Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Media analysis: no women need apply?

When MediaBistro announced its upcoming panel discussion titled "Finding a Business Model for News and Online Media", it listed only white men as panelists, thus joining a list of other apparently well-meaning organizations whose leaders tend to see only men as media innovators. In MediaBistro's case, this is particularly ironic, since the pioneering Web-based all-things-media outlet and consulting company was founded by Laurel Touby, a woman.

The Women, Action & the Media (WAM!) community took issue with MediaBistro's treatment, issuing this letter, to which your humble blogstress signed her proper name:


Dear MediaBistro and Demand Studios,

We applaud your efforts to create an “an open discussion about the business models, innovation, and power of community that are changing journalism.” But your selection of presenters on this subject has forced us to wonder to whom, exactly, this discussion is open.

We won’t stand for another panel exclusively composed of white males when the future of our media is at stake. As members of Women, Action & the Media, we know all too well that white-male-dominated conversations produce white-male-dominated media models. We ask you to stand with us instead, to create a sustainable new journalism that includes and supports all of us, including women and people of color.

It’s not hard to find qualified women to serve on your “Finding a Business Model for News and Online Media” panel. Here are just a few we’ve come up with today:

Tina Brown, The Daily Beast
Ada Calhoun, Babble
Gabrielle Darbyshire, Gawker Media
Nicki Gilmour, The Glass Hammer, founder and CEO of Evolved People Media LLC
Erica Gruen, Quantum Media
Kathleen Hall Jameson, director, Annenberg Public Policy Center
Carol Jenkins, president, Women’s Media Center
Rita Henley Jensen, Women’s eNews
Esther Kaplan, The Nation Institute
Dori Maynard, president, The Maynard Institute
Gina McCauley, Blogging While Brown
Laurel Touby, your founder at mediabistro.com
Sheryl Hilliard Tucker, executive editor, Time, Inc.
Joan Walsh, Salon
Tracy Van Slyke, The Media Consortium
Deanna Zandt, media technologist

Please let us know if you need help getting in touch with any of these exceptional women - we’d be very happy to help make those connections.

Signed,

Veronica I. Arreola, Writer, Founding Board Member of WIMN
Julia Barry, media/Web producer and consultant
Sarah Blustain, senior editor, The New Republic
Tara Bracco, writer and founder of Poetic People Power
Anna Clark, freelance journalist
Denise Di Stephan, freelance writer
Ariel Dougherty, Media Equity Collaborative
Emily Douglas, editor, RH Reality Check
Gloria Feldt
Jill Filipovic, Feministe
Jaclyn Friedman, director, Women, Action & the Media
J. Goodrich, blogger and freelance writer
Nancy Gruver, founder & CEO, New Moon Girl Media
Mikki Halpin, author and contributing editor, Glamour
Carol Jenkins, president, Women's Media Center
Rita Henley Jensen, Women's eNews
Sue Katz
Elaine Lafferty, former editor-in-chief, Ms. magazine
Lucinda Marshall, director, Feminist Peace Network
Emily May, HollabackNYC.com
Liz O’Donnell, freelance writer and AvantGuild member
Katha Pollitt, columnist, The Nation
Jennifer Pozner, founder and director, Women In Media & News (WIMN)
Miranda Spencer, freelance writer, editor, and media critic
Rebekah Spicuglia, media manager, Women’s Media Center
Adele M. Stan, independent journalist and Huffington Post blogger
Shira Tarrant, PhD, author, Men and Feminism
Tracy Van Slyke, The Media Consortium
Jayati Vora, Web editor, The Nation Institute
Andi Zeisler, editorial/creative director of Bitch
Jill Miller Zimon, freelance writer, Writes Like She Talks
Since the letter was sent, MediaBistro Tweeted that another panelist would soon be announced. To add your two cents, contact MediaBistro by clicking here.

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