After reading the article “Do Women Lead Differently,” I disagree with Jill Abramson’s statement that gender has no influence on management or the way news is gathered.  Of course our backgrounds and experiences determine the way we interpret stories, and it matters in the newsroom as well.  Gender, among other factors, affects what stories are covered, how they are covered, and what sources are used.  Women see stories in a way that some men don’t.  Women and men have different perspectives on what is defined as “news” and what issues are important.  We (women) tend to look at the bigger picture of how a story affects the family, the community, and women as a whole. I can see a difference in the approach or angle used in stories, as well as the gender of the sources quoted in the article.  In newspapers, I’ve noticed that women typically write “softer” news stories rather than the political, crime, or business beats that their male counterparts are assigned.

It’s important to have more women in executive roles.  Abramson’s promotion is a step in the right direction, but we still have more females in journalism programs than we do in the actual newsroom.  So, we still have a long way to go for fair representation in the newsroom and on the pages of dailies. If journalists strive to bring accurate, balanced stories to readers, then it has to start with the staff.  The decisions about coverage start with upper management. We need women in all phases to bring a different viewpoint.  It’s not only good for the newspaper, but it’s good for business.  By that same token, women should not be looked at as female journalists but just as journalists.  A woman doing good journalism is just a great journalist, being a woman is a hiccup or afterthought.  One part of the article I was fascinated by was the reference that Abramson was “tough.”  I questioned whether that would even be significant if she were not a woman.  Good journalists and managers are often aggressive.  It comes with the territory, but I’ve never read about a male journalist or manager “tough” in nature.

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Comments
  1. The video looks as if (at least some it) was filmed outside the University of Texas School of Journalism. The insights that were provided were RIGHT ON. I think there are a number of issues that we have to take into consideration when we talk about the status of women in journalism, or any career area for that matter.

    The YouTube video REALLY added a lot to the conversation.

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