Magazine article American Journalism Review

Media Miss Impact of Women in Society

Magazine article American Journalism Review

Media Miss Impact of Women in Society

Article excerpt

What have been the most significant recent developments affecting women and the media?

The economic clout of women is the most significant development. Women control consumer buying. The new CEO of Sears announced that women were the key to the company's rebound. He is not alone in his assessment. Why? Studies show women control more than 80% of consumer buying. They purchase 50% of new cars. They make up 60% of new investors on Wall Street. The media must reach women if they want to keep advertisers. It is not a question of ethics or enlightenment, but economic survival. No issue could be as clear-cut in a free market.

Since 1987, women have gotten the majority of the bachelor's and master's degrees. They make up 53.4% of the professional work force. In the '90s, women-owned businesses of 50 or more employees will employ more total workers than the Fortune 500 companies.

What changes would you prescribe for the media? Do it. Don't just talk about it.

Every media company has a slogan: "Know thy reader." But the product does not generally reflect the philosophy.

Example: Look at the car-buying statistic I cite, then look for the car ads in a local newspaper. They're in the sports section. Now look for news of interest to women in the section. Try to convince the sports department that the content of the section should reflect more items of interest to women. Try and convince the advertising department or the publisher that auto ads should run in other sections.

Let's compare women to a large suburb outside a major metropolitan area. …

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