Over the past year, several editions of Three Longs & Three Shorts have featured articles written by Antara Baruah of ThePrint. In this piece, Ms Baruah highlights an important point which is not just relevant for Marcellus’ clients but also speaks to the aspiration of India’s upwardly mobile female professionals. She says, “Many global news outlets and digital publications, instrumental to the dissemination of information and the shaping of popular opinion, have women as their first in command.
In 2015, when Katharine Viner succeeded Alan Rusbridger, she became the first woman ever to helm The Guardian. A few years later (FY 2018-19), the newspaper reported its first operating profit since 1998. And in 2021, Danielle Belton joined HuffPost as…Editor-in-Chief.
The vociferous cry for diversity appears to have made its way into the newsroom, even though a 2023 study by The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism highlights that only 22 per cent of the top 180 editors across 240 brands in 12 countries were women.”
Ms Baruah then gives us excerpts of interviews given by high powered women editors from various newspapers. First up is Emma Tucker, the editor of the Wall Street Journal: “Prior to joining WSJ, she was editor at The Sunday Times. She didn’t have a heavily laden financial background. The last time she worked at a financial publication was 15 years ago.
This isn’t Tucker’s first foray into history-making. When she came on as editor at The Sunday Times, the paper hadn’t had a female editor since 1901. In a podcast, Tucker confessed the secret to her success—unafraid of being different.
“You have to have the confidence to go your own way because Fleet Street can be a real force whereby everyone is looking at each other while thinking of the wider picture and their readers,” she said.”
Next up is Roula Khalaf, editor of the FT: “Before Roula Khalaf settled down as the first woman editor in Financial Times’ 131-year history, she was its North Africa correspondent and later the foreign editor overseeing the publication’s operations in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. FT didn’t have war correspondents, and Khalaf was covering a heady combination of politics, culture, and foreign affairs.
“I was rarely scared. I got scared when my eldest son could read the newspaper and see where the dateline was. Because then I was anxious that he would be anxious about me. I used to tell my family and my parents that I’d be going to Jordan when really I was going to Iraq. I remember very clearly calling my son once, when he said, ‘I know you’re in Baghdad’. Because of course, we got the FT every morning, and my husband was supposed to hide it,” she told Vogue UK.”
We then meet Zanny Minton-Beddoes, editor of The Economist: ““It’s really hard to manufacture authenticity,” she said, referring to corporate platitudes, environmental, social, and governance criteria and stakeholder activism. But she may well have been talking about what she’s trying to imbue into the magazine.
She does it through her candour: “In the world that is your world, The Economist is not as present as it should be. Amongst people who make decisions, we have huge influence. In the kind of media echo chamber, not as much as we should. That’s something I think we need to work on,” she said in an interview with Vanity Fair.”
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