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Stephanie Boland
A few thoughts on how editors use what I call "the mental phone book":
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Stephanie Boland Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
In the past, I've been in commissioning meetings where there is every good intention to end up with a diverse table of contents
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Stephanie Boland Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
Nobody really WANTS an all-male features list—usually, there's a bit of hand-wringing if one goes to press
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Stephanie Boland Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
But most places commission by topic more than by writer. If there's a feature idea floating about, they go through their mental phone book
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Stephanie Boland Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
And because white people/men are more prominent in the media, and most people have some unconscious bias, the names that come up...
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Stephanie Boland Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
...well, you get the picture.
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Stephanie Boland Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
Waiting until the editorial meeting to correct bias doesn't work. You've got to sort out our inner Rolodex.
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Stephanie Boland Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
Once you're looking at your flatplan/book chapters/speakers list/conference program and going "argh, we need a woman"—you've already lost
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Chris Davies Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
FWIW booking guests for rolling TV News is like this as well.
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Muniba Kamal Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
Nobody sorts your shit out for you in this world. Do it yourself. Such dependency will kill you.
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Stephanie Boland Jul 21
I bet! I know I've seen a few people ( is one) work really hard on this front re: telly
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Chris Davies Jul 21
If there's time to plan we always aim for gender balance. It's rolling on breaking stories where you find your mental phone book
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Stephanie Boland Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
Note: this isn't a subtweet—I think all editors/producers/etc have a version of this problem!
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Scott Menor Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
Ditto building any sort of organization
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Stephanie Boland Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
I have a list of writers, which is diverse—but still have to remember to consult it rather than just reach for the nearest name
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Liam Kirkaldy Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
Also important to realise there's no particular relationship between someone's willingness to write on a topic and their suitability for it
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Stephanie Boland Jul 21
Replying to @HolyroodLiam
Haha! I am familiar with this problem : )
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Liam Kirkaldy Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
I mean some will need coaxed into writing on something more than others, but would do a better job of it than writer who will take anything
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Bill Heywood Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
Excellent point, we all have this mental phone book which is really useful, but reinforces existing relationships & preserves any bias
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Liam Kirkaldy Jul 21
Replying to @stephanieboland
oh god I don't mean you!
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