Friday, October 31, 2008

A Long Way to Go

As always, via Megan, I read this insightful piece by Rebecca Traister in Salon. The piece takes a moment to acknowledge that this election season has seen some breakout female television news anchors and interviewers: Katie Couric, Campbell Brown, and Rachel Maddow. It's important to give these women their due, especially since just last election season the commentary was pretty much all old white dudes.

But even though it's important to acknowledge the achievements of the women at the top, it's also really important to look at the representation of women at all levels of media. It's a similar argument that Ann Friedman made in an issue of The American Prospect earlier this year: just because we have few token women at the top doesn't mean the work of gender equity is done.

Still women have barely broken into the upper ranks of journalism and women on the op-ed pages remain dismally around 30 percent of the bylines. Most of the features written in "serious" publications are written by men, and even though journalism schools train a lot of women that rarely translates into more female journalists. So while I respect the achievements of Couric, Brown, and Maddow, we shouldn't take this as a signal to be complacent. Women still have a long way to go to gain equity with their peers in media.

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