Why Daily News thrives against all odds Name of publication: Daily News Date: 9 April 2015

Why Daily News thrives against all odds Name of publication: Daily News Date: 9 April 2015


Date: May 17, 2017
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Name of article: Why Daily News thrives against all odds

Name of publication: Daily News

Date: 9 April 2015

Country: Zimbabwe

Theme: Gender Equality

Skills: Language

Genre: News

GEM classification: Gender Aware

Description: This is a profile of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) Group Chief Operating Officer, Sharon Samushonga, who has managed to lead the company to “beat the odds so spectacularly, and continue to thrive, seemingly against insurmountable challenges that have tripped many in similar situations”.

One of the few women in top media management in Zimbabwe and the SADC region, Sharon’s performance has been exceptional in the Zimbabwean media environment dominated by men in senior management positions. While other newspapers have been closing, her is growing and continues to defy all odds.

Analysis:

This article highlighted the following:

  • It challenges gender stereotypes by profiling a woman succeeding in what is usually known as men’s territory, top senior management in media organizations.
  • The story is told from the horse’s mouth as opposed to the usual stories where women are spoken for.
  • It gives fresh ideas and perspectives to media management from a woman’s point of view.

The article overturns common assumptions about women and challenges the roles that are usually assigned to them. It follows a woman who has become a game-changer in the male domain – senior management of a media organization.

Not only that, the article allows the woman to tell her story, how “four years after that tough re-launch, ANZ is once again at the top of the media charts, leading the way in many of the key success factors for industry, including quality of editorial, cost management and operational efficiency that others who never shut down by the government are battling with and now trying to emulate”.

Unlike societal gender stereotypes where woman are portrayed as vulnerable and in need of protection, Sharon is put forward as a brave woman who stood up to lead the newspaper company that had been closed down by government for being a voice of the voiceless.

So brave is Sharon that “from day one we knew it was not business as usual, and that we will not benchmark ourselves against players in the local market as they had advantages that we did not and would never enjoy, which we accepted”. The article demonstrates that women are equally brave, confident, intelligent and strategists who can withstand competition. With this, we can safely coin a phrase “Behind every successful company, there is a woman”.

Although the story is placed deep inside (Page 14), it was given the whole page and even overlaps to page 16. The feature news style of reporting used allows the story to be in-depth. The first person writing style also gives the story power to hammer the point home that women too can do better even in the so-called men’s domain.

 


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