For women journalists, it’s not just about inheriting leadership positions, it’s about using them to change newsroom culture
There are a plenty of news reports and studies documenting the decline among women news executives. But participants in a women leaders and innovators panel at last week’s Online News Association conference in Chicago doled out advice to emerging leaders, and each other, about how to rise to the top. Moderated by Meredith Artley, Managing Editor of CNN Digital and president of ONA’s board of directors, the transcript of the live blog of the session is here and the Twitter feed under the hashtag #ona14ladylt is here.
After the session panelists Susan Smith Richardson, Publisher and Editor of the Chicago Reporter and Ann Marie Lipinski, curator for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, joined me in answering additional questions about leadership. The takeaway: When women are granted access to key decision-making roles, they can’t just be managers, they must also be mentors and change agents.
“Once we get in there, we can’t afford to perpetuate the same models,” Richardson said. “The next level is how do you redefine the model.” For Richardson that means identifying alternative routes to leadership positions other than having to become a national or foreign correspondent. “These are part of the old school methods for the route to the top,” she continued. “You can change that, and there’s nothing to stop you from doing it. It really is about going from inheriting the positions to taking and using them to transform the whole way you structure the news-gathering process.”
Watch the entire conversation: