Society and Culture

Twitter Responds to CNN and The Hollywood Reporter: The Future of Media is Female

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On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter released a cover story about CNN’s strategy to rise to the top of the digital media landscape. But the accompanying photo generated controversy when a senior producer for the network tweeted it out, claiming that it represented the “future of media.”

The cover features the producer, Josiah Ryan, as well as the network’s president Jeff Zucker, anchor Jake Tapper, comedian W. Kamau Bellwho hosts CNN’s show “United Shades of America”and chef Anthony Bourdain, who hosts “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.”

Ryan’s followers were quick to notice something missing about the so-called future of media: there were no women.

The responses ranged from sarcastic to serious, as critics took the opportunity to bring attention to gender disparities in the field. A 2015 report by the Women’s Media Center found that women are still underrepresented in newsrooms across the country. According to the study, 60 percent of news broadcasts are anchored by men, 63 percent of bylines for written articles belong to men, and the proportion of female staffers in newsroom has hovered around 36 percent since 1999.

If this is the case, Twitter users noted that the future of media won’t look too different.

Some pointed out the irony of the article marking the start of Women’s History Month.

Though CNN employs well-known journalists and correspondents like Christiane Amanpour, Dana Bash, Erin Burnett, and Brooke Baldwin, none of them were included in the story.

One journalist took it upon herself to paint another picture of the future of the media, compiling a list of reporters and writers from a wide range of backgrounds.

Sometimes, a gif paints a thousand words.

According to advocacy groups like the Representation Project, whose cofounder was behind the documentary “Miss Representation,” when media outlets do not portray women as powerful politicians or journalistsor, in this case, do not give them credit for helping to fight “CNN’s war”–then other women may be discouraged from pursuing high-level jobs that they perceive to be male-dominated. The Hollywood Reporter has also faced backlash before for failing to represent actresses of color specifically, when it hosted an Oscars roundtable of all-white actresses it considered to be Academy Awards contenders in 2015.

When newsrooms are more diverse in terms of not only gender, but race, orientation, religion, or economic background, these factors can contribute to fairer and more well-rounded coverage of the news.

Victoria Sheridan
Victoria is an editorial intern at Law Street. She is a senior journalism major and French minor at George Washington University. She’s also an editor at GW’s student newspaper, The Hatchet. In her free time, she is either traveling or planning her next trip abroad. Contact Victoria at



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