During my research, I met dozens of women hustling for grants, launching publications, and rethinking the way journalism is practiced online. There’s Jeanne Pinder, founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts.com, Symbolia’s Erin Polgreen, and Laura Amico, founder and editor of Homicide Watch. Kelly Virella will unveil The Urban Thinker, a longform digital magazine aimed at black audiences, later this year. Diane Alverio’s Latino News Network is gaining popularity in southern New England. And in virtually every state, women are launching local news websites they hope will succeed where legacy newspapers and, more recently, AOL’s Patch have failed.
Many of these women have won competitive grants, earned prestigious fellowships, and been honored with major journalism awards, yet the talk about the future of news is focused tightly on a small group of men. Modern news organizations—and the conversations about them—can’t afford to spend decades inching towards gender parity. Doing so risks repeating the mistakes of the past, when legacy newsrooms became so entrenched in their ways that they were unable to adapt quickly to social or technological change. And it risks once again marginalizing the contributions women are making to a pivotal moment in journalism’s history.
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