Why there’s no crying in newsrooms

Former Cox Media Group Ohio publisher co-authors book on women in journalism with lessons for all leaders

In a 20-plus-years career, Julia Wallace served as a top media executive and top editor in four major newsrooms, concluding her newsroom career in Dayton, serving as Cox Media Group Ohio’s market vice president, retiring at the end of 2016.

She was inducted into the Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement in 2017, and now serves as the Frank Russell Chair in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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With Kristin Grady Gilger, who serves as senior associate dean at the school, she’s co-authored “There’s No Crying In Newsrooms,” the title cleverly riffing off of the famous line in the movie “A League of Their Own.”

The book, just published in July, explores four decades of women in journalism — the history of pioneering women in various roles, and lessons learned about leadership and change.

I recently asked Wallace to share her thoughts about the book. Learn more at www.nocryinginnewsrooms.com.

Q: What inspired you to write the book?

A: Actually, it was my co-author's idea. Kristin and I had worked together twice before. Without thinking much about how much work would be involved, I said yes. Between us, we have four daughters, all of whom are at the beginning stages of their careers, and we hear a lot about their experiences in the workplace — experiences that are echoed by many of the other young women whom we have taught and mentored over the years. We were struck by how many of these young women still face the same kinds of challenges that we did. And we knew they could learn from the women who came before them about how to survive and even thrive in male-dominated workplaces.

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Q: How did your time in Dayton impact your writing of this book?

A: Actually, I didn't get any juicy stories for the book during my time in Dayton. As the head of Cox Media Group Ohio, I seldom ran into the kind of difficult issues that occurred in other cities and jobs. Dayton, more than most places I've lived, is very comfortable with strong women leaders. I met some amazing women, both in government and public industry, while I was there. I was thrilled to promote Jana Collier to VP content at Cox Media Group Ohio. I'm so proud of the work she's done.

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Q: Why is this book of interest to all readers, whether they’ve worked in media or not?

A: The leadership lessons these women share transcend the media workplace. In fact, many of the lessons apply to men as well as women. Newsrooms provide an interesting backdrop to tell some important leadership lessons, but the lessons are universal. In the book, we explore everything from leadership style to dealing with sexual harassment to balancing work and home.

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