There seems to be a bit of chatter about the article the New York Times wrote about BlogHer 2008.
I first ran across the article and the discussion through an item at Poynter’s Web site (as an aside, the E-mail Tidbits blog is fantastic).
I feel a little behind since as a female blogger, I should be up on such an issue. I know about BlogHer, which is an interesting conference concept in itself. But I didn’t know about the New York Times article.
The issue, it seems, is how the conference was covered and that the article appeared on the cover of the Fashion & Style section on a Sunday. I see the flaws in the article, most specifically the description. And I do think that it’s a bit offensive that a story that belongs in the business section is labeled as “Fashion & Style” most likely because it’s about women (as an aside, when The Herald News wrote a story about this, it ran on the business page).
But this is bigger than just one article, in my opinion. This is more about the media’s views on how to cover women’s issues and how some news outlets just don’t take them seriously.
Women can be labeled as “soccer moms” and grouped together in a poor way that doesn’t do mothers justice. Beach photos many times show women in bikinis frolicking in the surf.
My hometown daily newspaper back in Connecticut — The Connecticut Post — once called its features section “Womanwise.” The section was filled with the comics, the advice columns, soap opera updates, health news, soft features and the horoscopes. Like this is what women care about? It’s offensive. Thankfully the name of the section was changed, but for too many years it had that name.
I find it interesting coming from an industry where I — a woman — have felt growth over the years. It’s not to say I haven’t had battles over the years. I could tell stories about editors who treated women poorly and about sources who have viewed me as a woman over being a journalist. If you know me, those are giant mistakes by all of them.
But I have grown and worked with many women who have also grown in the industry. So why is it that our editors and publishers are still treating women issues so poorly?