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Jehmu Greene New President of Women’s Media Center

Women’s Media Center Announces
Selection of New President Jehmu Greene
Former Rock the Vote Head is an Alumna of the WMC’s Prestigious Progressive Women’s Voices Leadership Program

jehmu_greene

October 28, 2009 (New York, New York) — The Women’s Media Center (WMC), a leading media advocacy and training organization announces today that its board has unanimously chosen a new president: Jehmu Greene. Founded in 2005 by Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Robin Morgan, The Women’s Media Center works to make women more visible and powerful in the media, and is a nationally prominent voice fighting sexism and bias.

“We are thrilled to have someone as accomplished, talented and visionary as Jehmu Greene as our next president,” said WMC Board Chair Helen Zia, “with her proven commitment to progressive social change and feminist principles. We are very proud that she will be building on the strong foundation established by Carol Jenkins, our founding president, to lead The Women’s Media Center to the next level.”

Throughout her career, Jehmu Greene has skillfully worked with the media to build powerful social justice movements. A frequent commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and elsewhere, Greene helmed Rock the Vote, the largest youth voter registration group. Under her leadership, its membership grew from 1500 to over 1 million. Earlier this year, Greene participated in the WMC’s nationally recognized leadership and media training program, Progressive Women’s Voices, which has trained over 60 progressive thought leaders who have achieved over 4000 media hits in the two years that the program has existed.

“The Women’s Media Center is breaking down barriers and leading the way to make sure that women’s voices are powerfully represented in the ever-changing media landscape,” said Greene. “Participating in the Progressive Women’s Voices program enabled me to amplify my advocacy efforts. I am thrilled to join an incredible group of feminists working to harness the power of the media to create positive social change from the boardroom to the broadcast booth.”

A native of Austin, Greene got her start working in the fertile ground of Texas politics including an early stint with Governor Ann Richards’ campaign in 1994. Greene later played key roles at both the Center for Policy Alternatives and the Democratic National Committee, where she ran the women’s office. An advisor and national surrogate for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, Greene has worked on over 20 political campaigns at the local, state and national level. The recipient of many awards from organizations including Essence Magazine, the National Conference for Community and Justice, the National Council of Research on Women, the American Association of University Women and others, Greene has served on numerous boards of directors for various media, politics and social justice organizations.

Greene follows The Women’s Media Center founding president Carol Jenkins, who has led the WMC for the past four years. An Emmy award-winning former journalist and documentary producer, Carol Jenkins is a writer, media analyst and media consultant. Jenkins will continue with the WMC in the role of senior advisor and founding president emerita.

“The WMC is extraordinarily fortunate to have this gifted young woman as our next leader,” said Carol Jenkins. “I am a long-time admirer of Jehmu’s incredible work-so I can watch with pride, pleasure and confidence as the organization grows exponentially. The fact that she’s one of our own makes it perfect.”

Ms. Jenkins leaves the WMC to focus on the health of women and girls in the U.S. and developing countries and will continue to advocate for an inclusive media. She serves on the U.S. board of The African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), the largest health organization on the African continent. Jenkins is also the co-author, with her daughter, Elizabeth Hines, of Black Titan: AG Gaston and the Making of an African American Millionaire, a biography of her uncle and winner of Best Non-Fiction Book from the American Library Association’s Black Caucus.

A celebration to honor Carol Jenkins’ work and welcome Jehmu Greene to The Women’s Media Center will be held in New York’s Phillips Club on November 2. Jehmu Greene will become president of The Women’s Media Center on November 16. For more information about the celebration, to buy tickets, or to interview Jehmu Greene or Carol Jenkins, please contact Tristin Aaron or Rebekah Spicuglia, (office) 212-563-0680; (Tristin cell) 718-938-4078; (Rebekah cell) 415-290-2970; tristin@womensmediacenter.com; rebekah@womensmediacenter.com.

