If you've ever complained that serious media outlets don't take women and women's issues seriously, then you should be reading Women's eNews (if you aren't already.)
An independent nonprofit daily internet news service, Women's eNews celebrates its 10th birthday this Sunday -- and what a good ten years it's been. The website and its founder Rita Henley Jensen have won over 30 awards in its first decade -- awards that honor nearly everything from its reporters and articles to the site's resident editorial cartoonist, Pulitzer Prize winner Ann Telnaes.
But Women's eNews doesn't simply report the stories that impact women's lives. It also promotes women's voices and perspectives to the commercial media which often overlooks -- or ignores -- females who have knowledge, authority, and expertise in subjects making headlines.
Considering that 90% of internet start-ups fail in the first year, Women's eNews has not only survived, it has thrived. It has expanded the scope of its coverage, launched an Arabic language version of the site, and utilized freelance writers around the world to write about politics, religion, economics, labor, health, science, education, culture, media, sports, legislation -- anything that impacts women's lives.
Women's eNews has carved out a niche in a rapidly changing media environment despite the fact that many traditional outlets-- particularly daily newspapers -- struggle to stay alive or have already gone under. Yet Women's eNews is well-supported by readers, private donors, commercial publications that republish its content, and more than a dozen foundations and funders that recognize the critical need for substantive, in-depth women's issues reportage.
I founded Women's eNews in 1999 out of a deep frustration with my profession. I am a prize-winning investigative reporter and I watched with shame at how the debate over welfare was covered by major news media. The news focused on race...and portrayed recipients as pathological in some way -- drug users, mentally ill and so forth.
As a former welfare mother, I knew that welfare actually acts as a child support system -- assisting single mothers...[in raising] children abandoned by their fathers. However, once you begin to report honestly about women and welfare, you have to also cover sex education, wages, barriers to employment, violence, access reproductive health, access to higher education, sports and on and on.
True to its mission, Women's eNews' daylong 10th birthday celebration this Sunday in New York City incorporates elements of education, empowerment, and activism. There'll be a talk on the Hyde Amendment which bans federal funds from being spent on abortion; a preview of a PBS mini-series on women's role in war and peace-building; and a women's history walk through lower Manhattan led by Jensen herself.
For those who'd like to support Women's eNews but can't attend, Jensen has a simple, modest request -- a $10 gift (just $1 for every year they've been delivering the news) to ensure "journalism that raises the voices of women worldwide...[for] the next 10 years" -- a small price to pay for the global resources and in-depth coverage of women's issues that Women's eNews provides each day.
Finding Women's News Stories and Articles - Women's eNews
Women's eNews is a prize-winning nonprofit daily Internet-based news service supported by its readers, events, foundations and resale of its content. It is the definitive source of substantive news--unavailable anywhere else--covering issues of particular concern to women and their allies. Launched in 2000, the independent media outlet provides women, and those who care about women, the news they need to know. Rita Henley Jensen is founder and editor in chief.