Bot to help Financial Times quote more women

The Financial Times, an influential paper read by the world's most powerful, has finally realized it was quoting women too rarely. So it's now introducing a bot to raise an alarm if too few women are quoted in an article. 

Claudia Ciobanu
Claudia Ciobanu NewsMavens, Central & Eastern Europe
Bot to help Financial Times quote more women - NewsMavens
Newspaper, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

The Financial Times covers business and big politics and is the paper on every major decision-maker's desk. If this paper takes a concrete step towards increasing the number of women who are quoted in the paper, there is a chance it will have a long-term impact on the worldview of society's elites.

Currently, only 21 percent of people quoted in the FT are women. They are usually quoted on "softer" topics, and more rarely on "hard" ones, e.g. US trade, the oil industry and banking.

It may even contribute to chipping away the media's overblown focus on men's needs and perspectives in national politics and elsewhere. Or maybe it's too much to hope from just a computer tool? 

Details from the story:

  • The bot will point to editors if too few women are quoted in a story by scanning pronouns and first names to check what are the proportions between male and female interviewees. 
  • The paper is also trying to use more photos of women to illustrate its stories --hoping for more female readership. 
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