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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Women will overwhelmingly guide coverage of the White House and politics during the Biden administration, propelled by a slew of newly appointed leaders at major TV and radio networks, newspapers and digital outlets.

Why it matters: While female representation in the Washington press corps has steadily grown, what's changed most recently is the number of women in front of and behind cameras and bylines.

The trend was in full view Sunday, when Abby Phillip and Dana Bash debuted back-to-back as anchors of two CNN morning shows. Margaret Brennan, host of CBS' "Face the Nation," also had a high-profile interview with Dr. Deborah Birx.

Driving the news: For the first time, the chief White House correspondents from ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN are all women. They'll be working with an all-female communications team at the White House — the first time in history such a dynamic has existed.

  • The Washington Post's newest White House bureau chief is Ashley Parker. Half of the Post's White House team also is female.
  • NPR's White House editor is Roberta Rampton. She'll lead coverage for six White House correspondents, four of them women. Almost all of NPR's congressional team are women.
  • PBS' White House correspondent is Yamiche Alcindor. Its congressional correspondent is Lisa Desjardins. Francesca Chambers is McClatchy's chief White House correspondent. Lisa Mascaro is AP’s chief congressional correspondent.
  • Half of Politico's White House press team are women. And Politico recently named two women, Rachel Bade and Tara Palmeri, to help continue its Playbook franchise.

Leadership within major newsrooms is overwhelmingly being turned over to women and women of color.

  • In television, MSNBC vet Rashida Jones will be the first woman of color to lead a major cable news company when she becomes president of MSNBC in February. Suzanne Scott was named Fox News' first female CEO in 2018. Susan Zirinsky became the first female president of CBS News in 2019.
  • In print, USA Today is led by Nicole Carroll as editor-in-chief and Maribel Perez Wadsworth as publisher. Kristin Roberts was named McClatchy's first-ever female vice president of news in 2019. Meredith Kopit Levien was named CEO of the New York Times last year. Julie Pace is Washington bureau chief for the Associated Press.

Yes, but: Despite these milestones, women and minorities are still underrepresented in most newsrooms around the country. This is especially true at the highest levels of most news organizations, for roles such as bureau chief and president.

  • Many newsroom leaders have pledged to address this imbalance in the coming years.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 28, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: The future of financial inclusion

On Thursday, January 28, Axios' Dan Primack hosted a conversation on financial inclusion in the global economy, featuring Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Institute for Women's Policy Research CEO C. Nicole Mason.

Sen. Tina Smith discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, uneven access to technology, and the role of systemic racism in growing economic inequities.

  • On what she thinks will be the most effective way to move the needle on financial equity: "Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour...is one of the biggest things that we can do to address the wage inequality and savings potential for people of color in this country."
  • On Democrats' economic goals going into the new administration: "Addressing this kind of discrimination in financial services and creating more opportunities for people of color to get access to banking services, loans, access to capital is a big priority for us as [Democrats] move into the majority."

C. Nicole Mason discussed how job losses during the pandemic reflect existing gender and racial inequities, as well as the disproportionate burden of childcare on women.

  • On the scale of job losses for women: "Since the start of the pandemic, women have exited the workforce at four times the rate of men, so about 11 million women since the start of the pandemic have lost their jobs or exited the workforce."
  • On childcare as an equity issue: "With the pandemic, the burden [of childcare] doubled and tripled...We need a national childcare infrastructure where we keep up childcare as a public good and people can access it regardless of their income or ability."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Europe, Visa Charlotte Hogg, who discussed digital and financial inclusion as a component of economic equity during the pandemic.

  • "We have to think about inclusion as being digitally, financially included. [From] small businesses who are increasingly important in driving towards a more inclusive recovery and who need to be digitally enabled to participate in that, [to] consumers who for various reasons may be vulnerable."

Thank you Visa for sponsoring this event.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Teen's book spotlights female leaders in tech, politics and more

Photo: Maya Sharma

Maya Sharma's debut book, on sale this week, features interviews with 25 women who charted their own course to success. It's a topic she knows a lot about — she can now call herself a published author before even graduating high school.

The big picture: Sharma, the 16-year-old daughter of prominent wireless industry consultant Chetan Sharma, said the women featured in "Paving: Conversations with Incredible Women Who are Shaping Our World" all have different stories but that she hopes young girls take away one key lesson: "She did it, and so can I."

Dave Lawler, author of World
22 mins ago - World

Americans increasingly see China as an enemy

One in three Americans, and a majority of Republicans, now view China as an enemy of the United States, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: Just 9% of Americans consider China a "partner," while 55% see Beijing as a "competitor" and 34% as an "enemy."

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