News Debates: UoH study observes aggressive behavior in 50% of news shows

The study was prompted by the increasing polarization in news performance, characterized by high-decibel confrontational behavior on many shows, which often carries over into social media as well. The researchers also looked for instances of gender-positive behaviours and offered guidelines on how channels can move towards a more dialogic, civil mode of television news presentation.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  11 Feb 2022 1:47 PM GMT
News Debates: UoH study observes aggressive behavior in 50% of news shows

Hyderabad: A study conducted by a University of Hyderabad (UoH) team exploring the presence of aggressive masculinity in journalistic performance found that 50% of news shows showed aggressive behaviour with the percentage rising to 85% for talk shows. The study also found that panels moderated by male anchors revealed relatively more aggressive masculinist behaviour than those moderated by female anchors.

The study was conducted by Prof. Usha Raman and two of her research scholars, Amritha Mohan and Anuja Premika, of UoH department of communication in collaboration with the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI).

The study monitored prime-time news and talk shows on 31 television channels across 12 Indian languages, including English. Using a scale developed by the UoH team to identify and catalogue aggressive, dominant, and sexist verbal and non-verbal behaviours associated with hegemonic masculinities, a team of coders from the NWMI membership analyzed the television content.

A limited analysis of trending social media posts was also analysed, as were a set of case studies of specific news stories and channels. Among the key findings, aggression was observed in more than 50% of all news shows sampled, with the percentage rising to 85% for talk shows.


The tone of voice was the most common expression of aggression (76.8%), while elements that increased stridency such as sound and visual effects occurred frequently (60%). Panels moderated by male anchors revealed relatively more aggressive masculinist behaviour (54.55%) on several metrics than those moderated by female anchors (12.07%).

The study was prompted by the increasing polarization in news performance, characterized by high-decibel confrontational behavior on many shows, which often carries over into social media as well. The researchers also looked for instances of gender-positive behaviours and offered guidelines on how channels can move towards a more dialogic, civil mode of television news presentation.


To read the complete report visit the NWMI website.

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