Little, Book present
research at FCC in D.C.


School 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.

Little and Book took part in a March 25 panel discussion titled "Women in Communications: How Are We Doing?"

Researchers 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 improvement.

Little presented 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 ago.

Each week, 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.

Little, a 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.

"We're working 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.



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Last Modified:  3/26/04
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