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Nov. 21, 2013, 3:53 p.m.
LINK: streetfightmag.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   November 21, 2013

Over at Street Fight, Tom Grubisich hits on a trend I’d noticed but hadn’t been smart enough to write about: the disproportionate representation of women in the leadership of hyperlocal indie media. (Disproportionate to Big Media leadership, I should say — not particularly disproportionate to the actual population.)

Of the 12 top revenue-producing community news sites, eight have a female editor-publisher-owner, based primarily on my calculations from the authoritative Michele’s List — compiled by journalist and community news researcher Michele McLellan — as well as my own research. There is just one site in the list’s top revenue bracket of $501,000-$1 million — St. Louis Beacon — and it is headed by two women: Editor and co-founder Margie Freivogel and General Manager Nicole Holloway…

Another number: Six women editors-publishers now sit on the 13-member board of the Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, the major association representing “indies”…

Crucially, none of these women had to make their case in corporate board rooms, which are overwhelmingly male-dominated. These women just rolled up their entrepreneurial sleeves and went to work. But their success wasn’t, and isn’t, guaranteed. The odds against the small businesses owner — male or female — being successful are considerably longer than a blackjack player’s chances in Las Vegas. So what do women bring to the community news space to produce so many winners?

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What do we want? Unbiased reporting! When do we want it? During protests!
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