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Ann Friedman

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Ann L. Friedman
Close up of Ann Friedman smiling
Born (1982-01-10) January 10, 1982 (age 42) [1]
Dubuque, Iowa, United States
EducationUniversity of Missouri, 2004
Occupation(s)Editor, journalist, freelance writer, and podcaster
Years activesince 2004
Known forPolitical and feminist commentary, Shine Theory
Notable workCall Your Girlfriend (podcast), Big Friendship (book)
AwardsHearst Award, 2004
Utne Media Award (nomination), 2013

Ann Friedman is an American magazine editor, journalist, podcaster, and pie chart artist. She writes about gender, politics, and social issues.[2] She co-hosted the podcast Call Your Girlfriend, sends out a weekly email newsletter called The Ann Friedman Weekly, and is a contributing editor for The Gentlewoman.[3][4] Previously, she was deputy editor for The American Prospect, executive editor at the Los Angeles–based GOOD magazine, and a co-founder of the employee-driven, crowd-sourced spin-off Tomorrow magazine.

Personal background[edit]

Ann Friedman's hometown is Dubuque, Iowa. She began her journalism career there as an intern with the Telegraph Herald in 2001.[5] She is an alumna of the University of Missouri, where she graduated from its School of Journalism in 2004.[6] Friedman lived in New York City for over a year. Friedman also lived in Washington, DC, where she met friend and co-podcast host Aminatou Sow. Los Angeles is her permanent residence.[7][8] She identifies herself in public speaking engagements and in her work as a feminist.[9][10]


In the fall of 2005, Friedman started off as a fact-checking fellow at Mother Jones' . Her online editing career began when she took the managing editor position for AlterNet and became an editor at Feministing, where she had already been writing since 2004.[9][11] After taking a position with The American Prospect as web editor she was promoted to deputy editor from 2008 to 2010. She wrote freelance before her next editing position. In March 2011, Friedman became the executive editor at GOOD magazine.[12] After GOOD fired most of its writers and editors, including Friedman, they co-founded Tomorrow (magazine) together. They started a Kickstarter, raising $20,000 in a day to fund the one-off print of the magazine.[13][14]

Her freelance writings have been published by Rolling Stone, The New Republic, Newsweek, Glamour, ELLE, and Columbia Journalism Review.[15] Her feminist writings and commentary about politics,[10][16][17][18][19][20] popular culture,[21] attitudes about men and women[22][23] and gay rights,[24] and dating and sex[25] have been widely referenced and quoted by other journalists and editorial writers.

Friedman writes a politics column at NYMag.com, published pie-charts at The Hairpin, disperses RealTalk advice for journalists at the Columbia Journalism Review,[26] and contributes to The New Republic.[27][28][29] She is a proponent of incorporating GIFs in journalism.[30][31]

Friedman was the founder of the Lady Journos’ Tumblr site, which curates the accomplishments and works by female journalists, speaks to issues of gender disparity in hiring and sexism in the workplace.[27][32][33]

Friedman, and her colleague Aminatou Sow popularized the term "Shine Theory[34]". The term is in reference to the commitment to collaborating with each other instead of competing against each other. The term first appeared in Friedman's article[35] for The Cut for NYMag.com in 2013.

GOOD magazine[edit]

Friedman worked at The American Prospect until she quit in 2010 to pick up more freelance writing work. The Los Angeles–based GOOD magazine hired her as executive editor in March 2011.[12] As the executive editor, Friedman focused on moving the GOOD brand over multiple platforms and bringing a youthful style to its content,[36][37] but that vision conflicted with the management.[38] She was subsequently fired along with most of the magazine's editors in June 2012.[39][40] Friedman and her GOOD colleagues started a crowd-funded one-off magazine called Tomorrow. That project was backed via Kickstarter, and raised $30,000 more than expected.[41][42]

Call Your Girlfriend[edit]

Friedman co-hosted the popular feminist podcast Call Your Girlfriend with her friend, tech entrepreneur Aminatou Sow.[43] The podcast was described as a cultural phenomenon where the hosts discussed politics and pop culture, ranging from the very serious (police abolition or abortion rights) to reality TV (Kardashians).[44] Started in June 2014, it gained popularity before the podcasting boom and eventually evolved into a show which goes beyond the initial catch-up phone calls, with themed episodes and guest interviews of primarily politicians, activists, and writers. The podcast ended in February 2022.[45]

