Dienstag, 24.04.2018 15:59 Uhr

Men and (a few) women at top of 100 international media

Verantwortlicher Autor: Jochen Raffelberg Cologne, 22.03.2018, 11:16 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Mixed News +++ Bericht 5215x gelesen

Cologne [ENA] Katharine Graham, Anna Wintour and Friede Springer remain rare exceptions at the helm of the male-dominated media industry whose 100 top corporations only allow a tiny fraction of their top echelons to be women, according to a Nordic study set to be food for thought at upcoming major international media conventions. Authors Maria Edström (University of Gothenburg) and Ulrika Facht (Nordic Information Center for Communication and Media Research) have provided the input in time for strategy debates at gatherings in Portugal and South Africa.

Only six of the surveyed companies have women as CEOs, and 30 have only men in their top management; 17 per cent of top management and 20 per cent of board directors are females. A leading media executive who preferred anonymity commented: “Women working in the media must prove themselves by becoming one of the boys if they want to grab a top job in their male-dominated industry.” The International Women’s Media Foundation recently documented that women represent only a third of the full-time journalism workforce in 522 companies it surveyed, and research by the Global Media Monitoring Project says that women’s representation in digital news platforms is, for now, no better than in traditional news media.

Interesting reading for the two international gatherings on strategies aimed to make the media industry fit for the future that will convene over 1,000 academics, journalists, managers and publishers at the June WAN-IFRA news media congress at Estoril, and the World Media Economics and Management Conference (WMEMC) in May in Cape Town. While the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership at Rhodes University hosts the biannual WMEMC, the World Association of Newspapers and Publishers organizes the Portuguese event. Mr Francis Mdlongwa, head of Sol Plaatje, said women academics are expected to dominate the WMEMC in numbers and roles as keynote speakers, panelists, moderators, and attendees.

The WMEMC would also be articulating the role of women as more empathetic and effective media leaders not just in the plenaries and panel discussions, but in many of the research sessions. Other key topics in Cape Town include: Saving Media and Quality Journalism in the ‘Platform Economy’; Direct from the Horse’s Mouth: How Global Tech Giants See Media’s Sustainability; Strategic Management Takes Centre Stage in Re-shaping Media’s Survival; Hype and Myths of Digital, Social and Mobile Business Models; Emerging Trends in Media Consumption and Measurement and Reclaiming Journalism’s Role and Place in the Post-Truth Era.

In Portugal, WAN-IFRA says attendees will learn more about ripples of confidence returning to the news business after a tough decade. Smart, creative responses to key challenges were yielding results for publishers big and small and North America was showing promising trends where inter alia design-thinking boot camps spurred digital growth at McClatchy’s newspapers. Under the heading “Women in News Summit: Making a difference” the meeting will debate what it sees as the momentum for positive change that had swung dramatically since last year. An opportunity to go deep into issues of gender in media: Leaders making a difference and Covering gender and the #metoo movement add to the agenda.

WAN-IFRA also believes that beyond the hype, Blockchain (new type of internet originally devised for the digital currency Bitcoin) offers a mini-revolution for areas of the media industry. Other topics: What works best to get people to pay for content? What steps are local and regional news organizations taking to better meet the needs of digital audiences and earn money? Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a perfect antidote to platform chaos and can give media back control in audience relationships. Newsrooms have found individual and collaborative ways to fight misinformation and distrust.

The late Katharine Graham (“The Post”) was chairwoman of the Washington Post Company’s board from 1973 to 1991 and became the first female Fortune 500 CEO. Friede Springer, widow of publisher Axel Springer, is deputy chairwoman on the supervisory board of Axel Springer AG and largest shareholder of the company that owns Die Welt and Bild newspapers, but its digital business models accounted for 71.5 percent of revenues last year. Dame Anna Wintour (“The Devil Wears Prada”) is the artistic director for the Condé Nast Inc magazines and chief editor of Vogue.

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