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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Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

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

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

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

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

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

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

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

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

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

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

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

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

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

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

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Paul Ford   Go global

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

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

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

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

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

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

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

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Jake Levine   The return to now

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

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

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

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

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

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

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

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

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Burt Herman   Things get real

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism