Imagine the things we take for granted because that's just the way they are: things like the weather, water … and news.

It was only in the 1940s in the US that TV news went from being broadcast twice a week to featuring every night.1 Back then, with television station licences still limited, it was a very different medium from what we know today, but generally the news still follows the same sequential format it always has: breaking news of the day, current events and political news, sports news and the weather.

The genesis of this was the newspaper, of course. The headlines that interested the men who would be buying and reading it — news on one side, sport on the other. Women had their magazines with recipes, knitting patterns and society gossip.

Over time the television news desk changed, the set design revisited every few years, graphics and digital broadcasting becoming ever more sophisticated. Yet the format is still roughly two-thirds news and one-third sport and weather.

It made sense in the 1960s, when most women worked unpaid in the home and were usually busy cooking dinner at news time. Hubby came home to his pipe and slippers, read the newspaper and watched the television (as more homes could afford them). The 30-minute program that aired, while she prepared the evening meal, consisted of information from a male perspective on news that men typically showed an interest in.

If networks were to investigate how they might engage more female viewers, then ...

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