World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


New Trends in Newsrooms report: Amplifying Women’s Voices

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

New Trends in Newsrooms report: Amplifying Women’s Voices

Click here to access the report. It is free to download for WAN-IFRA Members, and can be purchased by non-members.

Sitting in lockdown, with almost every country on the planet affected by Coronavirus, it is difficult to imagine that newsrooms will ever go back to being "normal".

While the world is focused on this single news story – which is in itself an unprecedented occurrence – news demand has never been higher. Yet, newsrooms are now worrying about how they will pay salaries, and indeed, survive.

The lockdown has killed print advertising spend, which is still the financial lifeline for newsrooms. Without the cash flow from advertising, the future looks dark.

When we emerge from this crisis, we know values and priorities will be different.

What follows, at least from a gender perspective, is anyone’s guess. Gender-balance champions will need to work hard to ensure that the gains made towards more representative newsrooms and news products remain in focus.

The report captures the work, up until February 2020, of a string of admirable newsrooms which had put in place projects. These were to ensure women journalists were being heard in the daily news meetings and were appointed to roles to ensure a balanced editorial executive team. On the news pages, there was a determined effort to see more women experts quoted, more balance in photos and generally a more reflective news product. The simple act of measuring women and men who appear on news pages had become a part of the news production processes.

Post Covid-19, these processes are at risk. Inevitable downsizing and survival strategies could well threaten to knock down the issue of gender on the list of newsroom priorities.

So it is going to take the collective strength and determination of all good women (and men) in the news business to ensure that the good work is not undone. The act of bringing balance to the newspages and to the teams who contribute to them, must continue, for the benefit of us all.

And for those continuing their transformation, we hope this report will be an invaluable pointer to the kind of change that can happen, without extra resources, using simple measurement tools and driven by a commitment to make a difference.


Click here to access the report. It is free to download for WAN-IFRA Members, and can be purchased by non-members.

Author

Cherilyn Ireton's picture

Cherilyn Ireton

Date

2020-04-08 12:57

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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