CNN chief political correspondent talks about women in media

Josh Willis

Candy Crowley, chief political correspondent at CNN, said in a lecture at the Belo Center for New Media on Wednesday that the climate for women in the media still needs improvement.

“There’s a ways to go,” Crowley said. “I thought we would be further along as females in journalism — certainly more toward the end of my career than the beginning.”

Crowley said she is surprised her career in television has lasted so long when aging women are typically less valued than older men.

“I think there is still a preponderance or a feeling that older males are experienced, and older females are old,” Crowley said.

Jokingly, Crowley said equality would come when women show their age in unique ways on the air.

“I’ve always said the day that my hair can turn as gray as Wolf Blitzer’s, and I’m still on the air — that’s equality,” Crowley said.

Attendee Rinnie Lind said she admires Crowley’s work and her ability to keep balanced reporting at the forefront. 

“It’s cliché, but she doesn’t have an axe to grind,” Lind said. “She is measured, and she is broad-minded in her work.”

In analyzing how people reflect on stories and facts from the Internet, Crowley said the journalism field faces a problem when confronted with the spread of inaccurate information.

“It’s kind of a wild West out there on the Internet, and people don’t know what’s true and what’s not true,” Crowley said. “They assume that when they go to their preferred sites that reflect their opinion, that they have arrived at the truth, and it’s not so.”

Crowley said she thinks there should be a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” to assess the accuracy of online news sites. 

“I always thought they should have one of those for the Internet,” Crowley said. “You could go to that site, and they could say, ‘OK, New York Times, 90 percent non-error rating,’ or whatever they found.”

Despite her concerns, Crowley said the journalism industry is changing for the better, with more people from different backgrounds joining the workforce that can contribute to better understanding.

“There is still work to be done, and it’s to be done for the good of journalism, not for the good of women,” Crowley said.