Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The NYT and Women

No can criticise the NYT, and to a degree the IHT, for not giving senior roles to women. Janet Robinson being just the most obvious example, Alison Smale and Judy Dempsey at the IHT. On both the commercial and editorial front women are well represented, but neither the IHT nor the NYT has ever had a woman at the top on edit, and the IHT has only ever had male CEOs and publishers.

So this debate, reported by Media Bistro, is interesting:

Is Coverage of the Online Glass Ceiling Just Reinforcing It?
Lots of talk today about women and blogging, much of it kicked off by the NYT's
coverage of the annual BlogHer conference in San Francisco last week-end. The article was widely criticized by women in the blogosphere and many questioned whether the NYT was merely reinforcing the glass ceiling that BlogHer was set up to combat by running the piece in the Style section and by focusing on particularly feminine things like the bathroom setup, the lactation room, child care. Meanwhile, the Netroots gathering in Austin, which took place on the same week-end, received far more extensive coverage, and not just because Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi made appearances. Notes Jezebel's Megan Carpentier: "A cursory search of the Times' archives shows no less than 10 stories filed with the paper or its blogs during Netroots Nation...This weekend's story on BlogHer was the first the Times had filed about the event." Says Salon's Rebecca Traister,
The problem is not simply with the placement of one story, but with a newspaper that does not take "women's stories" — in this case one that could have also been about business, technology, politics or gender as a social, economic or professional impediment to success — seriously enough to give them other, more newsy space in its pages.
Another publisher who apparently isn't taking their online women's stories very seriously is Conde Nast. The Observer is
reporting that the publisher has a series of online "'girl'-illa blogs" that it does not seem terribly interested in promoting. And why would they when print is so profitable these days! In the meantime, and until everyone else catches up, there's always Jezebel.

International Herald Tribune
New York Times

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