mothers in power.” Policy Options. http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/march-2019/media-makes-sense-mothers-power/