According to this editorial, the kind of news that gets reported in major newspapers may be affected by the gender of the newsroom management. For instance:
...male and female reporters covered a similar agenda of issues if they worked for a newspaper with a large number of women in managerial positions. However, if they worked for a paper with a low number of women newsroom managers, there was likely to be a skewed pattern in assignments, with males more often covering politics and females more likely to cover education and human-interest features.
Is this giving the people what they want? This article says no, although I daresay the perception is relative:
...certain types of content have a greater potential to make readers read more. At the top of the list is "intensely local, people-centered news, which includes stories about ordinary people," and lifestyle news--the positive material surveys find is associated with the presence of women newsroom managers.
There's a certain leap in logic here that I don't completely follow. Isn't it just a short slide from there to the news nuggets about the percentage of Americans eating celery that USA Today has brought to us? But maybe that's getting off topic.
Just 1 in 5 of the nation's top female editors say they definitely want to move up in the newspaper industry, according to a study released this fall by the American Press Institute and The Pew Center for Civic Journalism. In contrast, almost 1 out of 2 said they expected to leave their company or the news business entirely, far more than the 1 in 3 men who say they want to move up or change careers.
I'd like to see more about what's causing this exodus, but the literature hasn't done a great job of addressing this yet. Are the women leaving because they're fed up, overworked, underpaid, quitting to raise families? These questions remain unanswered, but I see the door revolve every day and it makes me wonder.
(Also posted at Bells and Whistles)