Thursday, October 7, 2010

Name It. Change It. Urges Media to Focus on Krystal Ball's Campaign Platform

The Name It. Change It. campaign praises Virginia District 1 Democratic Congressional Candidate Krystal Ball for confronting a violation of her privacy and for calling out outlets who don't respectfully cover candidates based on their political views and platforms. We urge all media reporting on this story to focus on the real issues that Ball's campaign addresses, rather than rely on exploitative and detrimental coverage. We echo the call for all photographs to be pulled down. Further, we commend Ball for her bravery in addressing this issue publicly, paving the way for other women who have been deterred from running due to a hostile media landscape.

Siobhan "Sam" Bennett, President of the Women's Campaign Forum says "Our campaign's mission is to eliminate attacks on women candidates that aren't based on their platforms or capability as leaders, and to create a fair political environment  in which women run for office - based on qualifications, free of sexist attacks."

Julie Burton, Interim President of the Women's Media Center says "The media needs to be accountable for the negative impact unfair coverage has on candidates. We urge all news outlets to reject exploitative portrayals of women candidates and to focus on the real issues at play in this election - jobs, the economy and education."

Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners recently released research on the effects of media sexism on 800 likely voters, which showed that acknowledging and responding to such attacks helped repair damage inflicted on women candidates. Lake explains "Our polling clearly revealed that sexism, even in its mildest form, had a very damaging effect on the political standing of female candidates - and proven negative impact on voters' likelihood to vote for women candidates. However, when the candidate responded, they neutralized a lot of the damage."

The Name It. Change It. campaign will release a post-election analysis of how women candidates were covered and highlight specific reporters, broadcasters, and online media who demeaned women candidates and their campaigns.

A collaborative campaign between WCF Foundation, Women's Media Center, and Political Parity, Name It. Change It. works to end sexist and misogynistic coverage of women candidates by all members of the press--from bloggers to radio hosts to television pundits.

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