Home' The Tribune : December 14th 2011 Contents 21
THE TRIBUNE, DECEMBER 14, 2011
Surprise a child
Give a gift this Christmas!
We are collecting toys for the
Salvation Army and Women's
Refuge, because all kids need a
present at Christmas time.
Show some community spirit,
bring in the toys you no longer
need and make a difference
to a child's Christmas!
Please ensure toys are clean
and are dropped off
before 19 December.
Being a part of readers' lives
By MICHELLE GREY
This is my last column for the year,
and what a year it has been.
I started writing for The Tribune
on January 26 and remember being
referred to somewhere as a colum-
nist . Don t choke! My little contri-
bution is a column and that makes
me a columnist and I shall be
adding it to my CV.
I remember sitting at my com-
puter (the one I later tripped over
and broke) to write my first column
and thinking wow, this is going to
be a challenge .
I m learning not to over-think it,
just let it flow. However, I m not
always in a flowy kind of mood
when it s time to write, and I get in
the way of my own creativity. I m
sure you ve all experienced that,
even if you don t recognise it at the
When I catch myself doing it I just
call on my angels (sorry Mum) and
ask for some guidance, and it never
Sometimes I sit at the computer
intending to write about one thing
and end up writing about something
quite different; like today I had
something, actually someone, very
special to write about, but when I
sat down this lot came out instead
and I just trust that that s how it s
meant to be.
Another highlight of the year for
me was the Law of Attraction
Cruise and travelling around
Canada with Peter, my gorgeous,
supportive and oh so patient hus-
Upon returning to New Zealand
we made the decision to move
Inspire Me to the best location in
Palmy, where we are able to provide
space for wonderful holistic health
practitioners to operate from. The
move has proved fantastic for us
and the many people who walk
through the door and find inspi-
ration, solace and support here, not
to mention all the lovely people who
just love buying gorgeous things.
Like being in my beautiful shop,
it has been a real privilege to be
part of people s lives in this small
way through the column, sharing a
little of my life, my beliefs, the
things that matter to me.
I enjoy it when people stop me in
the street, or call into the shop and
tell me how much they enjoy the
column or that one column in par-
ticular really resonated with them.
And it has been very encouraging
that Judith (the editor) hasn t
received any calls or letters telling
her to get rid of that crazy woman
who writes all that woo woo stuff --
or maybe she has and she s just
been kind and not told me.
It s not too late though if you ve
had enough, and enough of you con-
tact her, I m sure she ll sack me.
And if not I ll be back on January
18. Meantime I hope you enjoy a
wonderful Christmas with the
people you care about.
Women journalists in 'glass bubble'
A lack of women leaders in New Zea-
land newspaper journalism is blamed
on the glass bubble, not the glass ceil-
ing, in a new study by Massey Univer-
The study of daily newspapers
found that women journalists loved
journalism, but did not stay in the
industry very long. Even the few
women who became editors tended to
stay in the role for only three years.
Former journalist turned academic
Dr Catherine Strong says it is not a
glass ceiling women journalists face if
they want to move into management
roles, but their own glass bubble
created to protect them from the male-
confrontational newspaper environ-
The glass bubble is what women
surround themselves with to protect
them from the harsh, negative, openly
competitive and aggressive nature of
daily journalism. But this glass bubble
is also the knowledge women have
that they have the skills and abilities
to be able to go off and get a better job
in another industry where they are
valued and where there is a better fit
with their values.
Dr Strong says the industry is a
negative, brutal environment that
drives women away. The balance
between male and female journalists
in the news media has been
researched for almost four decades,
and there is much research that
shows female journalists lag well
behind their male colleagues in jobs,
pay, and seniority, she says.
Studies have found that many
young women enter newspaper
journalism and that overall, there
seems more women print journalists
than men. However, they are rel-
egated to lower career levels, and are
almost invisible at the editorial and
executive level. My research has been
able to get to the bottom of why.
Dr Strong s research is believed to
be the first to analyse why there are
so few women newspaper editors. She
conducted in-depth interviews with
the nine women who moved in and
out of editor positions in daily
newspapers between 2000 and 2009.
To understand why, she also inter-
viewed senior female journalists
who had shunned the top roles
and male executives who were
responsible for hiring and pro-
Most became editor without
any prior management or
financial training, as well as
without a career plan or many
female role models.
She said it was not a strictly
female issue, and that there
were men in the same situation.
New Zealand is similar to
other countries in supporting a
daily newspaper culture that
presents ingrained barriers for
women to climb the career lad-
Dr Strong says the very few
women who stay, often by
adapting to the confrontational
environment, stay in editor roles
for less than three years.
When they get to positions of
seniority, they enter the col-
legial wilderness -- they look
around and realise it is incred-
ibly uncomfortable and they
have no support networks to
She says the reason women
leave the profession is not
because they can t handle the
reality of the newsroom, but
because the newsroom remains
a negative environment.
This is despite the recog-
nition by newspaper manage-
ment that more female leader-
ship is required.
We need more women
editors because we need another
viewpoint. Newspapers are
losing readers and the largest
loss internationally is of female
readers. Management understands
this, but they are doing little to keep
women in the newsroom.
Dr Strong s recommendations as a
result of her research include recog-
nising managerial talent in young
women and grooming and training
them for the top jobs in a planned
The old management style is for
editors to go on gut feeling, recognis-
ing qualities in young male journalists
that they perhaps see in themselves
There is a reliance on tacit man-
agement and they groom these guys
from very early on in a tacit way.
Dr Strong is teaching converged
media at an all-woman university in
Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
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