What’s going on here?

About a year ago, I noticed something about the professional company I kept.

After nearly a decade as a reporter, I’d taken a job as the first-ever online editor for the Concord Monitor, a daily paper in central New Hampshire. I joined all sorts of groups — real and virtual — to learn about the practice and theory of digital news. What content management systems were best suited to the needs of a community publication? How could we best use social media to engage our audience and tell great stories? How could technology help us hold government accountable?

My new mentors had answers to these questions and many more, but it wasn’t long before I realized that most of those answers were coming from men. The gender disparity was even more apparent at conferences, where I’d often be the only woman participating in a conversation about digital news.

These observations led to this blog, which is an inquiry into the role of women in emerging news organizations. I also hope it becomes an important tool as I research a thesis on the same subject.

Existing work on the subject is limited, but there are a few good resources that I’ll consult frequently.

  • The Gender Report, a site that monitors gender representation by conducting byline surveys of online news orgs.
  • The Women’s Media Center doesn’t limit its work to the digital realm — or journalism, for that matter — but its blog is frequently updated with useful information.
  • I’ll also be consulting two databases of online news organizations, one maintained by Columbia Journalsim Review and the other by LION — the Local, Independent Online News Producers.

Any other sites I should include? You can post suggestions in the comment section below this post or send them to me on Twitter.

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