My entire flippin’ point, writ small

An antique button I found recently. The slogan applies  in this case, too.  Credit: Meg Heckman
An antique button I recently found at a swap shop. The slogan applies in this case, too. Credit: Meg Heckman

Great news, gang! Magazines are entering a new golden age, one dominated 100 percent by … white men. At least according to Porta publication that chose to illustrate the resurgence of the glossy by putting a half-dozen top magazine editors on its cover. The problem is, there’s not a woman in the bunch. (And, as book critic Ruth Franklin points out, it’s not like a qualified female editor would have been hard to find.)


Covers like this are, of course, the product of chance, logistics and quick decisions made on deadline — but the message they send still matters. Being part of a prominent feature brings with it a mantel of credibility — something women have to work harder to earn than their male peers. One recent study found that while women are increasingly likely to win the Pulitzer– perhaps the biggest measure of credibility in American journalism — female winners tend to have more academic credentials than their male peers. In other words, they had to get letters after their names to be taken seriously.

And being taken seriously is more important than ever before, now that journalists must often build their personal brands without the support of major news organizations.

Despite the all-male cover, the online version of Port’s article makes some strong arguments for why magazines may be uniquely poised to make old brands thrive on new digital platforms.

So, cover boys, I wish you all the luck in the world in this new golden age. I just hope there’s room in it for me.

One Reply to “My entire flippin’ point, writ small”

  1. Looking at the industries some of these magazines cover, I’m not surprised that they have male editors. Wired–the tech world still is pretty male-dominated. Bloomberg and Businessweek–ditto for the business world. The glass ceiling strikes again. GQ is a men’s magazine. At least Lindgren has a female boss.

    But really–I never even read Vogue, and I know that Anna Wintour would kick these guys’ butts any day of the week. Plus, she has more name recognition and 25 years of experience as head editor, so I’d think she has some relevant comments. And she also would have stolen the show at the [most boring] cover shoot [ever]. Did anyone think to call her?

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