The future is female

“My prediction is not solely that media leadership will be feminized, but that news itself will take on a new, more feminine, tone.”

Among the predictions published in this series last year, none proved more prescient than Rachel Sklar’s “Women are Going to Get Loud.” It’s as if Rachel got an advance copy of Time’s Person of the Year issue — really advance.

The #MeToo movement has been an efficient juggernaut, blasting open decades of workplace hostility and harassment, and nowhere has it gotten more attention than in the field of media. (So much for “report the story, don’t become the story.”) Certainly, media is not the only industry so plagued by misogyny — there are others where it’s even more widespread. Nonetheless, it’s the media’s job to expose these outbreaks and it can’t even begin to help in that regard until it puts on its own oxygen mask.

The main consequences of this reckoning have been terminations, resignations, leaves of absence. And so it happens that there are suddenly a whole lot of vacancies in leadership roles across many media organizations. Already we’re seeing some of these roles filled by women. Expect that trend to accelerate and expand. There’s a surfeit of female talent that’s been sitting too long on the bench.

It never made sense for journalism to skew so heavily male at its highest ranks for so long. Media corporations can’t say with a straight face that it’s a “pipeline problem” with regards to women eager to study, work, and lead in journalism, as technology titans feebly do. According to Poynter, journalism schools award diplomas to women at a more than 2 to 1 ratio. Per ASNE, that ratio somehow flips in terms of newsroom supervisory roles, with women comprising only 37 percent. Media is storytelling, communication, information dissemination…we’re not talking about the defense industry or investment banking. These are skills women have long been stereotyped for having mastered — and yet, haven’t yet been deemed authoritative enough in to be awarded a mantle of leadership. Isn’t it ironic?

That all ends next year. My prediction is not solely that media leadership will be feminized, but that news itself will take on a new, more feminine, tone. No, this doesn’t mean more articles on weight loss and beauty trends. Instead, it means that women will be seen as reliable sources and the sexism embedded into articles about women’s issues and female public figures (“Who were they wearing?”) won’t make it past first edit. It also means we can expect newsroom resources dedicated to uncovering stories of other underserved and underreported communities. This means we can expect more two-way communication between storytellers and readers — something more authentic and constructive than a comments section.

I expect the female media takeover will bring also bring a novel remedy to the phenomenon of so-called fake news and the overall stratification of media along ideological lines. Don’t ask me how I know — it’s just my woman’s intuition. 2017 wasn’t pretty for our industry, but there’s hope for 2018. This time next year, “content is queen” will roll right off the tongue.

Jennifer Coogan is chief content officer of Newsela.

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Dan Shanoff   You down with OTT? (Yeah, DTC)

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Millie Tran and Stine Bauer Dahlberg   (Hint: It’s about your brand)

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Julia B. Chan   Looking for loyalty in all the right places

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Tanzina Vega   It’s time for media companies to #PassTheMic

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Jesse Holcomb   Information disorder, coming to a congressional district near you

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   The Snapchat scenario and the risk of more closed platforms

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Marcela Donini and Thiago Herdy   Collaboration is the way forward for Brazilian journalism

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Jake Levine   The return to now

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Paul Ford   Go global

Burt Herman   Things get real

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Helen Havlak   Keywords, not publishers, power the world’s biggest feeds

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Jim Moroney   Newspapers have to be good enough for readers to pay for

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Susie Banikarim   R.I.P. Pivot to Video (2017–2017)

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Alan Soon   The rise of start of psychographic, micro-targeted media

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Richard J. Tofel   The platforms’ power demands more reporters’ attention

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Women of color will reclaim and monetize our time

Aron Pilhofer   We can’t leave the business to the business side any more

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Errin Haines Whack   At the ballot, it’s time to count black women

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Sara M. Watson   Feeds will open up to new user-determined filters

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Eric Ulken   The year local publishers get smart(er) about change

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question