Since 2019, the semantic algorithm developed by Ringier has been measuring the proportion of women and men from all published online articles by View, Observer, Balance, Cash, Handelszeitung, GaultMillau and the Swiss Illustrated. Since the beginning of 2022, the print titles have also been added. Observer, Balance, View, Handelszeitung, Lucky mail, CountryLove, Sunday View and Tele to this. The so-called body score is measured, i.e. the mentions of women and men in the article texts. Previously, these titles were counted manually.
The results are encouraging for Ringier: The lucky post and the magazine Tele achieve a female share of 49 percent. The Swiss Illustrated has a share of 47 percent in its print title, the CountryLove follows close behind with 46.
The Body Score shows how often women and men are mentioned in article texts in the print publications of Ringier and Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland.
"The more members of the editorial team are involved in the EqualVoice issue and actively care about it, the better our results will be in terms of equal coverage," notes Dominique Strebel, editor-in-chief of the Observer, noted. "Last year, we introduced rotating meeting chairs. Since different people are leading through the meetings, more employees are speaking up who otherwise tend to keep a low profile. That leads to more diversity in topics and more balanced contributions."
Silvia Binggeli, the new editor-in-chief of Schweizer Illustrierte, also thinks it's important to bring in the perspective of young people: "Two female volunteers will be starting with us in the editorial office in August, and they will be graduating from the Ringier School of Journalism at the same time. I'm very much looking forward to hearing the opinions of the younger generation on the subject of EqualVoice and in finding topics and incorporating them into our magazine. We can only benefit from that."
The Teaser Score maps the visibility of women in images, headlines and titles. The Observer online clearly as well as the Handelszeitung online were able to increase slightly. The other titles were slightly down on the previous year. "We noticed that due to the war in Ukraine and topics such as inflation, men were once again increasingly the protagonists of the reporting," justifies BalanceDirk Schütz, Editor-in-Chief, explains the decline. "Because we measure the share, we also notice it, and we can react to it better."
"Even if the quantity of women's coverage is temporarily lower in certain publications than in the previous six months, the quality of coverage has increased everywhere," adds Annabella Bassler, CFO of Ringier and initiator of EqualVoice. "We can see this exemplified by the coverage of the European Women's Soccer Championship in the View. Never before has the tournament received such extensive and equal coverage. The journey is the destination, and we are on the right track."
ETH validates the EqualVoice Factor
The EqualVoice Factor measurement procedure was validated by ETH Zurich in May 2022. This means that scientifically documented proof demonstrates the correctness and credibility of the measurement procedure. The EqualVoice-Factor is also suitable for other media houses and areas of corporate communications. Since January 2022, Axel Springer has been the first media company outside Ringier and Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland to use the EqualVoice-Factor: The algorithm measures the proportion of women at the B.Z. Berlin, Berlin's largest tabloid newspaper.
Podcast in progress
The initiative has a lot more in store. In the fall, the first EqualVoice podcast will be launched, a series of talks with guests from the business world in six episodes. In addition, the second EqualVoice special magazine will be published, produced by Ringier Brand Studio. A new edition of the EqualVoice Summit is also planned for 2023.