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National ‘NAME IT. CHANGE IT.’ Campaign Launch Addresses Sexism in Media Against Women Candidates St

August 26, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: YANA WALTON, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR WOMEN’S MEDIA CENTER (OFFICE) 212-563-0680 YANA@WOMENSMEDIACENTER.COM

National ‘NAME IT. CHANGE IT.’ Campaign Launch Addresses Sexism in Media Against Women Candidates Starting in 2010 Midterm Elections

New York: Just days after the 90th anniversary of women’s right to vote, women candidates running for office during November’s midterm election have already begun to experience one of the biggest obstacles to their electoral success: The toxic manner in which they are portrayed in the media. This is why the Women’s Campaign Forum Foundation, Women’s Media Center, and Political Parity, are partnering to launch a national campaign to ensure media accountability through a coordinated rapid response network intended to dramatically decrease incidences of misogyny in the media directed at women running for elected office. The Name it. Change it. project aims high: To remove one of the most serious barriers to America’s representative democracy. WMC President and former advisor to Hillary Clinton, Jehmu Greene, says “Not only will we monitor and hold outlets accountable for problematic coverage, we’ll work proactively with media professionals and outlets to provide resources for balanced local and national coverage of the elections, and give them the opportunity to take the equality pledge not to engage in pervasive sexist attacks – because we know that sexism and equality simply don’t mix.” Tuesday’s press conference will offer attending media the first chance to ask questions of speakers and campaign leaders, one-on-one interviews after the conference, as well as an opportunity to sign the Name It. Change It. equality pledge. The event will also livestream at www.nameitchangeit.org, www.wcffoundation.org, www.womensmediacenter.com. 2008 US Congressional Candidate (PA-15), and WCF Foundation and WCF President/CEO Siobhan “Sam” Bennett experienced the detrimental comments and hostile attacks that women candidates experience simply as a function of running. “It’s probably surprising for some to learn that the U.S. currently ranks 86th in the world for the number of women in Congress. And to paint a clearer national picture, 51% of Americans are women, but we hold only 17% of the seats in Congress, and 24% of State Legislature seats. And it’s no coincidence that hostile portrayals and sexist media scrutiny affect voter outcomes. We look forward to releasing groundbreaking research conducted by Lake Research showing just how severely slanted coverage impacts attitudes toward candidates, and thus electoral outcomes.” Parity co-chair Kerry Healey, also has firsthand knowledge of the hostile environment that women candidates and elected officials face, and welcomes the change we will make for women candidates. “This project is a perfect example of Political Parity in action: deeply committed partners, each bringing to the table the respective strengths of their organizations, working together to help all women running for office, irrespective of political parties and value systems.” What: Press Conference for national Name It. Change It. campaign launch When: Tues, Aug. 31st from 11a – 12p Where: The Paley Center for Media (25 West 52nd Street, btw 5th & 6th Avenues) RSVP: rsvp@womensmediacenter.com to ensure a seat and an opportunity for in-person interviews Online: www.nameitchangeit.org Twitter: http://twitter.com/nameitchangeit

The use of the Paley Center for Media's facilities does not constitute endorsement by The Paley Center for any views expressed during this event."

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