[Air-L] Looking for panelist on Online Gender Gap for AEJMC Midwinter Conference, Norman, OK Feb. 28-March 1

Kristin Dagmar Eckert keckert at umd.edu
Tue Nov 26 12:19:20 PST 2013

Hi everyone

A colleague and I are still looking for one more panelist to join our panel for the AEJMC Midwinter Conference, Norman, OK Feb. 28-March 1.

If you are interested please e-mail Stine Eckert at keckert at umd.edu or Candi Carter Olson at ccartero at gmail.com immediately. (Remember the deadline to submit our panel is December 1.)

Panel proposal:

Where the Women Are: Can creating safe spaces and media training programs even the gender gap in online media?

Several studies have shown that men’s voices far outnumber women’s in opinions, editorials, and information production, even online. While the Pew Internet and American Life foundation notes that women do dominate on social media, with 70 percent of female internet users, and 62 percent of men
holding a social media account, the 2012 OpEd Byline report shows that women account for only 33 percent of new media bylines. Digital feminism is revolutionizing the ways that the feminist movement engages new audiences in its messages, but digital feminists aren’t always recognized as valuable,
radical voices in the movement. After the 2013 PBS documentary Women Who Make America aired, digital feminists took the internet to ask, “Where were we?” Jill Filipovic (Feb. 27, 2013) of the Guardian wrote,

While young feminists may not be taking over Fifth Avenue or the offices of Ladies Home Journal, we are taking over the internet….It’s nearly impossible to go on a liberal-minded blog and be more than a click away from a dedicated feminist one. Feminism has so infiltrated the women’s internet that I’m hard-pressed to think of a women’s website—the kind of online properties that have largely replaced traditional women’s print magazines—that doesn’t have both a strong undercurrent of feminism and at least one explicitly feminist writer on staff.

Women struggle to make ground in legacy media, where Carolyn Byerly’s 2011 Global Report on the Status of Women in News Media found that women are outnumbered by men 2:1 across the newsroom and 3:1 in management and governing positions. On the Internet, however, women are finding spaces
and ways to even gender gaps, even as many of the same structures of gender inequality bridge into the online environment.

This panel will examine ways that women are evening the online gender gap by employing activist strategies, education and traditional journalism to spread the feminist message today and create full gender parity in the future cyber-world. In particular, this panel will examine spaces for young women
on the internet and the potential of training programs to eventually even the gender gap. These panelists will question whether new media training can succeed in turning young women into future online media leaders when similar projects have failed for other mediums. For example, journalism
schools are dominated by women, and yet the amount of women in leadership positions in newsrooms has continued to hover around 30 percent. This panel will also question why digital feminists remain unrecognized by the broader women’s movement, a situation the replicates a historical split between professional newswomen’s work and the women’s movement. Finally, it will examine digital feminism’s many successes, such as forcing Facebook to “do better” about allowing hate speech and misogynistic rhetoric to flourish on its site and twitter storms to draw attention to injustice, and some of the places that cyber-feminism still needs to work.

Stine Eckert
Ph.D. Candidate
Philip Merrill College of Journalism
University of Maryland
2100N Knight Hall

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