Thursday, March 10, 2005

Women in Media

Attended a lunch talk called "Making It in Media" on Tuesday. The topic was women and minorities in the media. Though there were four scheduled speakers, only two made it to the event: Pamela Newkirk, who teaches at my school, and journalist Elena Romero.

Newkirk spoke of how there are so few minorities in the newsroom. Even when there are minorities, the pressure to conform may be so great that it makes little difference.

It's depressing to think of how much power editors have, or ultimately, how much power advertisers have. It's depressing to think of how writers have to be careful about which battles they choose because they fear for their jobs.

For example, Newkirk said that the portrayal of women in the media is still disdainful, even though there are greater numbers of women in the newsroom. Even if writers don't want to write about J.Lo's butt (or Hilary Clinton's haircut), they feel pressured to do so just so their story gets better placement. Unfortunately, gossip sells. I think it's mostly detrimental to women, and it puts writers in the position of having to perpetuate the stink that they complain about.

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