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The web is full of sassy, smart publications focused on feminism, gender and the portrayal of women in the media, but the most useful resource I’ve found so far is a subdued blog maintained by a California graduate student and a high school teacher in Baltimore. It’s called The Gender Report, and it’s focused on studying the role of women in digital media.

The site launched in 2011 after its founders attended a talk on gender inequalities at a college journalism conference. They left wondering what role women will play in digital news:

Where was the woman’s voice? The woman’s byline? Or for that matter, where were the men in family leave policies, or stories focusing “women’s issues”?

The site mixes original research with aggregation for page after page of useful information. During its first full year of operation, The Gender Report found that women were routinely underrepresented as sources and writers in online news stories. There’s also a directory of outside research on related topics and a weekly list of suggested readings.

The Gender Report is also part of a trend in academic research, one that’s merging the strengths of the social web with the rigors of scholarly research. This practice is common in the digital humanities, where researchers use high-tech tools to collaborate and to present their findings.

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