Retha Oliver heads all-female troika.
Retha Oliver is not the slightest bit intimidated by her new position as editor of the San Antonio Current. She began her new job on March 5 and says that being female only helps, not hinders, her in that position.
“I think having a woman at the helm will let the paper catch a broader range of stories and help us attract more women readers,” says Oliver. “Being a woman sensitizes me to issues that might not make it in the paper otherwise.”
AAN figures show that approximately 30 percent of AAN editors are female.
Oliver was hired when the previous editor, David Bennett, relocated to New Mexico. Before winning the top spot, Oliver had worked as a freelancer and as the arts editor for the Current for three years.
Joining her as news editor is Lisa Sorg, formerly the editor of AAN member Bloomington Independent. According to Current Publisher Simon Mulverhill, Sorg has a strong background in investigative reporting.
“We’re going to have more teeth than before because we’ve got two people at the top who are passionate about reporting” says Mulverhill. “In addition to being a phenomenally good reporter and writer, Lisa is very prolific. When the opportunity arose, I wanted to find a place for her here.”
Together with Ediorial Art Director Linda Shankweiler, Oliver expects that she and Sorg will form a triumvirate that will take the Current to readers that it might not have reached before.
“We, women, are the great communicators,” says Oliver, a house-on-fire whose responses were liberally peppered with profanities. “Every study that’s ever been done has shown that. So, it makes sense that we should be in this business. Let the men go build bridges, they’re proven to be good at engineering, but we’re the communicators. The men need to get out of politics and out of the newsrooms, and let us communicate.”
Rebekah Gleaves is a staff writer for the Memphis Flyer.