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WIMN’s Voices: A Group Blog on Women, Media, AND…

It’s our 1,000th birthday! How has WIMN’s Voices impacted your blogging, journalism, activism, or personal life?

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

March 29th, 2008

Media love to tell women we should be ashamed of aging. “You never ask a lady her age,” we hear from news anchors to soap opera characters. But WIMN’s Voices is turning 1,000 today, and we couldn’t be happier at how we’ve grown up.

This, in fact, is the thousandth post to WIMN’s Voices, the diverse perspectives-promoting, accountability-holding, inaccuracy-debunking women’s media monitoring group blog. When we launched in April, 2006, we had some ambitious goals. At the time, we pledged to:

  • Create more critical space for media monitoring and analysis by, for and about women and the issues that concern us
  • Illustrate that women are invested in all issues (not just abortion, rape and child care), and media have the responsibility to report as such
  • Propel our perspectives into the blogsphere at a time when corporate media are recognizing the power of blogs yet claiming women don’t exist in this new frontier
  • Answer the marginalization of women’s voices on the nation’s op-ed pages and in other print and broadcast news areas by positioning a diverse group of feminist intellectuals as opinion-leaders, sources and pundits for mainstream and alternative media
  • Additionally, we hope that the tremendous range of perspectives represented within WIMN’s Voices will serve as a model for the media itself - especially the independent press, which critiques the underrepresentation of female writers and journalists of color in corporate outlets, yet all too often replicates that marginalization within their own publications. Together, our bloggers are a dynamic mix of seasoned, widely respected journalists and activists whose books you may have read and whose commentary you may have seen in documentaries and news debate shows, as well as emerging young writers for whom this platform provides a new and needed audience. Collectively, WIMN’s Voices bloggers prove that there is no shortage of articulate, provocative, intellectually challenging women out there who could and should be represented as contributors and sources for corporate and independent media alike.

    Now, on our 1,000th “birthday,” I can happily report that with the amazing input of our house bloggers and our guest bloggers, we’ve reached those goals… and more. We have brought you the voices of dozens of dynamic house bloggers (see the column on the right) and exciting guest posters, and we’ve proven time and time again that every issue is a women’s issue and can be reported as such, as the very long list of news beats in the left column clearly illustrates. We’ve critiqued media content but we’ve also used this space to spark conversations that have then changed the national debate. Since I’m currently writing this from the WAM!2008 Women, Action & Media conference, I can’t take the time to give you a list of highlights from our last two years holding media accountable to women while increasing women’s presence and power in the blogosphere.

    That’s where you come in! On the ocassion of our 1,000th post, let me pose this question to you, our readers: what has WIMN’s Voices meant to you? If you’re an activist, have you used WIMN’s Voices bloggers’ debunking of bias and provision of strong, progressive feminist media analysis to inform your advocacy on various social justice issues? If you’re a journalist, has WIMN’s Voices offered you new story ideas, information that you have been able to use to broaden or fact-check your pieces, and/or have you found women to interview for your outlet, quote in your stories, serve as guests on your radio or TV broadcast, etc? If you’re an academic, have the information, commentary and resources offered by WIMN’s Voices bloggers been useful to you in your scholarship — have you used our posts in your research, read our work in your classes, gotten an idea from our blog that inspired you to dig deeper into an academic project, or the like? If you’re one of our readers who is simpluy concerned about the media, concerned about gender and social justice issues, or some combination of both, we’d also just like to hear from you about what you’ve gotten from this forum, why you read us, and what you want to see going forward.

    So many of you have written to me off list (and some of you have posted in the comments) over the past two years, telling me that WIMN’s Voices makes you feel “less alone,” “like you’re not crazy after all,” like you “finally could put your finger on the real issues behind sexist spin and misleading headlines,” and the like. At this point in our collective history, I’d really like to collect your feedback formally, so that we can learn from your experiences with our blog, hear what your media needs are, and grow to even more fully support your need for media monitoring and media activism as we go forward. So, readers, journalists, activists, fellow bloggers — please post your feedback in the comments below or, if you would prefer not to do so publicly, please email us at info [at] wimnonline [dot] org.

    And, since it’s our 1,000th birthday and we’re an unfunded blog, I should probably take this moment to mention that if WIMN’s Voices has been helpful to you over the years, we’d love your support. Server space, tech equipment and editorial time all cost money, so if you can, I and everyone involved with WIMN’s Voices would deeply appreciate it if you’d consider supporting Women In Media & News (which brings you this blog and also runs a variety of important media analysis, media education, strategic communications and media justice programs). (Click here for a form you can print out and mail to our fiscal sponsor, and here for a link to donate online.)

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