Why Katie Couric’s Yahoo Job Will Change News Forever

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On November 25, 2013, a huge announcement was made by Yahoo. It had hired big-time news anchor Katie Couric to be the “face” of Yahoo news as their Global anchor. It’s a big deal in a few ways. 1. Because she is a woman and 2. possibly the first to have a role like this in media.

Ever since Marissa Mayer took over the reigns as CEO of the tech giant in July 2012, her every move has been documented and dissected, including that photo spread with Vogue (pleeeease people get some real news!) and her acquisition of popular blogsite Tumblr.

While a lot of focus has been on product within the Yahoo camp, hiring such a valuable media personality means they want to be a top competitor in the video content market. We LOVE that Marissa chose a woman for the job, not just because Katie is a chick, but because she really is the best. That’s not hard to see from all her accolades at NBC, CBS and ABC.

Marissa choosing Katie means they are leading the charge for online journalism with the “old guard”. Katie is going to be responsible for a lot of other well-established TV anchors looking for lucrative online ventures in the future, no doubt.

“I am particularly excited about hopefully attracting other people to this platform and venture,” Couric said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We are in a major, transformative time in terms of media in this country.”

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The 56 year old also said she won’t be seen on a daily basis on the website at first, but more likely on a monthly basis as her role develops more.

“News is a definitive daily habit for our users, and Katie will work with our talented editorial team to pioneer a new chapter of digital journalism,” Mayer told the press after Yahoo made the announcement.

To see a major household name being part of a new pioneering era in journalism really is exciting. We hope it will excite many younger women to pursue a career in news. There are a lot of stereotypes being slowly smashed in the news industry. Just this year, the first ever female duo, Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, debuted as a news team on the PBS Newshour in September, signalling something different, and showing audiences a new version of normal.

While watching the news, wherever you live, isn’t the moment you necessarily concentrate on who is reading it. It should only be about the content, whether it is Katie Couric, Matt Lauer or Ronald McDonald reading off the prompter.

But what young women will see more of on the internet is a presence of female authority and leadership, and this is what will change the face of news. No more will it be seen as an older white male territory. Women consume news and media just as much as men, and we deserve to see more of ourselves represented even in the evening broadcast.

Marissa Mayer’s hire of Katie Couric will hopefully also set path for women in equal positions of power in other industries to be on the lookout for other women. While it’s not about filling a “female quota”, it is about genuinely using that position of power to give opportunities to other women who can make an impact.

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Katie says she will be involved in developing a lot of concepts when she takes up the position beginning of 2014. If the internet is the future of news and how we consume entertainment and content on a daily basis, then Katie Couric has just been named as the face of this.

But she is more than just a face, a name and a gender. She represents the opening up of opportunities that women have dreamed about for decades, and that young girls will be able to achieve in the future. Her hard work and reputation in the news industry shows young women that it’s not about having it all at one time. Life and career prospects can get better with age, if you are smart, prepared, not caught up in superficiality and always strive for the best.

Couric said that she hopes to “do good, strong, smart things” for Yahoo and is excited Mayer wants Yahoo to produce quality journalism.

“It’s always great news when we see more women [like Mayer] in these positions of authority, and I think it’s great that she is making some bold moves,” said Couric. “At this point in my career, I like great leaders. I think they can come in a skirt or in a suit or in a pair of jeans and a hoodie. I really admire Marissa, not as an impressive woman—[but] as an impressive person.”

Here’s to the start of many more massive media partnerships and opportunities for women by women. Let the games begin! And although we don’t know the outcome, with the strength and speed of feminism in the media in the 21st century, we can pretty much say the odds ARE in our favor (we thought a Hunger Games reference was approps right now!).

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4 Comments

  1. This is good “news”.

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