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First female Editor in Chief of The Economist appointed

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First female Editor in Chief of The Economist appointed

Beddoes, who was previously an economist at the IMF, joined The Economist in 1994.

Previously the magazine's Business Affairs Editor, Beddoes will take on the mantle from John Micklethwait on February 2nd. “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to edit The Economist. It is one of journalism’s great institutions, with an extraordinarily talented staff,” Beddoes said in a statement. Micklethwait, who is joining Bloomberg News, raised The Economist's weekly circulation from 1.1m to 1.6m.   

In an unconventional move, the selection process involved the Economist's entire staff being emailed a list of the candidates and encouraged to write an opinion of who should win, which "lead to intense lobbying behind the closed doors of the hutch-like office," one candidate, Gideon Lichfield, commented at Quartz. Lichfield notes that the list was not "leaked to a media gossip columnist within minutes," nor before the appointment of the new editor was finalized, reflecting The Economist's high ethical standards.

Beddoes was described by the chairman of The Economist Group Rupert Pennant-Rea as a “fine leader with long experience on the paper” and “a true advocate for The Economist and its values”. While Minton Beddoes is described by her colleagues as a fierce debater, she is also seen as an outgoing team-player. 

The Economist's system of values has evolved since 1965, when the then chairman of the board of directors, Geoffrey Crowther, wrote of appointing a new editor “in this rapidly changing world, we must have a young man, and... we would not therefore consider anyone over the age of about 40.”

It’s been ‘one step forward, two steps back’ for gender equality behind editors' desks over the past year, with two high-ranking female Editors-in-Chief being ousted from Le Monde and The New York Times within the same week.

Just under 25% of The Economist's staff and only 13% of its readers are women, says according to Lichfield. 

The news of Beddoes' appointment was widely reported as a breakthrough by the international news media. 

However, highlighting the rampant sexism still entrenched within some sections of the media, The Spectator trivially aligned Beddoes' professional breakthrough with her fashion choices: ‘she also raises the stakes when it comes to office glamour, opting for leopard print and high heels', it reported, quoting an anonymous source at The Economist.

 

Author

Alexandra Sazonova-Prokouran

Date

2015-01-23 18:02

Author information

The World Editors Forum is the organisation within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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