Top Women Media Leaders from Around the Globe to Meet in Washington

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Shining the spotlight on women in the news business, the International Women’s Media Foundation and The George Washington University Global Media Institute are partnering on a groundbreaking conference March 22-25, 2011, bringing together top women media executives from around the world to discuss remaining gender barriers and craft a plan for the future.

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International Conference of Women Media Leaders to Examine
Gender Barriers in News Business March 22-25

Groundbreaking Global Report on Status of Women in the News Media To Be Released at IWMF-GW Conference

Shining the spotlight on women in the news business, the International Women’s Media Foundation and The George Washington University Global Media Institute are partnering on a groundbreaking conference March 22-25, 2011, bringing together top women media executives from around the world to discuss remaining gender barriers and craft a plan for the future.

The first-ever comprehensive global report on the status of women in the news media will be released, analyzing research data from 500 print and broadcast companies in 59 countries. The IWMF commissioned the two-year study – the first detailed research that closely examines the challenges facing women news professionals everywhere.

Top women media executives -- from China (Hu Shuli, Caixin Media editor-in-chief) to Argentina (Ana D’Onofrio, La Nacion editor-in-chief) to South Africa (Ferial Haffajee, editor-in-chief of City Press) -- will examine salaries, opportunities, career advancement and training for women in the news industry. National Public Radio President & CEO Vivian Schiller, NBC Vice President of News Alexandra Wallace and women executives from around the world will craft a plan of action to improve gender representation.

Among the highlights:

  •     ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer will be interviewed by veteran broadcaster Marvin Kalb for The Kalb Report series at the National Press Club on Tuesday, March 22, at 8 p.m. Open to working press.
  •     “The Global Report on Women in the News Media” will be unveiled on Wednesday, March 23, at GW’s Jack Morton Auditorium at 9 a.m. IWMF Board member Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour will officially open the conference, and Katty Kay of BBC World News America will provide an overview of the report with a panel. Open to working press.
  •     Conference delegates on Wednesday, March 23, at 9:30 a.m. will hear from exemplary media companies their regions: Canada’s CBC General Manager and Editor-in-Chief Jennifer McGuire, Uganda’s The New Vision Editor-In-Chief Barbara Kaija, Peru’s Silvia Miró Quesada of Empresa Editora El Commercio S.A and Germany’s Taz, Die Tageszeitung Managing Editor Ines Pohl. Open to working press.
  •     Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer will deliver a keynote luncheon speech to the delegates at 2 p.m. March 23 at GW’s City View Room. IWMF Board member Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post will interview winners of IWMF grants for digital news media projects. He will then introduce Sabrina Crow, senior vice president of Nielsen Business Media, who will talk about Nielsen’s new research on women’s use of new media, at 7:30 p.m. in GW’s City View Room. Open to working press.
  •     On Thursday, March 24, at 9:30 a.m. in the Newseum a special panel moderated by Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour will focus on the relevance of media and the influence of social media on global causes. Featured on the panel will be Bloomberg News Editor- in-Chief Matt Winkler, noted philanthropist Howard G. Buffett and Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen. Open to working press.
  •     Tom Rosenstiel, director the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, and Frank Sesno, director of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs, will moderate a panel of media experts at GW’s Marvin Center on March 24 at 1 p.m. to discuss the findings of PEJ’s “State of the News Media 2011” report examining the state of the media in the United States and global implications at the GW’s Marvin Center on March 24 at 1 p.m. Open to working press.

“These women media leaders have the power to change the environment in newsrooms when they return to their countries,” IWMF’s Executive Director Liza Gross said. “By bringing them together and drafting a platform for action plan, this conference could provide a roadmap for change. Our global report will shine the light on countries where women don’t have an equal voice in the newsroom.”

"From content and news literacy to delivery methods and business models, the role of women in meeting the challenges of media has never been more important," said Michael Freedman, GW professor of media and public affairs and executive director of the university's Global Media Institute. "A successful transformation of journalism and media in the 21st Century requires leadership that understands and appreciates the role of a free press in a democracy and the courage necessary to report truth, particularly in repressed societies. The International Women's Media Foundation is leading the effort to level the playing field globally so our best minds can guide our newsrooms and boardrooms well into the future. We look forward to a substantive, insightful conference." There is limited working press space at several events. Media interested in covering public events should register here.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

IWMF’s Jane Podesta – (202) 567-2602, jpodesta(at)iwmf(dot)org

GW’s Jill Sankey – (202) 994-6466, jpsankey(at)gwu(dot)edu

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