Big Friendship[edit]

Friedman and Aminatou Sow co-wrote Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close[46] which was released July 17, 2020. The book is a hybrid, combining memoir with cultural criticism and "an examination of friendship’s role in society."[47] As the title suggests, they introduce a new concept of 'big friendship' to emphasize the importance of friendships in our lives and create a term to describe the close friendships which can be as much or more influential in our lives than romantic partnerships. Sow described the lack of vocabulary they both found to describe their close adult friendships in their 30s, including their own decade-long friendship,

"There is something about the words bestie or BFF or even best friend that imply that it’s an exclusive relationship that you have with one person. And it feels a little infantilizing to me. [...] This term big friendship was meant to define friendships that are complicated and nuanced, friendships that you have had for a long time and that you want to keep in your life for a long time."[47]

One of the reasons for giving friendships a term to express their seriousness was to encourage readers "to stop seeing these relationships as something that can be put on hold while we focus on careers or marriages or children."[48] Instead, they make the argument, friendship is actually one of life's most important foundations.[48]

Writing themes and style[edit]

Friedman is a journalist who generally writes non-fiction, exploring political themes, current events and pop culture. Often she writes reported pieces, though at times they include humorous or personal elements. When asked about writing more personal work, Friedman responded:

"It’s pretty rare that I write a personal essay that’s purely about my experience—if I think it’s worth writing about publicly, that’s typically because I think it says something about politics or culture. So I try to make the connection. Research and reporting is often still a part of the process, even if the piece is first and foremost a personal essay."[49]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Ann Friedman won the 2004 Hearst Award for personality/profile writing.[50] Before that she had won the Telegraph Herald Scholastic Journalist Award.[5]

Friedman was among Columbia Journalism Review's "20 women to watch" in its July 2012 issue.[5][51] In 2013, Tomorrow magazine was nominated for an Utne Media Award.[52]



  • Friedman, Ann (2012). "All in Together". In Barham, Nick; Dockter, Jake (eds.). American Dreamers: Optimists, Mavericks, and Mad Inventors Share Their Dreams for Brighter Futures. Sharp Stuff. ISBN 9780988603912.
  • Friedman, Ann (July 2013). "A New Pathway Toward Sourcing". In McBride, Kelly; Rosenstiel, Tom (eds.). The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century. Sage Publishing.
  • Friedman, Ann; Sow, Aminatou (July 14, 2020). Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1982111908.

Essays and Reporting[edit]


