On September 22, digital communicator, independent journalist, and Huffington post blogger Sally Duros joined Niagara Foundation to speak about “Women in Digital Media.” Sally Duros talked to us about some of the challenges and opportunities with news world continuing and changing over time. She also explained women’s role in today’s media and some of the future trends that women should hope and strive for.
“Democracy thrives based on the quality of information that is provided to the people who live in that place. I understood how difficult it was to get information to the people who really needed it.” According to Sally Duros, the Internet creates wonderful opportunity where anybody who owns valuable information can share with others. “The challenge is that if news is to continue how will it continue and can it find a way to succeed as it was before, and it is doubtful that it’s going to look like anything it has in the past. And actually women should hope that it does not, because the way it looked before we were pretty much not included in the picture. So, the problem is that all issues are women’s issues. But many solutions allude us because most media treat women as an auxiliary rather than a central transformative factor on every issue” says Duros.
Sally Duros has shared some of the statistics with us: The Women’s Media Center has done a lot of research into the news industry to see who’s actually making the news. What they have discovered is that women are reporting stories at a lower rate than men. In evening broadcast news, women are on camera 32% of the time, in print news women report 30% of the stories, and on the Internet women write 42% of the news. Women are also underrepresented behind the cameras: making videos, editing, recording, producing etc. “So, that means that when you are reading the news it is mostly coming from men, which is not a bad thing, but women’s perspective brings an additional dimension to every story,” said Duros.
As Sally told us, she is a solutions-based person who is always looking for a glittering piece of something that can make a difference, but is he also sees an importance in understanding the existence of a skew and internet’s capacity and promise to balance things out. New websites are emerging that are gender-based concerning gender issues where women are actively participating and some are starting their own newsrooms. Thus, there is a hope for women to come forward in media.
“What we know about women entrepreneurs in the news sphere is that they tend to be very engagement oriented with the community. And the new models of news that are emerging are very much crowd-powered. So, they are crowd-powered in terms of money and they are crowd-powered in terms of information. Women get that a lot more quickly than men do, for some reason,” said Duros. This is because women show strong interest in community issues and building community. They also have an appetite for social justice, sustainability, and empowering women, presenting diverse voices in the environment. According to Sally Duros, nowadays women are at the forefront of the change, however nobody has figured out the solution yet, “we are still looking for ways; you could be out there a mission-based journalist like I am and then how do you make living? You might be doing something you are passionate about and you love, but you got to eat,” said Duros.
We at Niagara Foundation want to thank Sally Duros for dedicating her time and joining us for an intimate discussion on Women in Digital Media.
By Irma Geldiashvili