How the FT is diversifying voices in its opinion section
Laura Hazard Owen of Nieman Lab interviewed Financial Times opinion and analysis editor Brooke Masters about how the Financial Times is working to make its opinion section less male dominated.
Here is an excerpt:
Owen: You started in February and these efforts were launched by April. What kind of response have you seen?
Masters: Our pageviews have not gone down, and in fact have gone up, and our daily opinion email is going up. I can’t say for sure that it has radically changed the number of people who are clicking on our things or anything like that — it’s really too early to tell — but it’s certainly not been negative.
The traditional comment section had always under-indexed women compared to the rest of the website and we’re moving closer in line, which is great, and I’d like to over-index eventually.
Owen: Do you set goals, like 50 percent men and 50 percent women, or is it looser than that?
Masters: It’s looser than that — it’s more like a floor. I have a basic rule that either one of the three or one of the four [online opinion columns], depending on what day it is, is by a woman. I’d like to get to 50 percent, but we’re not there. We never tracked it before I took over, but my impression is that in terms of commentators, we were running about 20 percent women. Now we routinely hit 30 percent, and some weeks we’re 40 percent. We check it every week. I haven’t set a formal goal, but I watch it and want it not to get worse. It’s not a quota, but we do pay attention to it.
Read more here.