Women’s Media Center

Culture and Media
Women’s Media Center

Geography: Global

Founded: 2005

Address:

320 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018

What We Do

The Women's Media Center makes women visible and powerful in the media. Led by our President, Julie Burton, the WMC works with the media to ensure that women’s stories are told and women’s voices are heard. We do this in three ways: through our media advocacy campaigns; by creating our own media; and by training women to participate directly in media. We are directly engaged with the media at all levels to ensure that a diverse group of women is present in newsrooms, on air, in print and online, as sources and subjects.

The Women’s Media Center was founded in 2005 as a non-profit progressive women's media organization by writers/activists Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem.

Why We Do It

Simply put, there is a crisis of representation in the media. We live in a racially and ethnically diverse nation which is 51% female, but the news media itself remains staggeringly limited to a single demographic. While women hold less than 3% of decision-making “clout” positions in media, they also earned only 25% of all new media jobs created from 1990 -2005, despite constituting 65% of all undergraduate and graduate journalism and mass communications students.

The media should reflect the reality of our lives and can also help to determine the political policies and elections that shape our lives. The underrepresentation of women and people of color is at its most acute on the influential Sunday morning political talk shows where male guests outnumber female guests four to one, and white guests outnumber guests who are people of color by seven to one. Our work in diversifying the media landscape is critical to the health of our culture and democracy.

How We Do It

The Women's Media Center convenes panels, issues reports, organizes grassroots campaigns, and meets behind the scenes with members of the media to address issues of women’s representation and general diversity.

Our video documenting sexism in the primary election, "Sexism Sells But We’re Not Buying It," garnered national attention, spawned a petition campaign, and received hundreds of thousands of hits on You Tube. Our 2008 panels, “From Soundbites to Solutions,” brought together top journalists like Christiane Amanpour, Juan Gonzalez, Michel Martin, Rebecca Traister and others in New York and at the Democratic National Convention. We also produced a report from these panels’ findings; “Bias, Punditry, and the Press.” Through our “Show Me The Women” campaign, we were active in critiquing and engaging with the Presidential debates. The WMC is conducting an ongoing effort to push for more diverse, inclusive moderation and format in the next electoral cycle, so that we can all enjoy a real exchange of ideas from journalists who should represent us all.