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By Thomas Baekdal - January 2021

What is stopping women from leading the way in independent media? And let's talk about last week in the US

This is an archived version of a Baekdal/Basic newsletter (it's free). It is sent out about once per week and features the latest articles as well as news and trends about the media industry. If you want to get the next one, don't hesitate to add your email to the list.

Welcome back to the newsletter. Today, we are going to talk about two very important things.

First of all, we are going to continue our focus on creating more diversity in the media (this is a theme throughout this month here on Baekdal Plus), and secondly, we need to talk about what happened in the US this week ... from a media perspective.

What is stopping women from leading the future of independent media?

As discussed in the first article I published this year, we have a diversity problem in the media, and particularly so within the independent media space.

This is something I'm particularly worried about because the independent media space is where all the new things are happening. This group of people may just be individual journalists, but it's their experimentations that will define what the rest of the media industry will do later on.

But, when we look at this space, it's very male dominated. A big part of it is because of how we in the media are presenting it (which is what I wrote about in my first article), but the other part is because of the struggle women and many others face.

So, I reached out to the extremely talented Penelope Jones. She previously worked for the Guardian, where she was Head of International Business Development, and later for Condé Nast, where she was Director of Strategy. She now runs a coaching company for women called My So-Called Career and I asked her to write an article to help women who want to start their own thing.

The result is this wonderful article: What is stopping women from leading the way to the future of independent media?

Speaking of diversity

I have also had a number of discussions with many other amazing women, one of whom is Federica Cherubini, she is currently Head of Leadership Development at Reuters Institute and Director of Hacks/Hackers London.

She sent me a whole bunch of very good links that tie into this discussion.

Finally, Federica hosted an amazing chat with the super-talented Isabelle Roughol. She was previously Editorial Director at LinkedIn News, but now she has become a 'media artisan' (I love that phrase) starting her own independent publication and podcast called Borderline. In her chat with Federica, she talks about what it's like to be a media artisan.

This is definitely worth your time.


I would encourage you to look at all of this, whether you want to become an independent publisher or not. The problem we have today is that diversity is still something most people don't think about. And when you don't think about it, we end up with the situation we have today where it's mostly white men who get all the exposure.

So, take the time to look and think, so that we can create a future where diversity is normal.

What the heck happened in the US?!?!

Okay, so we also need to talk about the situation in the US and what transpired last week. None of it was really surprising, the polarization that led to it had been building up for years, but it was still very shocking to see it happen.

I stayed up all night last week to follow the events as they unfolded and to analyze how we did in the press. Overall, the coverage last week was pretty good. But there is still a very important discussion to be had about media focus overall.

On media Twitter, I see many journalists and editors talking about the tech companies, and, sure, there are issues with those platforms that are worth talking about. But I'm a media analyst, and so my focus is on what we can do and what we have done.

I have put together an article about this where I analyze our role in the media, what we can learn from it, and what we need to change. This is a very important article because it highlights the issues and the problems that we have caused, not just for ourselves but also for others.

In the press we have a tendency to focus on the loudest person in the room. But what if that focus just makes them louder? How can we approach that differently?

So take a look at: "What the heck happened in the US?!?!"

This is an archived version of a Baekdal/Basic newsletter (it's free). It is sent out about once per week and features the latest articles as well as news and trends about the media industry. If you want to get the next one, don't hesitate to add your email to the list.


The Baekdal/Basic Newsletter is the best way to be notified about the latest media reports, but it also comes with extra insights.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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