Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cincy | An incredible list of professional women

There are 260,000 working-age women in Cincinnati and surrounding Hamilton County, according to the 2010 Census, giving the Cincinnati Enquirer a trove to choose from for the paper's just-published list of 20 Professional Women to Watch in 2012.

"They’re smart and successful, at the top of fields ranging from fine food to high finance,'' the Enquirer says today, in a story that gets prominent, above-the-fold treatment in print and online.

But how were they picked? The paper says only that the 20 were "chosen for business distinction and impact they’ll make this year."

Were they nominated by a panel of judges with expertise on women in business? Did editors turn to science, analyzing a database of all those 260,000 women to find the truly best? Why was the list limited to only 20? Why not 50, 100 or 150?

Never mind, dear reader. In the end, this alphabetized list-icle -- online, anyway -- is a breezy, upbeat series of short paragraphs describing many of the usual suspects. There are a couple lawyers, a police officer, several healthcare executives. Many are white, some are black, at least one's Hispanic. (Diversity!)

Screenshot of Washburn entry
And one is an editor:

"Carolyn Washburn, editor and vice president, the Enquirer and Cincinnati.com. In 2012: Carolyn Washburn leads the region's largest news-gathering organization as it expands its print, digital and mobile reach, including introduction this fall of a new, more compact Enquirer. Her goal: More investigations, watchdog reports, storytelling, community leadership, reader engagement. Besides the Enquirer, Washburn oversees content of Cincinnati.com, 238 community web sites, a growing mobile business, a social network operation and 26 community newspapers. Resident of: Anderson Township. Age: 49. Family: Married, two daughters and a son. Note: Washburn did not participate in the selection of these 20 women."

It must have been a big surprise, then, when she read this morning's paper!

Earlier: In another incredible story, WUSA-TV features CEO Martore.

40 comments:

  1. I guess Publisher Margaret Buchanan didn't make the cut?

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  2. Don't know either Washburn or Cincinnati, but can't work up too much outrage about this. Newspapers have rarely done enough to promote their own people as up-and-comers or community leaders. It's OK to toot your horn now and then to connect with the community.

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  3. 1:46 For that, a paper's marketing department can use house ads.

    The news columns are for, well -- news.

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  4. Agree with Jim and 1:46. We do a terrible job of promoting our own people, but that's what house ads are for. This thing with Washburn is bullshit on the highest level. The gannett paper I work for has lots of problems, but couldn't imagine working at a place w/ someone like Washburn.

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    1. I say more not less. House ads my ass. Front page, above the fold, 72 point type!!!

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  5. Did anyone think this was a bad idea before Washburn thought it might be a good one?

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  6. "They’re smart and successful, at the top of fields ranging from fine food to high finance,' writes the Enquirer.

    No doubt, many professional females at Cincinnati’s top companies (GE and P&G to name just two) – most with far challenging goals and impactful outcomes, let alone more local, national and global reach are really questioning this list, that is for those left who even bother to it.

    Adding Washburn to it for doing basically just what her predecessor did only further exposes how little thought and time the Enquirer put into discovering who the top 20 really are. Typical.

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  7. Shameless self-promotion.

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    1. No it isn't. You stuffed shirt dinosaurs just can't get with the times. ALL the walls are down. Your very existence is in jeopardy and you don't get it

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  8. Most of the women who made the list represent key areas of coverage for the Enquirer ("passion topics", if you will): economic development, entrepreneurship, etc.

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  9. A sexist section indeed.

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  10. A top editor with the first ounce of journalistic integrity would have refused to participate in such a pathetic marketing-driven promotion. Washburn knows that she is a mere order-taker shipped from one property to another by a distant corporation. If she were truly a leader, she would have taken steps by now to rebuild the news-gathering ability and the reputation of the Enquirer to pre-Callinan levels. Readers know there are no investigative reporters on board at the Enquirer. Readers know that the political and governmental coverage is subpar. Readers know that the absence of a strong and independent editorial board has rendered the Enquirer irrelevant in the discussion. Readers don't want a paper stuck in the past, wasting precious space over the 1937 flood, a 1962 basketball season and references to Pete Rose. That's what happens to news coverage when powerful people and institutions are all sacred cows.

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  11. Hogwash 1:23. It's posts like these that demonstrate why we can't change as a company. You are so mired in the self imposed rules of a long ago bygone era that you can't compete in the current media world. It's sad really.

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  12. Each woman who “made the list” may represent those areas 2:32 but the group as a whole likely in no way represents the best Greater Cincinnati has to offer for each which is typically what features like this imply. Washburn’s self-promotion highlights that even more.

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  13. Oh geez- that's embarrassing. Anyone from that paper should have recused themselves.

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  14. Dear 4:38, is there room for journalistic integrity in the "current media world"? I suspect there is. And I suspect it might draw more readers than a site with no integrity. Thank God I don't work with or for someone like you.

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  15. Of course there is room but you and your colleagues vilify anything editors decide that conflicts with your archaic standards. You absolutely refuse to change. I agree there is no place for you in my newsroom.

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  16. 7:58 What are the "archaic standards" you see being defended here?

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  17. Jim, 7:58 won't answer you, but I will. Archaic standards like not using the news pages for self-promotion or to reward friends and family. Archaic standards like serving the reader first regardless of whether it is good or bad for the owners, the publisher, the editor and their pals. Archaic standards like honesty, integrity and forthrightness when covering subjects that the leadership of the paper has an vested interest in. These archaic standards gave faith to readers that the paper was on their side and its honesty couldn't be compromised.

