Monday, April 5, 2010

Invisible No More

In a post-women's lib/post-equal rights era, we still see an absence of what we need to have in media and news organizations: more representation and ownership for-and-of women and people of color. We see media and news organizations in the hands of mostly male-dominated corporations. Women news anchors give the idea that there is a female presence in the newsroom, but as for higher-up positions, the numbers do not give us anything to brag about; there are still very disproportionate ratios of men to women in corporate/executive positions in today's media and news agencies and nothing is really being done to level it out. Even with the stakes high, self-run and little media news sites are holding ground and being the underdog for voices that are cast aside by corporate machines mainly run and dominated by the white male figure.

A website making waves and holding its own footing,—which covers "issues of particular concern to women and [provides] women's perspectives on public policy," as per its mission statement (founded by Rita Henley Jensen in 2000)—seems to look into women's news both locally and internationally. Women's eNews covers everything from politics, to arts, national and international, labor, health, culture and a perspectives and views section; Women's eNews also has an Arabic site. There is no cooking section!

Women's eNews has gained recognition by being awarded the IPPIE Award, The Front Page Award, and was recognized by the South Asian Journalists Association. The site was also nominated for the Global Health Council Excellence in Media Award. Rita Henley, in 2006, was nominated Media Person of the Year by the New York State Women's Press Club. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency awarded the PASS Award to Angeli Rasbury in 2006 for writing a story on out-of-jail mothers trying to reclaim their children. In the Our Awards section, the list dates back to 2001, full of awards given to Women's eNews: Yes, it were recognized even in the early stages.

One hundred percent of Women's eNews success comes from the fact that Ms. Jensen's primary goal was to focus on all topics that general news and media organizations cover. Her twist, however, is that she turned the tables and has women covering stories, writing, and giving us strictly women's perspectives on topics such as politics, equal representation, life, culture, and the like. Kudos to Rita Henley Jensen and NO COOKING/RECIPE SECTION!!! Women's eNews gives disappointing statistics on percentages of women in media outlets. This is not to give Women's eNews a "see-I-told-you-so" air, but to let everybody know that women are perfectly capable of having a voce and writing and owning media and news outlets catering specifically to, and being run by, women.

The role of gender in this seems to play specifically for women and advocates for women in all forms of media and media ownership. Women's eNews is breaking all the traditional rules of corporate-owned, male-dominated news and media corporations by focusing on the invisible voices of the majority of women and ethnic peoples who are not being given a voice. Feminism is key in its success and Women's eNews is still pumping out stories to the masses about all topics related to women here and around the world. Women's eNews may seem an underdog in the United States when compared to any of our "popular" news stations, but it is paving the way for other silenced women and ethnic peoples to stand up and deliver what they believe in; to make their voices heard and their faces seen.

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