OLD Media Moves

Is ForbesWoman too soft?

November 15, 2011

Posted by Chris Roush

J. Maureen Henderson writes on Forbes.com about criticism that the business magazine’s female-oriented publication has received for being too lightweight in its coverage.

Henderson writes, “Never one to let sleeping dogs lie, I decided to use Thompson’s criticism as a jumping off point to assess whether the dissatisfaction A) was widespread (answer: yes) and B) extended beyond the Forbes brand (answer: yes again). I asked a cross-section of  entrepreneurs to offer up their perspective on whether mainstream media coverage of the issues relevant to current and aspiring female business leaders was as robust as that aimed at men and featured the kind of stories and angles that reflected their real experience. Here’s what they told me.

Adelaide Lancaster

“Co-founder, In Good Company and author, The Big Enough Company

“I’d like to think (hope?) that we are headed in the right direction. The last year has brought us outlets such as ForbesWoman and The Daily Muse – both of which are dedicated to creating content for smart, career-minded women – presumably because there was a gap in the marketplace and a consumer need and interest for this kind of content. I think we need even more of it. Big media in general gets content for women wrong all the time (Lisa Bloom pretty much outlines an open and closed case in her book, Think), so much so that I’ve given up on most of them. As a result, I hold outlets like ForbesWoman to a higher standard and am disappointed when I see a lot of fluff articles or attempts to appeal to quick clicks or the lowest common denominator.

“Yet, given how content is marketed these days, I also understand the pressure to create sexy titles. Overall, I don’t mind reporting on pop culture or the human or personal side of things as long as there is an intellectual bent to it. For example, I thought Peggy Orenstein did a great job in her piece on Motherlode exploring the peril of sexy Halloween costumes. But for outlets that are business related, the contributors should really bring it back to business in one way or another – there are plenty of issues to report on that are, in fact related to business. As businesswomen we are more interesting than Halloween costumes, mating recipes, and attractiveness studies.”

Read more here.

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