    Those are the archaic standards that have no place in 7:58's newsroom.

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  18. And watch your business fail and your colleagues laid off. You don't have to become a whore to change but you fellas will take your archaic standards right to the unemployment line. More wraps every day and every way. I'm good with it.

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  19. Not to mention, a few years ago, Gannett forced every employee to sign statements saying they read the Principles of Ethics. One of those principles was avoiding any conflicts of interest that could be seen as compromising the so-called "journalistic mission".

    Seems to me that it would be a major conflict of interest to put one of the paper's own executives in a "news" story.

    But then again, those ethical principles never seemed to apply to Gannett executives. Only the lowly peons who do, or for thousands of them, did, the actual work.

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  20. Gannett doesn't produce journalism anymore. If most of these high-level editors were forced out of journalism, they would be struggling mightily career-wise outside the biz.
    If every top editor was fired in Gannett and replaced with a top reporter, maybe some positives could occur.

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  21. It would be interesting to gauge reader feedback, in the form of online comments.

    Unfortunately, the Enquirer published this list in the form of a photo gallery that doesn't allow readers to post comments.

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    1. It's open to comments on the mobile site now. None, so far.

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  22. What real news was never reported while reporters and editors wasted time on producing this self-serving, tripe.

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  23. 6:34 do you wake up hating the world or died it just seem that way?

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  24. I'm surprised the size of Carolyn's ego didn't require using at least three of 20 spots on this list.

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  25. When having dinner Sunday night with friends, they brought up the list near the end of the evening. Both were surprised & disappointed to see Washburn listed. As a former journalist, I thought I was the only one who found it odd. Not so.

    Neither of the friends are journalists but one IS a successful female entrepreneur, and both are long-time Cincinnati Enquirer subscribers. Hardly scientific but they are voices from the community - not the newsroom.

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  26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  27. This is embarrassing for The Enquirer and Gannett. Of course they will never see it that way.

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  28. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  29. Any big advertisers on the list?

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  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  31. Maybe if washburn wasn't so keen in pushing herself as a woman to watch, the Enquirer would have had this significant story about a woman's significant accomplishment:

    Janet Wolfenbarger will make history with the promotion -- pending Senate approval -- that makes her the first female four-star general to ever wear an Air Force uniform. It's a lofty rank, the highest an officer can reach in the current military. And her pioneering continues a tradition that gives the Buckeye State a groundbreaking role in all things involving flight. Ohio is home to the Wright Brothers, who first figured out how to fly, John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, and Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon. Wolfenbarger now serves as the military deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition and she is one of four female lieutenant generals in the Air Force. She is a native of Beavercreek, a suburb of Dayton.

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  32. Here's 9:34's edited comment:

    I believe Carolyn Washburn will play a huge role this year in Cincinnati as she heads up the continued dismantling of the Enquirer. Top people have already been booted and 26 more - including the paper's best writer, an ace copy desk head, two long-time photographers and on and on -- were offered buyouts. That a lot of collective experience and it's not going to be replaced by young internet posters who love to publish those galleries of drunk young college girls showing their cleavage. Washburn's got a big ego that she didn't earn. Let's face it, she cut her chops in Boise, Rochester and Iowa, not exactly journalistic hotbeds.

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  33. Here's 11:30's edited comment:

    There are problems at Gannett. There is no course plotted or leadership. But Carolyn Washburn is not symptomatic of those problems. She is a nightmare beyond Gannett proportions.

    Even as the industry is crashing down, she is Nero fiddling as it burns. She is not smart; she is mean-spirited, self-aggrandizing beyond all reason and with no redeeming qualities I found in working at a peer level with her for a number of years (she wouldn't say I was a peer if asked; she truly believes she is peerless.)

    She gets away with this increasingly because there is no longer news leadership (Kate Marymont? Ha. Ha. Ha. Fear in action.) And there are no bounds to the liberties she will take to promote herself and crush anyone she thinks may be in the way.

    This should be a firing offense. It would be in old Gannett – even within the past 5 years. But when she does such things, it means she's angling for something. I really think she believes she is in line for the USAT editorship.

    But then, she did such things for years in Des Moines and nothing came from it.

    Just realize, there are no checks or balances or standards anymore - except stock prices and related things.

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  34. Carolyn Washburn - Really!!! The Enquirer and Margaret Buchanan continue to show why they have become the laughing stock in the city of Cincinnati and surrounding areas. The product is a complete joke, along with management that is cluseless. I'd say the ladies in the Welcome Center in the lobby of the paper have done more than Washburn for the paper and much more deserving of positive attention.

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  35. Got to love this story Carolyn. Good job in Cincy.

    This headline appears on a story featured prominently on the Enquirer's web site.

    "Flowers make popular last-minute Valentine's Day gift"

    I guess that's a story for the people who have been living in a cave for 50 years.

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  36. This embarrasses the Enquirer and Gannett and I'm sure Washburn hasn't a clue why. Actually, it's possible those who made the selections put her on the list because they feared retaliation if she was omitted. It truly is her style.

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  37. Someone's head should roll. The lapse in bad taste and ethics is stunning. Lousy picture, too.

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