Time for women in the media – POLIS

For all of us ladies struggling to get a foot in one of many media doors, this is a reassuring post by an Danielle Blumen from POLIS, the LSE-LCC journalism and society think tank. The need for more women in journalistic positions is just one of the challenges facing the ever in-flux media industry of our time. According to the London Bureau Chief for Time magazine, Catherine Mayer, women are simply better at listening, allowing them to get under the skin of stories more deeply than men. A generalisation, maybe, but it’s certainly a boost to hear from a woman who started and built up her career in the male-dominated land of The Economist.

Yet, of course, there is this age-old fact that female tabloid journalists reign supreme as the ‘standard’:

News reporting and difficult stories are not generally associated with female reporters, and when asked why this is the case, Mayer’s answer was simple – “the Jan Moirs of the world cost less.”

Whilst Mayer admitted the feminisation of the media industry did not directly lead to a feminisation of the issues covered, it certainly is time for more voices such as hers in the media world. The Guardian’s women’s section has made a concerted effort at this over the years, and female columnists such as Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Janet Street-Porter, Tanya Gold and Julie Bindel (amongst many, many more) have stuck to their pens and guns in the face of comments section abuse, as the wonderful Johann Hari tweeted last month.

Just imagine how barren our journalistic landscape would be without these voices.

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