10 Women to Watch

Meet these news publishing leaders driving the industry forward

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After an extensive search, Sally Buzbee joined The Washington Post as its new executive editor on June 1, making her the first woman to lead the 143-year-old news organization. This past year was a remarkable one for women journalists like Buzbee who are breaking barriers and leading the charge in local and national news.

Although most of the women on our list were recently promoted or hired to their current positions, make no mistake—they have the experience and fortitude to carry their newsrooms and the industry into a bright and successful future. 

Danielle Belton, 43

Editor-in-chief, HuffPost 

New York, N.Y.

Prior to joining HuffPost in April, Danielle Belton was the editor-in-chief of The Root, a digital magazine that provides commentary and news from a variety of Black perspectives.

Belton began her journalism career at the Bakersfield Californian, and later created and managed her own award-winning blog, The Black Snob, in 2007. She has written, edited, and contributed to numerous publications including theGrio, Essence, The Washington Post and The New York Times—as well as programming across NPR, PBS, CNN, ABC, and BET. At The Root, Belton served as the site’s youngest managing editor and first-ever editor-in-chief, and helped expand The Root’s profile, traffic, and corps of emerging writers.

What are you most excited about in the news industry today?  

I'm excited that, finally, things like workplace mental health and safety, and diversity are part of regular newsroom conversations, but we still have a lot of work to do in order to make sure Black and brown people, as well as women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and other historically marginalized groups feel truly seen, heard and comfortable in our newsrooms. But I do feel we can achieve this, a more equitable newsroom.

What is your advice for aspiring women journalists?  

Try everything and don't be afraid to fail at anything. Failure is a huge part of success. I bumped my head many times on my route to where I am now. I've been laid off. I've been forced out. I've been passed over. And in the end, all of it made me better, stronger, and more capable as a journalist. Failures are lessons. You learn them and you grow from them. So be thankful for those times you messed up or didn't get what you wanted and survived. You got a valuable lesson out of it you can apply to your future success.

Alessandra Galloni, 47

Editor-in-chief, Reuters

London, England

In April, Reuters News named Alessandra Galloni as its next editor-in-chief, the first woman to lead the globe-spanning news agency in its 170-year history. In her role, she oversees all editorial functions for the newsroom and its 2,500 journalists in 200 locations around the world

A native of Rome, Galloni most recently served as global managing editor, where she oversaw news planning and creation for Reuters newsroom since 2015. She joined Reuters in 2013 as editor of the Southern Europe bureau following 13 years at the Wall Street Journal.

What are you most excited about in the news industry today?

The COVID pandemic has highlighted the importance—even the life-or-death importance—of trusted news in a world of information overload and attempts by some governments, institutions and companies to mislead the public. For Reuters, which has trust in its DNA, the need for independent and unbiased information is a great opportunity—both journalistic and commercial. Newsrooms can be great agents of change, particularly as the world around us changes. It is heartening to see the collective ambition of building a more diverse and inclusive industry. It is one of my priorities in my new role as editor-in-chief to make sure our newsroom better reflects the world we cover.

What is your advice for aspiring women journalists?  

Be curious, be passionate and be ambitious. This is a great moment to be a journalist. And as newsrooms seek greater diversity of thought and voices—within their ranks and with their coverage—this is great moment to be a woman journalist.

Kathleen Kingsbury, 41

Opinion editor, New York Times

New York, N.Y.

Kathleen Kingsbury was named opinion editor in January. She joined the Times in 2017 from the Boston Globe, where she served as managing editor for digital. Kingsbury joined the Globe’s editorial board in 2013 and later edited the Ideas section. In this role, Kingsbury was also deputy managing editor for the paper and the deputy editorial page editor.

Kingsbury has also worked as a New York-based staff writer and Hong Kong-based foreign correspondent for Time Magazine. In addition, she has contributed to CNN, Reuters, the Daily Beast, BusinessWeek, and Fortune.

What are you most excited about in the news industry today?

One thing that is inspiring right now is there has been a real democratization of where ideas can come from. For an opinion editor like me, the opportunities to find expertise, voices or experiences you never expected—and to interrogate ideas, offer solutions or explore the human condition—have never been greater. Making decisions about what gets discussed and derided, debated and decided has never been more of a power and a privilege. Finding the right form for those ideas—between text, audio and visual journalism—is so compelling. And it’s incredibly fun work.

What is your advice for aspiring women journalists? 

A few years ago, when I was still at the Boston Globe, more than 100 of my journalist colleagues and I found ourselves assisting with home delivery after the company switched delivery vendors for the print newspaper and customers saw widespread delivery problems. We woke up well before dawn for days in a row, tried to make heads or tails of town maps and ensured that newspapers ended up on front stoops.

