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Francesca Donner has been in the world of news for over 20 years. She has been an editor for Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and more recently The New York Times and Qwartz. At NYT, she also served as a Gender Director and edited the column “In Her Words,” covering all beats through a gender lens. She told us how she started questioning her work for a more accurate representation of women, and shared a few tips for any journalist out there who also wants to put that gender lens on in order to produce richer, better-layered stories.
Annette Young is a news TV presenter and the host and creator of “The 51 Percent” on France 24, a show that strives to promote gender equality through a focus on women’s stories and perspectives in all fields. Throughout her career, she has worked as a reporter, a producer and many other positions for different Australian and French news outlets such as The Sydney Morning Herald, Special Broadcasting Service and Agence France-Presse. She has also served as a France 24 correspondent in the Middle East for three years. In this new episode of “Peer-to-Peer”, Annette Young tells us about how “The 51 Percent” came to be, the initial reactions she faced and how her colleagues’ take on it evolved over the years. We also talk about what the coverage of the war in Ukraine says about women’s representation in conflict-related stories.
Currently the Global Standards Editor at Bloomberg, Laura Zelenko has been a journalist for over 40 years, and has spent most of her career with this business and finance-focused news organization. In 2018, she launched New Voices, a training program that aims to bring in the news more women who are experts in the economy.  In this insightful conversation, Laura Zelenko recounts how women’s representation came to be a main subject at Bloomberg and how they keep track of their progress over time. She also highlights the ways in which more inclusion actually leads to better stories. For more tips, tools and resources to help you make your reporting more balanced, you can head to our website:
After working for a year in broadcast journalism at the news channel Mirror Now, Shreya Raman started digging into data to unearth stories. She spent three years as a reporter with IndiaSpend, the first data journalism initiative in India, then almost a year as a data analyst with India Migration Now, a research, data and media agency. Living between Mumbai and Goa, she now reports independently (BehanBox, IndiaSpend, FT, Nikkei Asia…) on a variety of subjects “at the intersection of gender, caste and disability.”  In this conversation, we talk about — you guessed it — data, but also the lack of it when it comes to women’s and girls’ lives, or what is called the gender data gap. Shreya Raman also shares some of the things she has learned while working with data, which might be useful especially to journalists who aren’t data specialists (so… most of us).
In less than two years, the Taliban have erased 20 years of progress for Afghan girls’ and women’s rights according to the latest estimates by UN experts. They have also restricted press freedom, and women journalists were the most affected by that: more than 84% of them have lost their jobs since August 2021, whereas 52% of men have. While many local media outlets were forced to close shop, Afghan voices from elsewhere in the world rose, making it their mission to talk about the reality of what’s happening in Afghanistan. Zan Times was launched in that context, in August 2022. Edited in Dari Persian and in English, the women-led independent news platform aims to give a voice to women and the LGBTQ+ community.' We sat down with its editor-in-chief, Zahra Nader, to talk about how Zan Times came to be, how their newsroom operates today and what it’s like for women journalists under Taliban rule. Although the conversation is specific to Afghanistan, there might be in Zahra’s words something to learn or relate to for each and every one of us.
Before becoming a writer, Ed Yong studied zoology then biochemistry, but realized that he’d rather explain science to others than be a scientist. Today, he’s an award-winning journalist and author, notably known for his writing on the world of animals and the Covid-19 pandemic (for which he received a Pulitzer Prize in 2021). In 2018, Ed published an article titled “I Spent Two Years Trying to Fix the Gender Imbalance in My Stories.” More than five years later, we wanted to check in with him. What process did he put in place? How did it change his reporting? And is this something that stuck with him over the years? He tells us about all of that, and shares some of the things he wishes he had known before he started writing health stories in which women are the protagonists, and calls on other male journalists to strive for more diversity in their own reporting.
She's one of the authors of the “Gender is Part of Every Story,”  a report on gender journalism based on a survey of 100 media professionals across the globe. Megan Clement has long covered different topics (politics, climate, migration, human rights…) with a focus on women’s perspectives. She’s also the editor of Impact, a bilingual newsletter at the intersection of politics and gender. In a new episode of Peer-to-Peer, she explains the why, and the why now of this survey, and what finding surprised her the most. We also talk about her work with Impact, and what advice she would give herself if she were to get started with gender journalism today.
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