Emily Bell notices a trend among the teams Nate Silver and Ezra Klein are putting together for their new, future-of-journalism companies: There are an awful lot of white guys:
Well, [Klein’s] project X may now be called Vox, but the great VC-backed media blitz of 2014 is staffed up and soft-launching, and it looks a lot more like Projects XY. Indeed, it’s impossible not to notice that in the Bitcoin rush to revolutionize journalism, the protagonists are almost exclusively – and increasingly – male and white.
Bell recoils from Silver’s comments that he hired partially based on “clubhouse chemistry”: “A clubhouse. Do we really still have to have one of those?” Silver probably does, since he works at ESPN. Since it’s a sports network, ESPN predominantly caters to men.
Yet Bell writes this from the authority of her dual posts at Guardian and Columbia University. This is not, apparently, the opening manifesto of her own journalism site. Her screed is merely a complaint from these established beachheads, pointing out that the do-ers aren’t doing enough.
She’s probably right: There might be room for newer, more diverse voices in the marketplace the Kleins and Silvers are trying to occupy. It’s just a shame she’s passing up such a great business opportunity.