The gender crisis in professional photojournalism: demise of the female gaze?



Hadland A & Barnett C (2018) The gender crisis in professional photojournalism: demise of the female gaze?. Journalism Studies, 19 (13), pp. 2011-2020.

To date there has been very little research or data available concerning the interests, work patterns or challenges facing women photojournalists, in spite of the profound impact women have had on photography since its inception. As the digital era places professional photojournalists as a whole under more pressure than ever, this study seeks to unravel the particular challenges facing women in the business of visual storytelling. Based on data from 545 women photojournalists from 71 countries collected between 2015 and 2016, this article finds that women photojournalists face even more demanding circumstances than their male counterparts, in spite of the fact that they are generally better educated and have more often received a higher level of training in photog-raphy. The data, collected in partnership with the World Press Photo Foundation, suggests the his-torical underrepresentation of women in photography is ongoing. Structural biases will likely con-tinue to prevent women taking up full-time employment in this area in the future with widespread self-employment among them in the sector, meaning an even smaller proportion of women news photographers presenting visual stories on the world’s most pressing issues and the further decline of the female gaze.

Photojournalism; gender; precarity; journalism; photography; gaze

FundersWorld Press Photo
Publication date26/07/2018
Publication date online26/07/2018
Date accepted by journal11/07/2018
PublisherTaylor and Francis

People (2)


Dr Camilla Barnett

Dr Camilla Barnett

Honorary Research Fellow, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Professor Adrian Hadland

Professor Adrian Hadland

Professor, Communications, Media and Culture