Women and minorities in the media are changing, albeit slow it is changing for the best. There are many issues that need to be stresses, but that is where alternative media enter. If you do not have alternative media, or mainstream media from other countries like, BBC, The Guardian, or Al Gazerra, different issues would not come to light. Websites and social media sites benefit, and also fall in the same category as well of alternative media. There are obstacles that come with women and minorities working in the media. The obvious ones would be racism and sexism naturally that goes hand in hand, and without any real explanation needed. The other is a competition or more specifically the pressure to please their superiors a certain way.
An example of this found in the New York Times article, “The rise of the Female Anchor”, Alessandra Stanley states describing the move of Diane Sawyer to G.M.A. stating,
“Patience is not normally a virtue in the news business, but Ms. Sawyer made it her ally, letting time smooth bumps in her resume that at one time seemed insurmountable. She moved directly from working with former President Richard Nixon on his memoirs to CBS News back wher the line between journalism and government was virtually inviolate – until, that is, Tim Russert and George Stephanopoulos came along and changed the rules. Early on, her golden allure and teen beauty queen status were almost suspect – she was accused of being too fetching to be a “serious” journalist… Women who let their ambition show too openly are usually punished for it. Ms. Sawyer, who is relentless and driven as any of her peers, makes an art of coy deflection."
Now, the sad part of that type of situation is that women are misjudged, and crucified if they show some type of initiative. Race can be put in the same category as well too. It’s as if there is a need to be reserved to receive an accomplishment, a win of some sort. Why? Is it wrong to be wanting or to aspire to be something beyond one’s normal capabilities? It is like playing a game of poker and being given a false deck. So what are we, as a society, left with to counter act this foolishness? What can we do to make a change from being restrained? Yes, I am going to say it, watch Rachel Maddow! Just kidding. No, but seriously watch her she’s really intelligent with her witty commentary. No one said it best but Johanna Widner of Bitch Magazine in her article, “The Rachael papers” when she describes how she eviscerates her guests’ arguments by stating,
"Maddow’s affable goofy- geek persona, here ability to skewer other pundits’ arguments without coming off like an asshole, and her genius flair for translating policy arguments into interesting, digestable bites charmed the pants off a lefty populace that had been lusting for a cable – news rock star all its own since...well,since the invention of cable news."
She makes intelligent commentary but in simplistic manner, and does not try to force the information down into one’s throat. This would be the better approach to gender and race in the media. One has to allow the person to decide on there own, let them be the judge. There is no need to just force feed information of the atrocities of gender and race. It can be done in a peaceful and cooperative manner, but it simply depends on the person. I say the person, because everyone has a different attitude, different personality, and different upbringing. This is where I would say alternative media is implemented. It is implemented by using websites that pertain to not only women or race; but to allow people to find better alternatives to resolving this problem and making people aware of these problems.
So here is all of them I have this one in my delicious but what the hell I’ll put it in the blog too. The site is called http://www.womenforwomen.org/ it is a really good site. What they do, in short, is help women who are excluded in war torn countries by assisting them in job programs so they can support themselves. They learn also how to fight for their rights, in their community, thus allowing them to take a more pro-active role in society as a whole. The next site is http://www.womenaction.org another site that is good. The mission statement bests explain who they are which is, “To be a global information, communication and media network that enables NGOs to actively engage in the Beijing+5 review process with the long term goal of women's empowerment, with a special focus on women and media.” Another one is, http://www.world-newspapers.com/alternative-news.html which is a source to different websites of independent media and alternative media in general. The last site I want to show is http://www.kiva.org/. This is a non-profit organization that helps people who are in impoverished countries, “create an opportunity”. Check out the site to see how it works. It was created by two women who wanted to make a small difference in the world. This is what we all should try to do, little by little.
Stanley, Alessandra. New York Times. 5 September 2009. 6 September 2009
Widner, Joanne. Bitch Magazine. 2009. Spring 2009