Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Why This Nonprofit, Nonpartisan Newsroom Is Focused on Gender, Politics and Policy

The co-founder and CEO of the 19th*, a nonprofit newsroom focused on women and politics, talks about diversity in journalism, activism and entrepreneurship.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

During Emily Ramshaw’s maternity leave four years ago, she heard many conversations around electability and likeability. These gendered conversations sparked an idea. 

“We were having those conversations because there was a woman running for president,” Ramshaw says. “And I thought to myself, ‘What would the news environment look like if there was a news source, a politics and policy news source, that was by women and for women?’” 

With a newborn at home, she put her idea on pause. 

“But four years later, it came back to me in another election cycle, a historic election cycle where we had more women running than we'd ever seen before, and these same conversations around electability and likability were at the forefront. And in that moment, I just thought, ‘You know what? I thought about this four years ago, I can't wait another four years. I have to get this off the ground.’” 

Related: 7 Ways to Improve Focus and Performance

Ramshaw talks with Jessica Abo about The 19th*, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom focused on women, politics and policy. She also shares tips on how to get involved in the political process and provides details about The 19th*’s upcoming virtual summit.

Jessica Abo: When people go to your site, what will they find?

Ramshaw: What they will find at our site is not the day's news but pink. They will find serious journalism that really aims to expose the disparities, the ways that women remain at a disadvantage in virtually every arena, whether it's the healthcare system, whether it's the economy, whether it's representative government and the ways that women of color, in particular, have faced the hardest hits.

Where do you have staff around the country?

Ramshaw: We are launching with what is probably the most diverse newsroom staff of any news organization in America. These are predominantly women of color who are based all over the country, whether that's Des Moines, whether that's Orlando, whether that's here in Austin, Texas, in D.C., L.A. We're across the country and aiming to truly reflect the nation's women by being scattered around the places where the nation's women live.

You've spent many years working as a journalist. Tell us a little bit about what you've learned when it comes to entrepreneurship.

Ramshaw: First of all, I had never raised a single dollar before we decided to start The 19th, which I describe as really an entrepreneurial nonprofit. I knew how to run a newsroom. I knew journalism like the back of my hand. I knew storytelling. What I didn't know was really how to start a business from scratch. 

One of the things that I've learned in the last year that we have been trying to build this venture is how to make a compelling case for the work that you're trying to build. It's how to ensure that people financially get behind your message and your mission. It's building a sustainable business plan, an organization that is self-sustaining and really encourages extraordinary women journalists to leave their jobs to come work for us — that sort of pathway and a track record of success. 

It's been an unbelievable year, a really steep learning curve for me, but really thrilling all the same.

If someone is thinking, “Wow, getting involved in the political process is so overwhelming,” what are some small steps that people can take to get involved?

Ramshaw: The first is to vote in every single election. No election is too big or too small. That means everything from your school board to president. It is the absolute best way that we can extend our voice and our collective strength, and so that's the first place to start.

The second is it's really meaningful to go to your local city council meeting and see how the sausage gets made in person. The legislative policies that most directly affect women's lives are happening in their home communities. Start there, and if you're feeling ambitious, head up from there to your state legislature, testify before a legislative committee. You will never see government in more direct action than you will there.

Related: How to Make Your Brand More Cohesive

Three for me would be get out of your echo chamber. We all spend a lot of time in our own curated Facebook feeds, reading the news sources that we really trust. We aren't going to move the needle, particularly on gender equity, if the same women are talking to the same women all the time. We need to understand what the people who disagree with us think, why they think that way, empathize with their decision-making. That starts with leaning on and learning from sources of news and information that you aren't totally comfortable with.

And then the final thing is if you check all of those boxes and you're still wanting to get even more engaged, run for office. We know that at virtually every level of government, women are underrepresented, whether that's running for city council or running for the presidency. An organization that's doing really great work in this arena is All in Together. You can check them out on their website. They're working to get nonpartisan women more deeply civically engaged, encourage them to run. It's a really great starting point if you're looking for information on how to get more involved.

