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.

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

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

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

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

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

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

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

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

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

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

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

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

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

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

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

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

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

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

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

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Jake Levine   The return to now

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

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

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

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

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

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

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

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

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

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

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

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

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Burt Herman   Things get real

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Paul Ford   Go global

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

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

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?