Austin is home to a new national news organization aimed at women.
Two former Texas Tribune staffers, Emily Ramshaw and Amanda Zamora, are behind the site, 19thnews.org. It will launch this summer, just months ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Ramshaw and Zamora, who announced their departures from the Tribune last year, released new details on the project Monday, saying they’ve already made some key hires and are looking to fill more than a dozen additional spots before The 19th officially debuts.
Until then, The 19th has formed a content-sharing partnership with The Washington Post intended to help build awareness of the site.
A national tour is planned, as well, starting April 22 in Austin before heading to several other cities, including Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Seattle. During each stop, staffers will interact with attendees to help shape The 19th’s coverage plans.
The site’s name comes from the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Adopted in 1920, it turns 100 this year.
The focus at The 19th, Ramshaw said, will be “the intersection of gender, politics and policy.” Initial focus areas will be “presidential politics, women and Congress, the women’s electorate, women’s health, women and the economy, and women and the states.”
“The 19th aims to elevate the voices of women who are underrepresented in and underserved by American media: women of color, women living off the coasts and women of limited means,” Ramshaw said in a written statement. “There are simply not enough women leading newsrooms, and as a result, not enough stories about the issues, inequities and unique challenges that most directly affect women’s lives.”
Ramshaw will handle CEO duties, with Zamora serving as publisher. Other staffers include former Texas Observer editor-in-chief Andrea Valdez, who will hold the same title at The 19th; editor-at-large Errin Haines, who joins from The Associated Press; and chief revenue officer Johanna Derlega, founder of Broad Branch Strategies.
While The 19th is based in Austin, most workers will have the freedom to live wherever they’d like, as part of the site’s commitment to a work-life balance, its founders said.
“While women today are more engaged than ever in the political process, they remain far underrepresented at all levels of government and in the nation’s executive ranks,” Zamora said. “They’re also underrepresented in newsroom leadership, which influences how the news is covered, whose stories are told and whose voices are elevated. We are deeply committed to diversifying the ranks of journalism — both through the stories we tell and through the women leading our organization.”