Katie Couric is more than a journalist, podcaster, SU2C founder, documentary filmmaker, and founder of Katie Couric Media; she is one of the strongest voices of storytelling in America. Bill Koenigsberg, president, CEO, and founder of Horizon Media moderated the conversation with Couric as she spoke about societal issues in America and how media is affecting the way these issues are being talked about.
Couric began by sharing how the world is undergoing many changes. The income inequality gap has never been wider; technology and automation are replacing manual labor; in 2044 it is expected for the United States to be a minority-majority company.
Also leading to huge changes, the #Metoo and #TimesUp movements are well underway, and Couric has seen how the workplace has been affected. Her former co-worker, Matt Lauer, was terminated from NBC after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against him. Couric spoke on behalf of the movements and how this activism is crucial to changing the rules of how women are treated within the workplace. A problem remains; how do you turn activism into action?
Couric’s recommendation is to start by looking at the workplace and placing more women in leadership roles. However, this is easier said than done. The number of women CEOS in Fortune 500 companies has decreased 25 percent in the last year, and, even more shameful, there are now as many women CEOS total as there are men CEOS whose first names are John. To change the gender-biased ways of corporate America, Couric spoke on the importance for men and women to unlearn implicit bias of gender. According to Couric, the best stories are told — and the best ideas are thought of — by diverse groups of people with different points of views, and all work sectors need to realize this if they want to reap the benefits.
To be the master of her own fate, Couric created Katie Couric Media. Prior, she had joined the advisory board of #SeeHer, a movement intended to portray women in a more positive light in advertisements by the year 2020. Impressed by the work of this movement along with her personal excitement for change, she decided to use her new platform to enlighten others about the values that she believes in.
Couric now teams up with large brands who want to be more relevant in the market and are looking to be more socially responsible. Through different media outlets, she is able to help these companies produce content than in turn combats social issues and shatters stereotypes. The media created is less about trying to sell the brand’s products and is more about the inspiring, authentic message embedded within.
Purposeful content and positioning are means of change today that can result in a call for action. Couric is using her voice to share stories that can educate others — creating a new wave of journalism and storytelling.
“My job as a journalist, I think, is to really inform and help people understand an issue more deeply, and where they take that is up to them,” said Couric.