Fleet Street will have more national newspapers edited by women than at any other time in its history as of next week.
Victoria Newton takes the reins at The Sun from Monday and will continue to oversee the Sun on Sunday, where she is currently editor. She will be the daily tabloid’s second female editor after Rebekah Brooks.
It was announced yesterday that the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People will fall under Daily Mirror editor Alison Phillips in her new role as Mirror editor-in-chief, part of a consolidating move at publisher Reach.
Also this year, Roula Khalaf has taken over as the first female Financial Times editor following Lionel Barber’s departure, while Emma Tucker began as Sunday Times editor this week, replacing Martin Ivens
Guardian editor Kath Viner has been in post since 2015, bringing the total number of female Fleet Street editors to five as of next week.
This means that of the 22 audited daily and Sunday national newspapers in the UK (excluding Scotland), eight of them will be edited by women – more than a third (36 per cent).
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Among paid-for titles (excluding the Metro, Evening Standard and City AM) the figure rises to 42 per cent edited by women.
Taking the ten daily national titles alone (The Sun, The Times, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Metro, The i, The Guardian, FT, Daily Star) 40 per cent will be edited by women from Monday.
Women in Journalism chairman Eleanor Mills told Press Gazette: “We have been campaigning for more women at the top of newspapers for 25 years.
“We are delighted by the swelling of the female ranks at the top and long may it continue to and we wish them great success.”
Mills, who is editor of the Sunday Times magazine and editorial director at the weekly paper, added of Tucker’s appointment: “To have any female editor of the Sunday Times in the modern era is a fantastic milestone.”
The number of female journalists in the top print jobs equals that in 2015, when Dawn Neesom was still in post as Daily Star editor, Lisa Markwell was Independent on Sunday editor and Sarah Sands was at the Standard. Newton was at the Sun on Sunday with Viner at the Guardian.
Tracy de Groose, executive chairman at newspaper marketing body Newsworks, said: “To have such an impressive line up of female editors shows how as an industry we are breaking new ground and changing the face of our newsrooms and British journalism as a whole.”
Outside of the printed press, Cait Fitzsimons is editor of 5 News and Rachel Corp is acting editor of ITV News, while Fran Unsworth is director of BBC News. Jess Brammar was recently named editor-in-chief of Huffpost UK.
However diversity continues to be a broader issue for the news industry, particularly at senior editorial levels.
Women in Journalism research from 2017 found that two-thirds of senior roles in UK newspapers are held by men. Just 25 per cent of national newspaper front page stories carried female bylines over the five years to the date of the research – the latest comprehensive study available.
“She will be the daily tabloid’s second female editor after Rebekah Brooks.” This formulation is grating and needlessly ambiguous, implying another woman edited the paper between these two .
It would be clearer to re-punctuate it, with a comma, as: ‘She will be the daily tabloid’s second female editor, after Rebekah Brooks.’
Or, better still, remove ‘after’, rewording the statement along the lines of: ‘She will be the daily tabloid’s second female editor, the first being Rebekah Brooks.’ or ‘She will be the daily tabloid’s second female editor, the previous one being Rebekah Brooks.’
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