Why are women deserting newspapers?
News of a U.K. government study that claims women are less informed than men about current affairs, particularly in liberal, egalitarian western countries, has been making the rounds, much to the irritation of my female friends and colleagues.
Not me. I expect it's true. I've long observed the demographics of newspapers -- the best source of information on what usually constitutes "current affairs" -- and they tell us that the majority of women don't give a damn about what the sort of straight, white, wealthy middle-aged men who run corporate papers have deemed newsworthy.
Women readers make up only about one-third of the ever-shrinking audience for corporate newspapers, and they have been disappearing much faster than male readers since the circulation decline began in the 1970s. Since women readers were the reason for the newspapers' legendary license to print money, there was much sturm und drang over their exodus. And many elaborate theories explaining the problem came from journos and market researchers alike.