Conducted Research

Feminising Influences on Mass Circulation

During data analysis of the newspapers the project researcher created three data sets: Petit Journal 1863, Petit Journal 1896 and Daily Mail 1896. These provide a percentage of female-related articles based on a 33 per cent sample and reveal a 5 per cent increase for The Daily Mail and 3.5 % for Le Petit Journal respectively. Quantitative content analysis in 5 descriptive representational categories – ‘vicious’, ‘virtuous’, ‘victorious’ or ‘victims’ , or n/a – tracked changes in editorial approach. Articles were also analysed separately for the percentage of consumer orientated as opposed to citizen-centred pieces. Whilst remaining socially conservative and trivial, The Daily Mail managed to increase its more positive, educative angle (‘virtuous’ and ‘victorious’). Conversely, Le Petit Journal increased its emphasis on prurient and critical coverage of women (‘vicious’ and ‘victims’). There is only one reference to a professional female journalist, ‘Mamselle Chiffon’ in PJ and 2 female journalists in The Daily Mail- ‘Lady Charlotte’ and ‘Janet’. The analysis of female representation with the ‘4 V ’ categorisation indicates that the papers appeared to do little to aid the position of women as citizens at a time when suffragette organization was in the ascendancy.