So, you might have noticed a few things about the #sci4hels crew. We’re early career, we like gifs, we cover a broad array of subject areas and media, and we’re all ladies.
Erin Podolak puts it this way:
Bora chose us by sifting through the work of dozens of new science journalists, by narrowing down his list slowly to make sure that he chose three panelists and a moderator whose experience and interests would make the best lineup. He ended up with four women. As four women who now have an international platform to discuss our profession, should we address our gender or not? Is it the proverbial gorilla in the room? Do we have some kind of duty to use our powers for good to try to tackle feminism and journalism just because we can? Are we putting some kind of target on our backs for criticism by calling attention to our gender?
Among the #sci4hels team, we talked a bit about whether or not we should touch the gender issue. Together, we decided to go there. We all have different reasons, I think, but regardless of why, we asked the question. And I think we got a ton of useful answers from all sorts of different people. So, without further ado, here’s my summary of the conversation.
The third question the #sci4hels team tackled was a touchier one. How can we get women to the top in journalism? We used the term “masthead” here a lot, but of course that comes from a print model. What we really mean is how to get women to the top.
There are tons of things that we didn’t talk about here. I’m personally really interested in how this discussion of women applies to video and audio. Women’s voices are consistently called “shrill” and “annoying” and their appearance trumps what they might be saying. Does this make it even harder to climb to the top in those fields? And, is science journalism any different from any other type of journalism? Are we better or worse?
I’d love to keep the discussion going in the comments here, with both practical tips for lady-journos who might want to one day be at the top, and thoughts on the overall landscape.