Talks at GS: Joanna Coles and Storytelling in the 21st Century

Above (L to R): David Solomon of Goldman Sachs and Joanna Coles


When Joanna Coles became editor-in-chief of women’s magazine Marie Claire, she aimed to transform the pages for a new generation of readers. “I thought, well, women are interested in mascara and the Middle East, why can’t we have both in one place?” Coles said last week during an episode of Talks at GS moderated by Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon. “We referred to it as ‘feminism by stealth.’ This was back in 2006 before the reawakening of feminism really began to start feeding stories. And we started covering a lot of stories about women in Afghanistan or in the Middle East who weren’t getting any coverage at all.” Today, Coles — who serves as a creative advisor to CBS This Morning and sits on the board of directors of Snap Inc. — is heartened that many of the people whose stories are left out of mainstream media are taking to social media to make their voices heard. But her enthusiasm for the “extraordinary vehicle” of social media remains tempered by the fact that “there are no real checks and balances on it at the moment” to prevent the dissemination of false news.

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