The parity has not yet reached the French audiovisual media. Now here near. Not even in the time they take the floor. According to a study National Audiovisual Institute (INA), women speak twice less on radio and television than men. And that the situation, says the report, has improved significantly in the last two decades, at least in public channels. Even so, the figures are overwhelming: on television, women's intervention is, on average, 32.7%, while men occupy 67.3% of the assigned word time. On the radio the figure is even lower: women occupy 31.2% of intervention time compared to 68.8% of men.
In 1975, journalist Anne Sinclair wanted to know why there were so few women on French television, already considered as a misogynistic medium. For this, he interviewed relevant figures of the small gala screen of the time. The answers he received were, at the very least, discouraging. Today, they would be considered even insulting. "I do not want to be bad, but it's more pleasant to see than to listen to a woman," said Marcel Jullian, founder and first president of the Antenne 2 network. "There are some television presenters, but I do not think this is a female medium ", Considered for his part the writer, presenter and producer of radio and television programs Pierre Bellemare. "Our medium is a medium of men", agreed the star presenter Jacques Martin. The INA has recovered that interview on the occasion of the publication of the study on the intervention times of men and women.
Four decades later, things have changed. But, judging from the data collected, not as much as one could believe or wish.
The lower visibility of women is not just a matter of time. It is also about slots. In prime-time programs, women are heard less than men, especially on private television networks, with a decrease of up to 3.2% (-1.1% in public channels). In the schedule prime time (19.00 to 20.00 in the afternoon, in France), the rate of expression of women is 37.7% in public channels, compared to 24.6% in private channels. In any case, far below the male voices. The same thing happens in the radio, where in times of strong audience, in private broadcasters the participation rate of women drops 2.7%, while in the public it increases just 0.3%.
And that the situation has been improving in the last two decades. On the radio, from 2001 to 2018, women's time on the radio has increased by 9.3%, to an annual average of 0.5%. In the case of television, it has also been increasing, although to a lesser extent: 4.7% from 2010 to 2018, especially in public channels.
"Regardless of the chain considered, the expression rate of women is less than 50%, which means that, on the chains as a whole, men speak more than women," the study summarizes.
To make this report, facing International Women's Day this March 8, the INA has analyzed 700,000 hours of radio and television programs with an artificial intelligence technology that allows it to distinguish male and female voices, both journalists and guests and invited to the different programs. It is, says the INA, the broadest study of this genre in the world. The analyzed data go back to 2001 in the case of the radio programs and of 2010 in the television ones, since the previous years were conserved in DVD and could not be used with the used technology, explains the audiovisual institute.