Why I Heart the Women’s Media Center

Did you know that men receive 67 percent of all byline and other credits in print, online, television, and wire news?  This is just one of many disparities documented in a new report on the media gender gap from the Women’s Media Center, a nonprofit organization founded by Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and Robin Morgan in 2005.

I first became aware of the wonderful work being done by the WMC ten years ago, when I met the amazing Carol Jenkins, the organization’s founding president and board member. Since then, I’ve admired their mission in person and from afar, used their research in my journalism classes at Hofstra University, become an expert for their excellent resource, SheSource, and written maybe a dozen features for their news site.

In fact, I learned something new just this week, while working on a piece for the WMC. If you’re like me, you’ve probably never heard of Lisa Howard. As it turns out, she was the first woman to host her own television news program: Purex Presents Lisa Howard and the News With the Woman’s Touch, which first appeared on ABC in 1961.

In this, my latest piece for the WMC, I explore her life and important legacy. Check it out. And I hope you’ll find the WMC as useful as I have all these years–both as a journalist who cares about gender equality, and as a journalism educator, hoping to impart these values to the next generation of media firebrands.

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