Sarah's column: Is the position of editor of a daily newspaper in Australia only for men?


THERE was recently a marvelous video on mUmBRELLA (my favourite website - the best source of information on the Australian media out there) that generally talked about women in the workplace in the media industry.  They touched upon the issues of there not being enough women on boards, a lack of women in senior roles and women struggling to put themselves forward to win the senior positions.

Inspired by that, I now pose this question for you: 

Is it difficult for women to get to the top position as editor of a daily newspaper? 

After doing some research it appears there are not any women who are currently editors of daily newspapers in Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald Editor - Peter Fray
The West Australian Editor - Brett McCarthy
Herald Sun Editor - Phil Gardner
The Advertiser Editor - Melvin Mansell
The Age Editor - Paul Ramadge
The Courier-mail Editor - David Fagan
The Geelong Advertiser Editor - Steele Tallon
The Daily Telegraph Editor - Gary Linnell
The Australian Editor - Paul Whittaker
The Financial Review - Michael Gill
Sunshine Coast Daily Editor - Mark Furler
The Canberra Times Editor - Rod Quinn
The Hobart Mercury Editor - Garry Bailey
The Newcastle Herald Editor - Roger Brock
The Cairns Post Editor - Andrew Holman
Townsville Bulletin Editor - Peter Gleeson
The Weekly Times Editor - Ed Gannon

That is 17 male editors.

This leaves me with so many questions:

At the moment I am reading Man Bites Murdoch by Bruce Guthrie. It is a fascinating account of his career in newspapers (he was an editor of many daily newspapers) as well as his time battling with Rupert Murdoch on different issues. But it also strikes me in this book that whenever other people in high editorial positions are mentioned, the majority of them are male.

Also in the mUmBRELLA video, Deborah Thomas the General Manager of media, public affairs and brand development at ACP magazines, commented that many boards were an old boys network “bringing their mates in," - could this notion of men bringing their friends along with them be the case in newspapers?

Are women not suited to being editors of large daily newspapers? Should they just be left to their devises as editor's of glossy magazines and community papers?

Over the past few months, while the newspapers were getting excited about Julia Gillard becoming our first female Prime Minister, perhaps they should have been focusing on the fact that it appears there are no women as editors of daily newspapers (I am leaving Sunday editions of newspapers out of the topic).
I really feel that I should make it my goal to be a female editor of an Australian daily newspaper.

To be completely honest, I am not experienced enough to give my full opinion on why men seem to be so dominant as editors? Can anyone shed some light on their opinion on why it seems to be all men?

Does anyone know of any females who have been editors of daily newspapers? I can't seem to find any.

As the circulation of newspapers declines, could a womens touch be the answer...

Comments (0)

Post a Comment