Blog RSS

Tracy Van Slyke: A Woman Making History

March 11, 2010

30 Women Making History
In recognition of the 30th anniversary of Women’s History Month, Women’s Media Center is profiling 30 extraordinary women making history.  Our goal is to raise $10,000 to support WMC Exclusives — every dollar raised will go directly toward hiring women writers to comment on major news stories and report topics often neglected by the mainstream media. Will you contribute $30?
Click here to donate: or text WOMEN to 50555 to make a $10 donation. Tracy Van Slyke: A Woman Making History by Tristin Aaron Today I want to acknowledge a woman on the cutting edge of journalism. She amplifies the voices of strong, progressive women each and every day. Tracy Van Slyke is all things progressive media. She started her illustrious career as a fellow at Knight Ridder's DC bureau, covering (among other things) national politics and the 2000 election. After working as a journalist and later as publisher of award-winning In These Times magazine, Tracy honed her sense of the crucial role media plays in political outcomes. As Project Manager for the Media Consortium, she brings together many of the nation's top progressive outlets - including The Nation, Mother Jones, Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, Democracy Now, Alternet and many others, including the Women’s Media Center. Her work fosters community among and innovation for progressive media. Tracy is an alumna of the WMC's Progressive Women's Voices program, so I have had the pleasure of training her as well as seeing her in action at the Media Consortium’s conferences. When I first saw her speak in February 2009 at the Media Consortium’s DC convention, I was struck by her exuberance, authenticity and total command of media. Tracy is one of those people doing the perfect job for her interests and considerable talents. You can really feel her passion and intellect when she talks about her important work, and you know we are all better off because she is doing it. Training her in Progressive Women's Voices was tough because prepping to debate Tracy on her issues is a formidable undertaking! Tracy is quintessentially "forward-thinking." Her first, newly-released book Beyond the Echo Chamber: How a Networked Progressive Media Can Reshape American Politics is already making waves throughout the political community and beyond. Co-written with Jessica Clark, the book examines how a new breed of media has harnessed a participatory online environment to engage millions, influencing political campaigns, public debates, and policymaking. In the words of Laura Flanders, host of GRITtv and noted progressive author, "From 'he-media' to 'we-media,' Van Slyke and Clark document the shift from a media universe dominated by a few grim men to one in which progressive media can experiment, collaborate, report and have real impact." Tracy’s work takes our vital national conversation about the future of all media to the next level by showing us the impact that progressive media has had, and the unique strategies it has employed. This is what I love about Tracy. She is always one step ahead. And that is why she's made our list: because we have no doubt history will deem Tracy an innovator and a pioneer, dedicated to understanding complex media issues and how they impact all of us trying to make the world a more just place.