After tuning in to 60 Minutes on Sunday, I briefly forgot about the one story I had sat down to watch. The story, meant to explore how to retain girls interested in technology as they grow, actually focused on Code.org’s teacher training and education programs for students in the U.S. There’s nothing wrong with that – except, of course, that the piece fell flat without doing it’s job, by focusing on an organization framed with a different central mission.
Reshma Saujani, founder/CEO of Girls Who Code, thought so too, and published a very pointed op-ed on Medium accusing 60 Minutes of erasing women’s work addressing the very gender gap the piece was meant to cover. Since then, littleBits founder Ayah Bdeir also published her account of being cut out of the final 60 Minutes piece. Bdeir summed up the concerns of women contacted by producers, then cut, succinctly:
“Ultimately, I decided that yes – it was possible, even necessary, to be grateful, and also to expect more,” Bdeir wrote.
It’s telling that the reaction to 60 Minutes is stronger than the original story itself. It’s also a good lesson for local tech journalists.
Here in Iowa, it’s the responsibility of the Business Record and innovationIOWA to ensure these tech stories are being told through all the drivers – including the Saujanis, the Bdeirs and, locally, Nancy Mwirotsi and her army of allies reaching Des Moines kids.
It’s OK to call out media when they miss the mark, and it’s OK to expect more.
IN OTHER NEWS: ‘Tinder for cows’ lets farmers swipe right on the cattle they’re drawn to (NEW YORK POST); Forbes dives deep into the man and myth behind Kind bars (FORBES); Zuckerberg turns to the “digital living room” as the future of the internet (NEW YORK TIMES).