OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin is leaving the cable news giant after many years, but on her way out the door she is taking no prisoners as she has gone scorched earth at the lack of diversity in the network’s hierarchy.
In an interview with Ms. Magazine Podcast the departing daytime anchor aired her grievances with the lack of opportunities for woman at the liberal news network.
“Could you help our listeners understand that a little bit just in terms of women and leadership? Women being in front of and behind the scenes in journalism. What more is there left to do? I think probably a lot,” Michelle Goodwin asked.
“Well, let me lift the curtain a little bit, and again, this is only my experience here at CNN, but you know, in my…so, I’ve been anchoring for 10-plus years, the majority of that time two hours in the afternoon, and in that time, you know, the most influential anchors on our network, the highest-paid, are men. My bosses, my executives are men. The person who oversees CNN Dayside is a man, and my executive producer for 10 years is a man,” Baldwin said.
“So, I have been surrounded by a lot of men, and I do think it is changing. I know it is changing just by looking at some of the faces that are popping up more and more on our channel and on other channels, but that is just…and even going back to my early 20s, you know, I mean, the majority of my time spent as a cub reporter on into my 30s was spent with majority male photographers running around, shooting stories at whatever city I was living in at the time, and yes, there would be certainly women in the newsroom, but oftentimes, especially early on, they were women with very sharp elbows, and so, I was surrounded by a lot of dudes,” she said.
“Yeah, and so, then, what does that mean in terms of the stories that get to be lifted out about women? I mean they’re framed, you know, when you have the camera people, the producers, all the people around you who are men, what does that mean in terms of women’s stories coming out?” Goodwin pressed.
“Yeah. Well, that’s a great question. I mean I think that…I know I, personally, fight for women’s stories. I did a whole series…you see the poster over my left shoulder, American Woman, but you know the reason I have that in my office isn’t because, woo, I did a series on women. It’s actually because I got told no a lot, and I still managed to do it, and we have a woman who is in charge of CNN Digital, CNN.com. We have now a woman who is in charge of most of domestic newsgathering. So, like, little by little, by having women in places of power, and I would argue behind the scenes, not just in front, but behind the scenes, you know, that is how you then have stories that reflect who they are, and not only white women, you know? We talk about intersectional, like being intersectional. There is no way we will have progress if a bunch of white women are winning, right? There’s no way…” Baldwin said.
“So, it’s brown women, Black women, Asian women. It’s across the board. It’s we have to see them reflected in our stories, and it’s getting better, but we still have a bit of a ways to go, I think,” she said.
The network has been readjusting its daytime lineup since Baldwin announced her departure but she did not go silently.