For the people who want to get involved from the comfort of their home, you have a virtual summit coming up. Tell us a little bit about that.

Ramshaw: The 19th obviously is launching its news platform, but the week of August 10 through August 14, we are hosting a week's worth of virtual programming aimed at really elevating women's voices around the anniversary of the Centennial of the 19th Amendment. You can expect to see Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Elise Stefanik, Melinda Gates, dozens of first-time elected officials, the first trans woman to be elected to a legislature, the first Native American woman in Congress in this country. And beyond that, some incredible arts and performances. Meryl Streep doing some really amazing suffrage readings with Zoë Saldaña. We'll have the entire New York Philharmonic Orchestra performing the work of Black women composers. The Go-Go's are getting back together, the first all-female band to top the Billboard charts. It's free, you don't want to miss it. You can check us out at

Related: How Your Company Can Have a Positive Social Impact


The Key to Effectively Communicating Important Messages Is All About Simplicity

In our 'Creative Conversations in Advertising' series, award-winning Group Creative Director Giancarlo Rodas and Entrepreneur magazine Editor in Chief Jason Feifer discuss distilling complex ideas down to a simple message.

How to Deliver a Serious Message Through Humor

In our series 'Anatomy of an Ad,' Creative Director David Stevanov explains how humor can be a storyteller's most effective tool.

This Successful Shark Tank Entrepreneur Shares His Latest Innovation

The Founder of Ooonimals, Club 44, and the OOO Studio Lab talks about his current projects and what you need to know about the risks and rewards that exist in the NFT space.

Brendan Sweeney of Popmenu on How Ego is the Root of All Evil

Interview with Popmenu CEO Brendan Sweeney about building a positive user experience, the state of restaurant technology, and the importance of providing answers.

Recession-Proof Your Mindset with Neuroscience

With top economists fearing a recession, award-winning author Ben Angel teaches how to recession-proof your mindset with neuroscience to manage stress levels.

How to Find Your "Oxygen Points" to Sustain and Grow Your Business, According to an Investment CEO

Entrepreneur Network Partner Ashley Crouch sits down with the CEO of Al Zarooni Emirates Investments, Dr. Adil Alzarooni.

How to Get Investment Funding for Your Business

Entrepreneur magazine's Editor-in-Chief Jason Feifer and Narya Partner Falon Donohue have a lively and informative conversation about securing the funding you need to launch your dream.

Keith Koo Explains How Angel Investors Prioritize Startup Funding Decisions

Entrepreneur Network Partner Ashley Crouch sits down with the Managing Partner of Guardian Insight Group and Angel Investor, Keith Koo.

Why this Popular Web3 Esports Game Was Designed with a Play-to-Earn Model

The Chief Product Officer of MonkeyLeague discusses his company, why monkeys are all the rage for NFTs and gaming, and his advice for developers.

Want to Get Customers' Attention? Tell Them a Great Story.

In our 'Creative Conversations in Advertising' series, award-winning creative director Josh DiMarcantonio and Entrepreneur magazine Editor in Chief discuss the power of storytelling.

How Do You Get People Excited About a Product That Doesn't Exist?

In our series 'Anatomy of an Ad,' producer Liz O'Connor breaks down the components of the award-winning True Name by Mastercard campaign.

After Hearing "No" Dozens of Times This Entrepreneur Became Orlando's First $1 Billion Fintech Unicorn

The co-founder of Stax talks about the finding success, the pride she has as a child of Pakistani immigrants, and her advice for other women.

Noah Glass of Olo on Having a 'Day 1' Mindset

Interview with the CEO and founder of restaurant SaaS company Olo about using data to make every guest feel like a regular, on-demand commerce, and why they 'Embrace The Suck'.

Do Nootropics Make You Smarter? Science Says Yes.

Ben Angel discusses nootropics and how they might help boost your performance.

Discover Entrepreneur Series

Whether you need advice on how to get your business off the ground or you’re just looking for inspiration, our video series have something for everyone. Browse our library below to find a series that speaks to you and your interests.