8 March 2023
A word from our President, Victoria Svanberg
I am Victoria Svanberg, President of News Media Europe and Chair of NWT Media Group in Sweden.
Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day. On this occasion, I want to reiterate the news media sector’s commitment to equal opportunities in the newsrooms and creating work environments where women can thrive.
I spent a large part of my career in the media industry and like many of you, aspired to work in a progressive and inclusive workplace. What’s more, a sector of influence like the media has a special responsibility to remove gender biases, and to have newsrooms that reflect society.
And I am very proud of what our sector has done to advance women’s careers.
First, to close the gender pay gap:
For instance, Sörmlands Media operates annual salary surveys to balance out income differences between men and women with the aim of achieving equal pay in all departments and management positions (source: Norr Media website).
Also, to include diversity in the newsroom and reach wider audiences:
Schibsted put in place a “Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB)” strategy, to unlock the potential of diversity in its workforce. This includes more inclusive recruitment processes, diversity training, data collection and insights about reaching a more diverse audience from a more diverse newsroom (source: “No human left behind” Schibsted Future Report 2023).
Schibsted and the Tinius Trust also established the IN/LAB, which researches the issue of “news outsiders” and tests solutions to “engage with truly divergent perspectives” (source: “IN/LAB is using experiments to reach news outsiders” Schibsted Future Report 2023)
To encourage women to take management positions:
Bonnier News supports various “women in tech” networks and initiatives with the objective of creating the same work conditions, opportunities and professional challenges for men and women (source: Bonnier News, “Equality & Inclusion”).
A lot remains to be done and this is our responsibility as leaders to continue paving the way for change. This is a moral obligation, which needs to be addressed top-down.
We need gender equality in company boards, something which we implemented in our statutes in 2018 at News Media Europe. Our Presidency counts 4 female leaders and our Board consists of 6 men and 7 women. Perhaps this is a small and symbolic matter, but it sends a strong message. Giving men and women equal voices and opportunities for leadership positions must be part of our day-to-day operation.
At policy level, News Media Europe is committed to the fight against abusive lawsuits and the harassment of news media professionals. Our association is part of the expert group advising the European Commission on this topic and we are building up a network across Europe to support media workers facing intimidation proceedings. It is crucial for the exercise of our democracy that women feel safe entering the profession and are supported when uncovering inconvenient truths.
This leads me to the near-impossible reporting conditions of our colleagues in Ukraine. Press publishers do their very best to cover on the ground and bring to the fore the stories of Ukrainian women and Ukrainian journalists. The WAN IFRA Women in News initiative has partnered with the Association of Independent Regional Press in Ukraine to bring women’s perspectives of the war and allow journalists to continue reporting.
News Media Europe and its members will keep doing more. This is crucial for business ethics, for news reporting and for our democracy.
I wish you all a Happy Women’s Day! See you soon.
Official International Women’s Day page: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/
News media initiatives :
- Sörmlands Media: https://norrmedia.se/syfte-ansvar/
- Bonnier News : https://www.bonniernews.se/jamstaldhet-och-inkludering
- Schibsted: https://schibsted.com/sustainability/
- Norwegian daily Aftenposten: https://futurereport.schibsted.com/in-lab-is-using-experiments-to-reach-news-outsiders/
- NWT Media: https://www.nwtgruppen.se/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/NWT-Gruppen-Hallbarhetsrapport-2021.pdf)
NME press release on Safety of Journalists Recommendation: https://www.newsmediaeurope.eu/news/european-press-publishers-call-on-european-commission-to-stay-strong-on-implementation-of-recommendations/
NME’s participation in the European Commission’s expert group on strategic lawsuits against public participation: https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/expert-groups-register/screen/expert-groups/consult?lang=en&do=groupDetail.groupDetail&groupID=3746
Our report on the impact of strategic lawsuits against news media professionals: https://www.newsmediaeurope.eu/issues/report-on-the-impact-of-strategic-lawsuits-against-public-participation-slapps-on-the-news-media-sector/
About NME and its Presidency: https://www.newsmediaeurope.eu/presidency-and-board/
About the NME Board: https://www.newsmediaeurope.eu/board/