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Knowledge is Power

In Nashville my access to progressive, liberal and alternative news is only the Internet & reading. AM WLAC and FM 99.7 (Both talk formats) are conservative. A few progressives get air time on low power fm or college radio. My favorite…AIR AMERICA I download from the internet the next day. I’m a day late but at least I get it. Since I’m on a farm in the country my Internet choices are slim too. Most of our neighbors here are still on dial up so downloading podcasts is not an option. I guess they could buy XM radio but I’m sure many of them have no idea what that is.

I have to work to get my information. Many people in my situation are completely in the dark…AND THEY WILL BE VOTING. Their decisions will be based on “facts” they have learned from right wing media outlets. It is up to all of us to engage them in conversations and talk about the issues. Family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. My mother used to say: “don’t talk about politics or religion.” If we follow that rule and stay silent about what we know is true in America today we will lose in the political arena and the religious right (and multi-national corporations) will gain an even firmer foot hold in our government.

I harp on the problems with our media a lot and here’s why…I don’t think we’re going to have a democracy much longer if we don’t fix it. I don’t think, as GLBT people, our chances are very good in a fascist dictatorial system. As gay people, we’re worried about issues like marriage…that might seem trivial to us if we’re worried about just being able to survive. In Iran for example gay people are executed. In Nazi germany gay people wore the pink triangle in the death camps along with the Jews. We have a pretty big interest I’d say in keeping the promise of America alive.

The foundation of a free society is information…a free press. In 2006 we ranked 53rd in the world

according to the government’s own website
In a democracy the press should operate free from governmental control. Democratic governments do not have ministries of information to regulate content of newspapers or the activities of journalists; requirements that journalists be vetted by the state; or force journalists to join government-controlled unions.”

George A. Krimsky/The Role of the Media in A Democracy said:
“A self-governing society, by definition, needs to make its own decisions. It cannot do that without hard information, leavened with an open exchange of views. Abraham Lincoln articulated this concept most succinctly when he said: “Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe.”

When you hear right wingers talking about the “liberal media” I hope you read the following report. (keep in mind this is an election year) It shows you what we’re up against…the reality of the talk radio market these days. Also, when it comes to a free press I just read a few other related items:

The Air Force is blocking internet access to service people (any site that has the word “blog” in it…I guess they won’t be reading mine…) If it ain’t corporate owned mainstream media they ain’t gettin’ it. Gotta make sure the gatekeepers only give ’em what they want them to hear. Of course Rush is on armed forces radio…

In this country… 60 minutes finally picked up on the story last week about the former Governor from Alabama in Prison but when they aired the segment Sunday the Mississippi station that reaches northern alabama suddenly had “technical difficulties” and went dark ONLY during that segment.

If you want to learn more about what’s up with the U.S. media go to www.mediamatters.org
If you want to know what you can do about it go to www.freepress.org They could use whatever time or money you can offer. I did a podcast from their convention last year. There was a handful of gay people there. One afternoon session discussed GLBT people and how we’re portrayed in the media. We should have a whole contingent there this year along with representatives from GLADD and HRC. Every election year we are used as the “hot button issue” to get the religious right out to the polls. It’s time we rolled up our sleeves and flicked our boas and found our place at the table too.

here’s the report on talk radio…
As this report will document in detail, conservative talk radio undeniably dominates the format:
Our analysis in the spring of 2007 of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners reveals that 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive.
Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk—10 times as much conservative
talk as progressive talk.
A separate analysis of all of the news/talk stations in the top 10 radio markets reveals that 76 percent of the programming in these markets is conservative and 24 percent is progressive, although programming is more balanced in markets such as New York and Chicago.
This dynamic is repeated over and over again no matter how the data is analyzed, whether one looks at the number of stations, number of hours, power of stations, or the number of programs. While progressive talk is making inroads on commercial stations,
conservative talk continues to be pushed out over the airwaves in greater multiples of hours than progressive talk is broadcast.
link to full report

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