  1. ^ "This is (Almost) 40: Ann Friedman Responds to the Oldster Magazine Questionnaire". 21 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Product Hunt Q&A with Ann Friedman". Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  3. ^ "Tinyletter". Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  4. ^ "About". Ann Friedman. Retrieved 2021-08-30.
  5. ^ a b c Cooper, Brian (August 13, 2012). "Dubuque native a journalism up-and-comer". thonline.com. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  6. ^ Shiloh, Erin (February 21, 2003). "U. Missouri Students Seek a State Moratorium on Death Penalty". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  7. ^ Carlson, Jen (September 27, 2013). "How Long Should You Live In NYC Before You Can Write About Leaving It?". The Gothamist. Archived from the original on September 30, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  8. ^ "It's Time To Call Ann Friedman". The Seam. 2015-11-01. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  9. ^ a b Meiners, Grace (March 14, 2008). "Bloggers show new face of feminism". The Maneater.
  10. ^ a b Carlson, Kathryn Blaze (August 24, 2012). "Hard words: Do we know what we're talking about when we talk about rape?". National Post (Canada). Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  11. ^ "FAQ". Ann Friedman. Retrieved 2021-09-20.
  12. ^ a b Greicius, Julie (May 8, 2012). "The Rumpus Interview With Ann Friedman". The Rumpus. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  13. ^ "Tomorrow magazine, the next Good thing". LATimes.com. June 26, 2012. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  14. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (June 26, 2012). "Daily Intelligencer: Fired GOOD Staff Raises $20,000 for Tomorrow". Nymag.com. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  15. ^ Mizgata, Jen (12 September 2013). "Friedman, Sow introduce Shine Theory in ONA13 Atlanta keynote". Online News Association.
  16. ^ Brooks, Libby (March 6, 2008). "This is about power, not shared sexual characteristics". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  17. ^ "The First Lady: A Feminist Review" (transcript), NPR, May 10, 2009.
  18. ^ Valenti, Jessica (September 11, 2008). "The F-card won't wash". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  19. ^ Harnden, Toby (June 18, 2011). "American Way: The Weiner wife who refused to be Huma the Humiliated". The Telegraph (UK). Archived from the original on June 21, 2011. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  20. ^ Douthat, Ross (October 19, 2012). ""Binders Full of Women" and the Partisan Mind". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  21. ^ Williams, Alex (April 5, 2013). "Do We Really Hate Anne Hathaway?". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  22. ^ Dell'Antonia, KJ (August 24, 2012). "The Clock Ticks for Men as Well". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  23. ^ Kearney, Ryan (October 16, 2013). "What Slate Missed: 5 Other Reasons College Women Shouldn't Get Drunk". New Republic. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  24. ^ Etheridge, Eric (April 3, 2009). "Thoughts on Iowa's Gay Marriage Ruling". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  25. ^ Hills, Rachel (September 23, 2013). "Why the withdrawal method has made a comeback". Daily Life (Australia). Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  26. ^ Friedman, Ann. "#realtalk (column)". Columbia Journalism Review.
  27. ^ a b Stradl, J. Ryan. "Saturday Special: The Rumpus Catches Up With Ann Friedman". The Rumpus.
  28. ^ "Ann Friedman Tumblr Morphs Into Weekly CJR Column - FishbowlLA". Mediabistro.com. 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  29. ^ "Interview: Ann Friedman". The Setup. May 7, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  30. ^ Wortham, Jenna (August 12, 2012). "Digital Diary: How GIFs Became the Perfect Medium for the Olympics". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  31. ^ Friedman, Ann (August 8, 2012). "What journalists need to know about animated GIFs — really". Poynter.org. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  32. ^ Siegal, Erin (March 6, 2012). "Few Female Bylines in Major Magazines". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  33. ^ Jean, Mallary (2013-02-27). "'Said to Lady Journos' Tumblr is 'depressingly relatable,' female journalists say". Poynter.org. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  34. ^ "SHINE THEORY Trademark of Friedman, Ann - Registration Number 4647664 - Serial Number 86078963 :: Justia Trademarks". trademarks.justia.com. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  35. ^ "Shine Theory: Why Powerful Women Make the Greatest Friends". The Cut. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  36. ^ Currier, Cora (August 30, 2011). "Information Overload Is Real". The European. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  37. ^ Levy, Dan (April 9, 2012). "Branding Good: Q&A with GOOD Editor Ann Friedman". Sparksheet. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  38. ^ Beaujon, Andrew (June 6, 2012). "How things went bad at GOOD magazine, what's next for fired staff and the company they left". Poynter.org. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  39. ^ Abad-Santos, Alexander (June 4, 2012). "What Happened to GOOD?". The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  40. ^ Beaujon, Andrew (June 1, 2012). "GOOD magazine lays off most of its editorial staffers". Poynter.org. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  41. ^ Georges, Marc (June 26, 2012). "Laid-Off 'GOOD' Staffers Launch Kickstarter Campaign For New Magazine". Mashable. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  42. ^ New York Magazine: Fired GOOD Staff Raises $20,000 in One Day for Tomorrow. June 26, 2012.
  43. ^ "5 Best Women Led Podcasts". Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  44. ^ Locker, Melissa (2016-03-05). "Call Your Girlfriend: podcast dishes on everything from Benghazi to Bieber". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-12-31.
  45. ^ "Farewell". CALL YOUR GIRLFRIEND. Retrieved 2022-03-10.
  46. ^ "Big Friendship". Big Friendship. Retrieved 2020-07-22.
  47. ^ a b Beck, Julie (2020-07-10). "How the Hosts of 'Call Your Girlfriend' Saved Their Friendship". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2021-09-20.
  48. ^ a b Hall, Trish (2020-07-10). "Keep Your Friends Close, and Keep Holding Them Closer". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-09-20.
  49. ^ "Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Ann Friedman". Fiction Advocate. 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2021-09-23.
  50. ^ "Two Journalism Students Win Hearst Writing Awards: Ann Friedman Wins First in Competition". Columbia, Mo.: Missouri School of Journalism. March 24, 2004. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  51. ^ "20 women to watch". Columbia Journalism Review.
  52. ^ "Utne Reader Names Media Awards Nominees". Utne.com. April 16, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-14.

External links[edit]