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Chicago women journalists examine their progress in non-traditional media

Have more media outlets opened up more opportunities?

Women make up about 50% of American journalists, but barriers remain to retention and promotion in newsrooms across the country.

Conventional wisdom has it that women leave the industry to have children, but Kristin Gilger, a professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, says the truth is more complicated.

According to a book she co-wrote about women in journalism, “There’s No Crying in Newsrooms: What Women Have Learned About What it Takes to Lead,” women drop out for a myriad of reasons—both personal and professional.

“They discover the playing field just isn’t equal. They see their male counterparts being promoted, making more money and getting more recognition and better assignments while they’re dealing with not just the usual demands of a newsroom but also all the gender-related issues women face in their jobs–such as attacks on social media and sexual harassment. At some point, usually about 10 or 15 years into their careers, they ask themselves ‘Is this really worth it?’ and they leave,” Gilger told USA Today.

AAUW Chicago Branch and the Working Women’s History Project, along with co-sponsors Ida’s Legacy and the League of Women Voters, invite you to hear from three veteran Chicago journalists if and how new digital media platforms are changing the working environment and career opportunities for women reporters.

Panelists are Monica Eng, Axios Chicago food, dining, and health reporter and host of “The Chewing”Podcast, formerly worked for WBEZ Radio and the Chicago TribuneShia Kapos, Politico government reporter and author of its daily Illinois Playbook, previously wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times and Crain’s Chicago Business; and Samantha Smylie, Chalkbeat Chicago’s state education reporter, formerly covered housing education and development for the Hyde Park Herald and City Bureau.

Please join us for a lively and informative discussion moderated by Maudlyne Ihejirika, award-winning reporter and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and author of Escape from Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love and War,” as we take a closer look at“Media Matters: Chicago Women Journalists Working in Non-Traditional Media,”Saturday, October 15, 2022, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn St., 2nd Floor, Chicago, Ill.
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