WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Few Women in Prominent News Positions

Sep 17, 2013

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the hiring of female co-anchors for the PBS NewsHour, and why more women are not given a shot at such positions.

In a news release, PBS noted this is the first female co-anchor team for a network nightly newscast. Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff have been with the NewsHour for a number of years and most recently had been part of a rotating series of anchors for the program.

A New York Times article by Brian Stelter reported, “Ms. Ifill, who is black, said that she and Ms. Woodruff were mindful of the broader significance of their appointment. ’When I was a little girl watching programs like this — because that’s the kind of nerdy family we were — I would look up and not see anyone who looked like me in any way. No women. No people of color,’ she said.”

Panelists Lisa Kernek and Rich Egger said Ifill and Woodruff have proven they have the journalistic skills to do the job. Kernek wondered why more women are not being hired for journalism jobs. She said more than 50% of journalism students are women but only about one-third of the employees in newspaper newsrooms are women.

Panelist Jasmine Garcia said the NewsHour should be congratulated for providing some diversity. She said the media won’t be telling everyone’s story if there is no diversity among those who are telling the stories.

The panelists also say that while a number of breakthroughs have been made in the past generation there is still progress to be made, especially in the world of sports journalism.