New Hampshire Public Radio’s venerable morning talk show The Exchange focused on the local newspaper industry this morning. The discussion was interesting, and I appreciated how the guests drew distinctions between the challenges and opportunities the modern media ecology brings to newspapers of different sizes. The calls from listeners who appreciate quality local journalism were nice to hear, too.
But the show unintentionally illustrated another challenge for local newspapers: Achieving gender balance in leadership. All five of the guests were men and, as I was listening to the show, I had trouble thinking of more than a few women in top management positions at New Hampshire newspapers. I’m not sure what the solution is, but it’s certainly something local papers should consider as they imagine their digital future. Local news organizations, after all, will remain relevant only if they reflect the communities they serve.