Last night marked the first annual Women’s Media Center Media Awards at the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation in midtown. Catered and cozy, the event took place in a small, packed room brimming with well-established female media types and bright-eyed J-school students, with a mic stand in the corner for awardees like Salon.com‘s Rebecca Traister, as well as hosts Gloria Steinem and WMC President Carol Jenkins. â€¨â€¨
The evening was divided into two parts: the first honored six women in the media industry who have done outstanding work in bringing women’s issues to the forefront of media coverage; the second part cued a wag of the finger at organizations and events that shed a particularly negative light upon women in the past year. “It’s very important that we criticize when [women's coverage] is incomplete, but praise when it’s complete,” Steinem said, explaining the reason for organizing the awards this way.
In her opening remarks, Steinem also associated the media with a modern-day campfire, a place where people gather to tell stories and express themselves. “It is crucial that everyone’s stories be told…the media is our campfire,” she said. “And if we cannot tell our stories or have people listen to our stories, we feel alone.”