of Communications student Brandi Little and faculty member Connie
Book were invited to address officials at the Federal Communications
Commission in Washington, D.C., in March about their research findings.
Book took part in a March 25 panel discussion titled "Women in Communications:
How Are We Doing?"
who were invited to present data told FCC staff members about the
gradual gains women have made in the cable, satellite and broadcast
communications, and they pointed out that there is still room for
findings that she, mentored and assisted by Book, discovered during
an analysis of the coverage of women featured in "Fifth Estater,"
a column in Broadcasting & Cable magazine. The research completed
by Little and Harrison is an update and replication of a similar
study initiated by students in a course taught by Book several years
the "Fifth Estater" column profiles a successful executive
in the broadcast or cable television industry. In the first study
Book conducted, she and her students looked at the columns printed
from 1993-1997 and found that women were featured only 10 percent
of the time. The column featured women 15 percent of the time from
1998-2003. Book said it is possible that the improved coverage of
women could have been at least partially due to a meeting she and
her students had with the editorial staff at Broadcasting & Cable
magazine after the initial study.
junior and recipient of a Rawls Undergraduate Research grant, says
her research on the latest set of data has inspired her to further
study the role of women in media.
on a paper about these findings, which I hope will be accepted by
a journal or another publication," Little said. She will also be
presenting the study in Indianapolis at the National Conferences
for Undergraduate Research in April. "I want the opportunity to
share this data with as many people as possible, because this is
an important issue. The FCC can play a part in giving women more
access to leadership roles in the future."
After the meeting,
Little and Book briefly met FCC Chairman Michael Powell.