Target: Port Magazine
Goal: Recognize the contributions of women to the print media industry
The latest issue of British quarterly Port Magazine boasts a cover story about the “new golden age” of print journalism. The cover features photos of six magazine editors, who all happen to be white men. Even though Port’s base readership is predominantly male and the publication dubs itself the “magazine for men,” the lack of diversity on its cover suggests that Port has a skewed understanding of what constitutes an evolving industry. The cover story erases the hard work of female editors around the world.
Women hold key editing and publishing positions in the magazine world, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at Port’s story. Editorial Director of The Hollywood Reporter Janie Min has revitalized the once-fading publication with a whole new image and level of prestige. Mother Jones, the bimonthly progressive political magazine at the forefront of long-form investigative journalism, is led by co-editors Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffrey, and the publication’s publisher is also a woman. Melissa Olund is the managing editor at Rolling Stone, which maintains its status as one of the premier music publications and continues to expand its coverage in the areas of politics and finance. These women and others like them certainly have contributed to this new golden age Port refers to, but where are their faces?
Port’s skewed view of progress in the print media industry also undercuts the important work of organizations like VIDA, which tracks the number of women’s bylines appearing in major literary publications. By failing to recognize successful women in the industry, Port perpetuates the barrier to women’s entry in magazine publishing.
Sign the petition below to tell Port their homogeneous presentation of what the evolving print media industry looks like ignores the hard work of female editors and makes it harder for women to break into publishing.
Dear Port Magazine,
Your most recent cover presents a white-washed, sexist picture of today’s magazine industry. The lack of diversity among the editors you chose to recognize suggests there are no female pioneers worth recognizing, which is untrue and one-sided.
There are many non-white and non-male visionaries and leaders in the print journalism industry, and their hard work deserves to be recognized. Insisting that the industry is evolving while promoting a homogeneous view of the industry’s makeup seems contradictory. Progress within the industry should be measured by increased access for minority groups and women. True progress will not be reached until more non-white, non-male editors appear on the mastheads of major magazines.
Further, the assumption that your mostly male-based readership would not be interested reading about successful women suggests that men don’t stand to gain from the leadership and creative decisions of female editors and publishers. Women’s contributions to the magazine industry benefit all consumers and should be recognized alongside male editors.
Your latest issue erases the efforts of women and minorities to the growth and prosperity of media and publishing. I urge you to recognize more women and people of color who have contributed to print media in future content.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: micurs via Flickr