Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fascinating Discussion About the News Business -- But Diminished by the Dearth of Female Voices

A fine retrospective on the decline of newspapering and news distribution as we once knew it has been released by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy and the Nieman Journalism Lab, both at Harvard University.  Titled "Riptide: What Really Happened to the News Business," the analysis is based on interviews, some of which appear in this report in video form, with 55 media leaders who traveled through the transformation from legacy media methods to today's digital, on-all-the-time information world.  But once again, women represent a small segment -- only 10 percent -- of those interviewed.  Many media watchers are incredulous that this number could be so small in this day and age.  You can see the lineup of those interviewed and begin reading the report here.

The five women included in the report -- all great selections, by the way -- are Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington; Kathy Yates, former Knight Ridder executive; Betsy Morgan, former CEO of the Huffington Post; Caroline Little, CEO, Newspaper Association of America; and Chloe Sladden, head of media for Twitter.

The report's authors -- John Huey, Martin Nisenholtz and Paul Sagan -- explained their choices this way:

"We started by identifying the institutions that we believed were central to the Riptide story — the change of news through the rise of digital technology, beginning around 1980. Then we sought to interview many of the key people at those institutions. At that time, they were, regrettably, overwhelmingly white and male.

"Riptide was always intended to be an organic project that would be expanded over time with other voices exploring more and more parts of this story. That’s why we created it as a website. We welcome suggestions for voices or topics that could now be added to Riptide. Please feel free to post them below or send them to us at Shorenstein_center@hks.harvard.edu."

So fire way, readers.

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