OLD Media Moves

Xana Fund hopes to help midcareer female biz journalists

March 8, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Xana Antunes

When Quartz executive editor Xana Antunes died from cancer in late January, two of her business journalism friends sprung into action to honor her legacy.

Lisa Gibbs, the former Associated Press business editor who is now director of news partnerships, and Suzanne Woolley, who covers wealth planning for Bloomberg News, have launched the Xana Fund through the Society of Advancing Business Editing and Writing.

The fund hopes to support mid-career female journalists looking to redirect and raise their career trajectories. It will pay for training, provide mentors and build a community for female business journalists.

“I think news organizations in general struggle a little bit with training for existing employees, or that mid-career time period,” said Gibbs. “We all know how tricky it can be making the transition from reporter to editor to manager to department head … etc. Not to mention, what about that journalist who thinks she wants to start her own website?”

The fund will survey its target audience about their needs.

“I think there’s a great chance to learn some things about a group we don’t always hear from,” said Gibbs.

Antunues, who also worked at Crain’s New York, CNBC, Fortune, CNNMoney and the New York Post, was known as an editor who helped boost the careers of her reporters. She mentored them and cajoled them into producing work that they previously thought was impossible.

“Beyond what she directly wrote and edited, her legacy is the careers and work of so many journalists, and an impact on what we all read on a daily basis in Quartz and well beyond,” said Quartz founding editor Kevin Delaney in a memorial service on Friday. “Despite the challenges in our industry, Xana loved news, and kept her focus on how to tell a good story.”

Tax deductible donations to the fund can be made here.

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