Reuters Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni called for newsrooms to look like the world they cover and “get more women where they want to be,” in a keynote discussion at the Journalism & Women’s Symposium annual Conference and Mentoring Project on Friday.
In a wide-ranging conversation with White House correspondent Andrea Shalal, Galloni talked about change and diversity in journalism. “The whole realm of media has changed,” she said. “From the different ways of reporting that have escalated—from data journalism to different technological advances to new areas of coverage that just didn’t exist, like climate change – to the fact that we need to reflect the diversity of the world outside, otherwise we are not credible; to newsrooms being more open internally, where people feel able to be themselves.”
Asked about becoming the first female Editor-in-Chief in Reuters 170-year history, she said, “I think if I can serve as a symbol to women, especially early career women, women from different backgrounds and different nationalities, from all different walks of life, if I can be a symbol to say ‘okay, totally doable,’ I love that. I also feel a great responsibility, because it’s not just being a symbol but what you do with it, to make our newsroom look like the world we cover and to find the way to get more women where they want to be.”
Galloni also addressed the issue of mental health in journalism. “The toll is very hard and we may not realize it. We are subject to trauma and it’s a huge priority for us. We are in middle of Mental Health week – the thing that struck me the most is the way people are openly talking about personal situations…For me, it’s important the Reuters newsroom can be a place that people can talk openly and that it’s a safe space.”
On the globalization of journalism and how newsrooms function, Galloni noted that “one of [Reuters] differentiators is our ‘glocality.’ We are truly unique – we are an extremely global organization. We report in 200 locations around the world. In addition to that, we have deep local expertise wherever we report.” Emphasizing the importance of having bureaus around the world alongside strategic centers in Bangalore and Gdansk, she added, “This is the way we serve our mission. We are truly 24/7 and we are truly everywhere.”
[Reuters PR blog post]
Deepal . Patadia @tr.com