Editor’s Note: The following is from Vijaya Gadde, Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead at Twitter.
(March 24, 2020) All around the world, we’ve seen our service connecting people with the authoritative health information they need to protect themselves and their loved ones. That work can only be successful if people have access to the news and information they need.
Right now, every journalist is a COVID-19 journalist. From the stories of healthcare workers on the frontlines, to analysis of the real human and economic cost of the pandemic, reporters around the world are still writing, still exposing themselves to harm, still giving us the facts. Journalism is core to our service and we have a deep and enduring responsibility to protect that work. This week we’re contributing to two critical organizations that are working tirelessly to uphold the fundamental values of a free press during this pandemic.
At Philanthropy Women, we will be working extra hard to be a resource for the feminist giving community on best practices to get us through the COVID crisis. We will work to generate ideas and share news that will help us make system-wide changes that will address this crisis and prevent future crises of this proportion in the future.
The Alliance for Women in Media and its Foundation (AWM/F) are pleased to announce their 2020 National Board of Directors.
New to the AWM Board are: Katina Arnold, vice president, corporate communications, ESPN; Abby Auerbach, executive vice president, chief communications officer, TVB; Michelle Ray, executive director, The Walter Kaitz Foundation; Sandra Rice, senior vice president, outreach and strategic partnerships, Center for Talent Innovation; and, Esther Mireya Tejeda, senior vice president, head of corporate communications & PR, Entercom.
Officers of the board have been announced as Keisha Sutton-James, Chair, vice president & CEO, Sutton Button Productions LLC, serving as chair, Heather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency, serving as incoming chair, Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group, serving as immediate past chair, Josie Thomas, CBS, serving as treasurer, and Annie Howell, co-founder and managing partner, The Punch Point Group, serving as incoming treasurer.
Much has been written about fake news, bots, Internet trolls, and the gamut of tech-driven media manipulation that ranges from ad-hoc hoaxes to systematic attempts to hijack civil and political discourse. But there has been a lacuna in this coverage: gender, and the ways in which female politicians are victims of “gendered disinformation.”
In the report “Women, Politics & Power in the New Media World,” gender expert and women’s rights advocate Lucina Di Meco tries to fill this gap. “Millions of dollars are being spent on programs looking at democracy and technology,” she writes. “Almost none of them factors in women in politics. It’s infuriating and doesn’t make any sense.”
It’s a brutal media landscape with each year bringing more layoffs and buy-outs of journalists, and closures of big city dailies. Paper is dying, and the digital arms of legacy media entities must fend off content-stealing, bottom-feeding, celebrity-obsessed click-bait factories. It’s difficult for serious and thoughtful, or even middle-of-the-road mainstream journalism, to survive unless backed by very deep pockets and a vast reach. And if a media organization wants to address gender and race in a comprehensive fashion, it’s well-nigh impossible.
It’s tough sledding, but the benefits of an informed public are incalculable and essential to democracy, and can’t be judged solely by looking at the bottom line. Consequently, some philanthropists are stepping-up and underwriting news and information organizations, as is the case with the support for a novel venture, The 19th, “a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy.”
UPDATE: Thank you to all who have responded to our survey. We are getting a lot of good ideas for how to expand and sharpen our strategy. Those who haven’t joined in, get busy! Think of it as free therapy — your chance to vent about all your hopes and fears for gender equality movements.
Below is a survey we are are asking readers to respond to. With so many advanced thinkers and leaders in our audience, Philanthropy Women wants to make sure we have your needs covered when it comes to gender equality funding news. We also want to be able to share insights and honest observations from the community about gender equality movements and strategies, particularly ideas that might not otherwise surface in public discourse. Please let us know your thoughts!
Film and fashion represent two industries where the misrepresentation of women and minorities still runs rampant. However, fashion industry leader American Eagle is taking active steps to change that.
This year, as part of their Aerie lingerie line, American Eagle rolled out the #AerieREAL Role Models program: a group of ideas-forward young women with a wide range of backgrounds, body types, and lifestyles who model Aerie’s products. The kicker? The models in #AerieREAL photos are not touched up, digitally edited, or misrepresented in advertising. In an industry where impossible standards of beauty are often airbrushed, the prominent featuring of real women with real bodies, real disabilities, and real “flaws” (if you want to call them that) speaks to an encouraging new wave of body-positive empowerment for girls.
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI has named Jeannie Sager director. She previously served as director of philanthropy at the Indiana University Health Foundation.
An established philanthropy leader, Sager brings a wealth of expertise and more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership and development experience in a variety of fields, including higher education, independent schools and healthcare. She has held key executive positions at several large nonprofit organizations.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL (F-GIRL) series features Lori Sokol, PhD, Executive Director & Editor-in-Chief of Women’s eNews. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Women’s eNews, to be celebrated on May 4 at their annual Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Awards.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I entered the media industry immediately after graduating from college, but looking back I should have gone straight to graduate school instead. I didn’t become a graduate student until nine years later, when I was already pregnant with my first child. As a result, I had to attend graduate school part-time while becoming a new mother, and running my own media business simultaneously. It took me twelves years of attending grad school at night to earn my PhD.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Pat Mitchell, trailblazing media executive, Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated producer, Board Chair of Women’s Media Center and Sundance Institute, and Editorial Director of TEDWomen.
1. Your new book Becoming A Dangerous Woman chronicles your personal journey to becoming a media trailblazer. What was it like to go back and look at your life through the lens of your multifaceted role in advocating for women?
I began the book four years ago when the Rockefeller Foundation president offered me a writing residency at Bellagio, encouraging me to extend my global mentoring and women’s leadership work by sharing my own stories from life and work. That residency was a great head start, but when I returned home, I found it hard to put aside the highly engaged ‘life’ I was committed to (and enjoying!) to write about my life, especially to look reflectively backward, as I’ve always been someone determined to keep moving forward.