Boys Against Girls Against the Brisbane Street Press – part 2
I went through each issue of Rave, Time Off, Scene and 3D World over the five-week period and tallied up the total number of articles that were written by male contributors and those that were written by female contributors under four main category types; Interviews, Live Reviews, Reviews and Columns/Other.
Interviews: If you spoke to someone, asked them questions and they gave you answers it was counted as an interview. No weighting was applied to different types of interview and all were counted equally, whether they were the cover story, an obvious Q&A via email or a short interview with a local band. As I started to tally up the numbers I decided that I wouldn’t split the numbers out into music and non-music articles, so the numbers for each section relate to each magazine as a whole. Therefore the number of interviews includes those with musicians as well as those with actors, artists and others.
Live Reviews: If you went somewhere and saw a live performance it was counted as a Live Review. This included gigs, festivals and also theatre. The festival reviews in street press are usually a joint effort put together by several writers. In these cases I counted each reviewer once and didn’t get into dealing with fractions/decimal places of a review.
Reviews: Reviews covered everything that wasn’t live performance. It included albums and singles but also films, DVD and games. In retrospect I wish I had captured the data at a detailed level and rolled it up into a summary, rather than just do a high level summary. I think I’ve still got all the papers I used in case anyone is going to ask me hard questions about the detailed breakdown of reviews.
Columns/Other: This category covered the Punk, Metal, Blues & Roots, Dance etc, news columns and anything else that couldn’t be categorised under any of the other areas. As with the festival reviews, if the column was written by more than one person they were counted equally in the numbers.
I’ll actually start with the overall numbers combined for each of four publications for the five weeks that were analysed before looking at the publications individually.
I only included articles if they had the name of the writer. If it wasn’t included it didn’t get counted. Also, I didn’t include photographs, although I’m not completely sure why. I think it was mainly because Scene and 3D World generally don’t have live photo reviews but also that there is some inconsistency anyway. You can count on there always being interviews, reviews and columns; it’s less reliable when it comes to photos.
Whereas the results seen in Part 1 showed roughly a 2/1 split between male and female contributors based on the information included in the mastheads, there was a difference when it came to the actual content being produced and published. For the four publications over the five week period, a total of 1,034 contributors were published (counting each contribution as equal, whether a cover story, a Q&A, a CD review or a games review) of which 815 were written by male contributors and 219 were written by female contributors. This is roughly a 4/1 split between male and female contributors. (Note: I’ve defined the totals as ‘contributions’ rather than ‘articles’ as this is what the numbers really reflect. For example, a single festival review might have been a combined effort written by six writers and so has been counted six times in the numbers, each contributor being counted equally).
When the information is looked at for each of the four categories, more marked differences can be seen. It was interesting to see that the largest difference between male and female contributors was for reviews, with an almost 7/1 split. This category does contain singles reviews, which both Rave and Time Off have in their own section within the overall reviews and for both publications it’s a male-only domain; Rave has a rotating roster of male writers who review the singles, whereas Time Off have the same reviewer each week writing this section. Therefore, it’s likely that this will have impacted on the overall numbers.