The experience reinforced for me the importance of learning the business models and levers that support your journalism and what’s needed to make them sustainable. Yes, today that is more about understanding funnels, algorithms or KPIs than paper routes. But the days I spent delivering papers gave me a direct connection to the Globe’s subscribers and my colleagues who worked on subscriber engagement. I’ve since found that when you take the time to get to know your business-side co-workers, you all end up even more excited about collaborating toward the same goal: getting more journalism into more people’s hands.

Fanny E. Miller, 54

CEO, president, and founder, El Latino San Diego

San Diego, Calif. 

Fanny Miller founded El Latino in 1988 to serve the news and information needs of the San Diego Hispanic Community with more than 806,0000 monthly readers. It is the largest Spanish-language newspaper owned by a Latina in California.

She currently serves as president for National Association of Hispanic Publications and as a board member for the Local Media Consortium.

What are you most excited about in the news industry today?

I founded El Latino 33 years ago at the age of 21. I have worked through many stages and each chapter has had its successes and challenges.

I always have been able to be aware of the needs of my readers and customers. However, I am excited about the many opportunities available for Hispanic publishers to grow our platforms, especially in the digital space. The challenge has been to make those resources available to all Hispanic publishers, not just a few.

What is your advice for aspiring women journalists?

Focus on your goals, and always go back to the reason why you began your career in journalism. Stay engaged and report on issues affecting the community you know best. Be OK with feeling uncomfortable and taking risks.

Anne Marie Owens

Editor, Toronto Star

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Anne Marie Owens was named editor of the Toronto Star in April. She started her career at St. Catharines Standard. From there, she joined the founding staff of the National Post in 1998. In 2011, she became deputy editor at Maclean’s before returning to the Post in 2014 as the first woman editor-in-chief of a Canadian national newspaper. She also worked as executive advisor of strategic communications for McMaster University in Hamilton.

What are you most excited about in the news industry today?

These are such interesting times for the news industry. We are in the middle of so much change, and it is up to us to navigate our way to success, whatever that looks like for our respective business models.

Of course, that’s daunting, but it’s also an incredible opportunity. It is an invitation to innovate, to embrace new practices and skills, to own the transformation of our newsrooms.

It is such an exciting opportunity to take organizations filled with talented people—those with traditional skills to bring forward and those with new skills that can benefit from the expertise of others—to move together to a new and uncertain future.

Trusted journalism has never been more necessary, and never more wanted.

Amid so much misinformation, we have an obligation—and an opportunity—to lead the way with fair and honest storytelling that engages ever larger audiences. The digital age means that there are no limits on the reach of our content, only opportunity.

What is your advice for aspiring women journalists?  

Be true to yourself. As a journalist, as a colleague, as a leader, the very best that you can do is to be true to what you believe and to be honest in your dealings with others. That is the truest path to a long and meaningful career.

The greatest success comes from understanding and embracing your own leadership style. Authentic leadership and clarity of direction for the people you lead is always the best way forward.

Emily Ramshaw, 40

Co-founder and CEO, The 19th

Austin, Texas

Emily Ramshaw served as editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune prior to launching The 19th last year. She was a member of the original Tribune staff and rose through the ranks to become its leader. Before that, Ramshaw worked as a reporter at The Dallas Morning News.

What are you most excited about in the news industry today?

I’m excited by all of the energy and innovation around what sustainability looks like for news—yes, new business models, but also how we as journalists take care of ourselves and each other in service of a better media future. 

What is your advice for aspiring women journalists?  

The advice my pioneering journalist mom first gave me: “The worst thing they can say is no.” Always, always ask, whether it’s for the raise, the promotion, the paid time off or the parental leave. You deserve it—all of it. 

Monica R. Richardson, 50

Executive editor, Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald; McClatchy Florida regional editor

Miami, Fla.

Monica R. Richardson is the first Black executive editor in the Miami Herald’s 117-year history. She is a veteran of the news business, with expertise in metro reporting and a specialization in digital news.

Richardson is originally from Charlottesville, Va. and worked at the Charlottesville Observer, Florida Times-Union, and Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader over her nearly 30-year career. Before she joined the Herald in January, she spent the last 15 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she was the paper’s digital managing editor before her promotion in 2018 to senior managing editor.

What are you most excited about in the news industry today?

I am excited about the continued opportunity we have to build and cultivate relationships with new audiences, those we’ve lost and those we haven’t yet connected with as the ways in which people seek out news and information continues to shift. Our industry plays a critical role in shaping communities, and I am excited about the path to growth and sustainability in our industry. Without the vital source of local news, communities are deprived of an institution essential for exposing wrongdoing and encouraging civic engagement. I’m excited that every day we have a new chance to remain vital.

