Launching a journalism startup in the midst of a pandemic, protests and a presidential election year with an unstable economy looming overhead, most would probably agree, is a terrible idea. But, for The 19th co-founders Amanda Zamora and Emily Ramshaw, it was the perfect opportunity to put women front and center.
“May you live in interesting times …” The quote has been attributed to various sources, and rightfully so, being that it has been used by many to describe different time periods. Along with its true author, the original meaning of this quote has been lost to time, but can aptly describe today’s media climate.
Next Thursday, International Women’s Day is observed – the day where women’s contributions to society, including in journalism, are celebrated. Much of the conversation has been on the role of women in journalism in light of the #MeToo movement on social media and the sexual harassment allegations against prominent male media figures, including Mark Halperin, Charlie Rose, Michael Oreskes, Garrison Keillor, Harvey Weinstein, and most recently, Tom Ashbrook.
As the Golden Globes prepared to get underway in Los Angeles, news came regarding a letter written by Carrie Gracie, a prominent journalist at the BBC. Gracie had stood down from her post as China Editor after it emerged that she was being paid 50 percent less than that of her male colleagues.