The editor of Fairfax Media’s female-focused section Daily Life has moved to distance herself from the decision to link to the site from the publisher’s mastheads via the label “women’s perspective”.
The move – part of a redesign of smh.com.au and theage.com.au to coincide with the switch of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age to compact format – created consternation on social media with “women’s perspective” labelled patronising and old fashioned.
But Sarah Oakes, editor of Daily Life has this afternoon written a column revealing that her bosses had overruled her opposition.
She wrote: “The news hit social media with an audible thud. A site which has, since launch, rallied against the old-fashioned, patronising ideas of women and women’s content that so much of our media, politics and workplaces are filled with was now presenting readers with a summary of itself in the very tone it rallied against.”
And she went on:
“This title was not Daily Life’s decision. As the Editor I have waged an exhaustive campaign warning people of the social media apocalypse that would await us if it was called the wrong name. Begging to trade words like “female” for “women” or for us not to have a tagline at all.
“Sadly though, this campaign failed. It fell victim to a corporate need for a uniform approach, even when it proved nigh impossible to reduce Daily Life to a shorty, pithy label.”
Oakes finished the piece by inviting readers to offer their own two word descriptions of Daily Life.
Update: Comments on Oakes’ piece asking for feedback have now been closed. She has tweeted: “Our title on the @theage and @smh homepages is now “Daily Life” but feel free to keep suggesting titles to @DailyLifeAu or on our Facebook.