O’Neil Lecture in Business Journalism features The 19th founders

After breaking ground in nonprofit journalism as top leaders at The Texas Tribune, Emily Ramshaw and Amanda Zamora launched their own national news organization last year, The 19th, which strives to empower women, people of color and the LGBTQ+ community “with the information, community and tools they need to be equal participants in our democracy.”

The pair will deliver the 2021 William J. O’Neil Lecture in Business Journalism, “The 19th: Informing Women, Transforming News,” in a Zoom webinar on Tuesday, February 16 at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. To register for the webinar, please visit https://bit.ly/oneilzoom. For further information call 214-768-1915 or email [email protected]

The O’Neil Lecture Series is presented by the Division of Journalism at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

As veteran journalists, Ramshaw and Zamora saw an unmet need for a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization devoted to covering gender, politics and policy. They note that women make up more than half of the American electorate, but they are underrepresented in politics and policy journalism and in newsroom leadership, which influences what stories are told, how the news is covered and whose voices are elevated. The 19th aims to put the stories and voices of women and members of the LGBTQ+ community first, and to focus on the impact of politics and policy on marginalized groups. In an NPR interview, Ramshaw said The 19th would provide “storytelling from across the country that really empathizes with the lived experiences of women in America.” All content on The 19th is free to consume and free to republish. The organization takes its name from the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. However, in reality it still excluded millions of women, including women of color, for many years; the logo includes an asterisk to acknowledge that the 19th Amendment remains unfinished business. Supported by a mix of membership, philanthropy and corporate underwriting, The 19th launched its full site in 2020 and can be found at 19thnews.org.

Ramshaw is the co-founder and CEO of The 19th. She was previously editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, an award-winning nonpartisan digital news startup that now boasts the largest statehouse reporting bureau in the country and the nation’s most successful business model for local news. A Washington, D.C., native, Ramshaw started her career at The Dallas Morning News. She is the youngest member of the board of the Pulitzer Prize. A graduate of Northwestern University, Ramshaw lives with her husband and daughter in Austin.

Zamora is the co-founder and publisher of The 19th. Previously, Zamora spent nearly two decades as a digital editor, product manager and audience strategist at newsrooms including The Texas Tribune, ProPublica and The Washington Post. A Houston native, Zamora has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Austin.