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.

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Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Jake Levine   The return to now

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

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

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

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

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

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

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

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

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

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

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

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

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

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

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

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

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

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

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Burt Herman   Things get real

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

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

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

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

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

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

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

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

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

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Paul Ford   Go global

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

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

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

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

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future