What is your advice for aspiring women journalists?  

Stay true to yourself and your core values. Use your voice but also make room and space for other women to be heard and seen. Strive to lead outside your box, your boundaries, and your comfort zones. You get nowhere by sitting still and being silent. Remember that leadership is not about titles. Lead with vulnerability. Lead with intent. Lead with conviction. Get out of your own way. Create and enjoy rare moments. Learn, grow, evolve. Find and fulfill your purpose. Step through open doors then leave them open for others. Get a mentor and be a mentor. Be who you are, not who others want you to be. And, finally, let nothing and no one steal your joy.

Carly Schwartz, 36

Editor-in-chief, San Francisco Examiner

San Francisco, Calif.

Carly Schwartz joined the San Francisco Examiner in April from Google, where she served as editor-in-chief of Google Insider, an internal news organization that she launched four years ago. During her time at the company, she also co-founded Trix magazine, a publication whose goal is to advance the quality of women’s lives around the world. She served as editor-in-chief for three years.

Prior to her time at Google, Schwartz worked for the Huffington Post on both coasts, serving as deputy national editor in New York City and as the founding editor of the site’s San Francisco bureau. 

What are you most excited about in the news industry today?

I am most excited about the potential to reinvent the way we approach local news. As we emerge from the pandemic, I truly believe this is the most interesting moment for local news in my lifetime. How we choose to document history will help shape how our society recovers. We’ll do this at the Examiner by bringing a wide array of voices to life, from disenfranchised communities to spheres of power circles and everything in between. If we are the stories we tell ourselves, then let’s use the power of storytelling in service of building a better place to live and work.

What is your advice for aspiring women journalists? 

Don’t be afraid to be brutally honest in your storytelling. The best stories are about human beings, and human beings connect through shared universal experiences. Not every woman has a public platform, but women journalists do. Share your story, and share it loud, and allow yourself to be a role model for other women. I have shared my most raw and personal stories about overcoming depression and addiction, and I hear from women all over the world who have advanced the quality of their own lives as a result of reading something they can relate to. 

Swati Sharma, 35

Editor-in-chief, Vox

Washington, D.C.

Former managing editor at The Atlantic Swati Sharma was tapped as Vox’s new editor-in-chief in February.

She joined The Atlantic in January 2018 and guided its digital coverage, overseeing all of the site’s sections—Politics, Culture, Technology, Ideas, Science, Family, Global, Health—and was instrumental in the record growth of The Atlantic’s audience.

Before The Atlantic, Sharma spent more than four years at The Washington Post as deputy general assignment editor and as foreign and national security digital editor. Earlier in her career, Sharma worked at The Boston Globe, where she coordinated live coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, which was cited in the Globe’s Pulitzer Prize for breaking news.

What are you most excited about in the news industry today?

I’m hopeful because of the conversations happening today and the future possibilities they present. As I always say: journalism is only as great as the culture you create in a newsroom. The tough conversations we’re having today around diversity, equity, and inclusion and the burnout journalists are feeling will hopefully lead to changes we need in our industry.

I’m also acutely aware of the well-known crisis of reader’s faltering trust in journalism. I believe that we have an opportunity to win back readers, and to reach new and diverse audiences. If anything, the need for journalism feels more urgent and more valuable than ever, and I think it’s up to us to make sure we’re delivering stories in a way that will resonate with people. 

What is your advice for aspiring women journalists?

Never forget who you are and why you’re a journalist. If you have a very clear sense of what drives you, the hurdles will be a little bit easier, and it will be more difficult to stray from your path. To quote the amazing journalist Yamiche Alcindor, who said this after one of the times former President Trump attacked her:  “Be steady. Stay focused. Remember your purpose. And always press forward.”

Amanda Zamora, 41

Co-founder and publisher, The 19th

Austin, Texas

Before launching The 19th last year, Amanda Zamora served as chief audience officer for The Texas Tribune. She joined the newsroom from ProPublica, where she served as senior engagement editor. Zamora has also served at The Washington Post in various roles including editor of social media and engagement and later as national digital editor. In the past, Zamora served at the Huffington Post Investigative Fund and Austin American-Statesman.

What are you most excited about in the news industry today?

I’m excited to see other women starting up new media ventures—like Epicenter NYC and Capital B—that center communities of color and draw the practice of daily journalism much closer to the people served by that journalism.

What is your advice for aspiring women journalists?  

Prioritize yourself. Know your values and your worth, and look for job opportunities, creative spaces, mentors, and communities where you find alignment with both. 

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