Newsmavens.com’s finding after one year of publishing European news selected exclusively by women

15 women journalists from 12 media outlets recommending the most important news from Europe – that’s NewsMavens. An English-language news round-up with information selected solely by women was officially launched  on October 16th, 2017.  
Istinomjer and Raskrinkavanje are among the media outlets participating in the project.
NewsMavens.com is a media innovation created by “Gazeta Wyborcza” and “Wysokie Obcasy” with the funding from Google and its Digital News Initiative program. The website, presenting an overview of the most interesting and important texts selected by curators from various news media in Europe, works thanks to the collaboration of independent publishers and journalists. It launched last year on October 16. Every day there are 5 to 8 texts published on Newsmavens.com, which are additionally sent to subscribers in the form of a newsletter. On weekends, NewsMavens.com publishes a summary of news from a given week with an editorial comment, op-eds, interviews and features on topics of relevance to women in Europe. NewsMavens.com is also present on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

At the beggining of Newsmavens.com, only 12 media companies decided to take part in this experiment. Today there are almost 30 curators, who select news from every region of Europe and write their recommendations in English. We call this original news roundup, enriched with interviews and columns, Europe’s alternative front page – says Zuzanna Ziomecka, head and creator of NewsMavens.com. – When the project started, many said it was an example of sexism. A news roundup created only by women journalists? Why, because women are better? No, because it has never been tried. Relevant research indicates that only 27% of the senior newsroom editors are women, and this is the highest representation that women have ever had in newsrooms. We wanted to see what would happen if women, rather then men, were the dominating force in a current affairs conversation.

The main goal of the NewsMavens.com creators was to check what changes when women have more influence on the media: what is the impact of the women’s perspective on stories that we hear, read and watch every day? After a year of Newsmavens.com online presence, by browsing its content, one can see that women journalists pay more attention to other women and marginalized social groups. They deal also with the impact of politics and economy on the lives of ordinary people. Many stories selected for Newsmavens.com by its curators show the systemic errors that especially impact women, or manipulations in public discussion about women’s rights. Additionally, journalists associated with the service often present stories about people who have little relevance in the power establishment and therefore do not attract mass media’s attention.

This is also confirmed by the curators themselves. On the Newsmavens.com anniversary its team commented on what they value in their work for the website and what they focus on every day:https://newsmavens.com/curator-quotes

Ans Boersma from Turkey points out: Newsmavens offers me the opportunity to put the spotlight on stories from Turkey that need to be told. Despite political repression in the country, the feminist movement is alive and very inspiring. Turkey makes me proud to be a woman. NewsMavens makes me proud to be a journalist. 

In the coming months, the Newsmavens.com team will focus on further development of the website. The plans include a draft of a fact-checking project entitled #Femfacts, financed by the European Commission, and development of new content created with the readers.

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