I was reading “Gender Imbalance on the Campaign Trail,” which just so happens to mention our group that traveled to New Hampshire, and it really got me thinking. The article highlights the lack of women reporters following candidates during the campaign and offers a glimmer of hope at the end about the future for female journos on the trail.
I think the future for women in political reporting, and journalism in general, is pretty bright. I didn’t conduct a scientific study but I do have a little proof to back me up. When I look at my graduate journalism program, out of 22 students, only 4 are male. And then there’s the group that went to New Hampshire–it was a mix of undergrads and graduate students, journalism and poli sci majors. Out of the 34 students in that group, 10 were male. I’ve talked to friends in journalism programs at other schools and they have similar stories.
Another thing–because of all the wonderful women who have come before us, traveling on the bus with all the boys in 1972, anchoring the Today Show for the first time and even today, reporting from the trail, which can sometimes seem like an Old Boy’s Club, because of all that, my colleagues and I will be judged based on the quality of our work, not the length of our hemline.
I tackle every topic I’m covering with the same idea: I’m going to be the best out there writing about this. Not because I’m smarter or because I’m a female (or even in spite of it). I’m going to be the best because I know what it takes to do good journalism–hard work, research, fact-checking, accuracy and balance–and I’m willing to spend the time to do that. I don’t get intimidated by all the testosterone out there in the reporting world. I really don’t even notice it. What I do notice is great reporters who do great work, male and female.
On a similar note, has anyone else started reading the new blog She The People? It’s written by women and covers everything from politics (Ron Paul) to popular culture (Tebowing). It’s smart, insightful and fresh. Check it out!