BOSTON — One of Twitter’s biggest problems beyond user growth was put into the spotlight Friday. In front of a room of hundreds of black engineers, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said his company knows there is a diversity problem and that they are committed to overcoming it. “We’re not going to be creative, relevant [without diversity].… [Read more…]
Imprenta Communications Group and its CEO, Ronald W. Wong, received several awards at the annual PR News – Diversity in PR Awards. The awards honor leaders and organizations who took chances, made incredible strides and understand the power of diversity in communications.
Wong was honored as an “Individual of the Year,” while his company was recognized for its “Wage Theft” campaign. The historic, first-of-its-kind media and public education campaign educated vulnerable – primarily Latino – workers on their rights, and helped them determine whether they were a victim of wage theft, and how to file a claim.
Imprenta was also recognized for work in a number of other areas, including social responsibility, branding/rebranding and public service.
“We make a difference for communities of color by providing a voice that speaks to them in a way that recognizes and celebrates their diversity,” Wong said in accepting the awards. “I am particularly proud that our clients such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Southern California Gas Company and others have given us the opportunity to work with them in meaningful and significant ways.
“The bulk of our work is what is called social marketing—marketing a social good like decreased smoking or the Affordable Care Act,” Wong continued. “That’s where community groups as well as local elected officials come into play. When we reach out to a community, we need to know who the pastors and priests are, and what the infrastructure is. Recent immigrants have a challenge in knowing what the country offers. Marketing to them is an extension of my political work. It’s just a different way to help empower these groups.”
A former senior staffer for California governor Gray Davis and a former appointee in the Clinton Administration, Wong’s California-based public affairs, campaign and ethnic marketing firm, Imprenta Communications Group, is leverages his experience in order to help businesses, utilities, elected officials, political candidates, and non-profit organizations reach the growing number of consumers of color in the U.S.
Four top executives received 2016 Next Generation Leaders Awards this week, in recognition for their efforts in media diversity.
Malek Robert Amirshahi, vice president, Public Relations, Time Warner Cable; Urvashi Shivdasani, senior vice president, Finance, Discovery Networks International, Discovery Communications; Detavio Samuels, president, One Solution & Interactive One; and Sean Cohan, president, International and Digital Media, A+E Networks were honored by the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) for their efforts to foster multiethnic diversity and inclusion and for demonstrating exceptional business acumen. The awards presented at the association’s annual awards breakfast held this year in Boston.
Founded in 1980 and 2700 members strong, NAMIC focuses on multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry.
In addition to honoring the four executives, ten emerging executives were also recognized as NAMIC Luminaries. They include: Boris Gartner, senior vice president and chief strategy officer, Fusion Media Network; Fabienne Clermont, vice president, Legal Affairs, Discovery Communications; Meghan Hooper White, vice president, Program Acquisitions, Lifetime Networks; Marisol Martinez, vice president, Marketing Acquisition and CRM, Time Warner Cable; Valerie Meraz, vice president, Content Acquisitions, Turner; Oscar Ramos, general manager, ESPN Deportes Radio and senior director, ESPN Deportes Content, ESPN; Jhamal Robinson, vice president, Production Management, TLC & Discovery Life, Discovery Communications; Talia Robinson, vice president, Human Resources, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network; Theresa Vargas Wyatt, chief of staff, El Rey Network; and Alaka Williams, senior vice president, Network Human Resources, Scripps Networks Interactive.
THE biased coverage of Africa and China by Western media needs to be broken as it is not good for progressive cooperation of the two, an official has said. China Public Diplomacy Association vice president Mr Gong Jianzhong last week told journalists from several African countries that the biased reporting was a huge cause for concern… [Read more…]
Two TV networks this month reportedly rejected a commercial featuring larger women for violating “decency” standards
They’re serving body – big, bodacious, black girl body in its full, round thickness. The four women stand tall and fearless in figures that are rarely seen and celebrated in media, bodies that are large, black and female.
Singers Chrisette Michele and Jazmine Sullivan along with Orange Is the New Black actress Danielle Brooks and plus-size fashion blogger Gabi Fresh all parade their full bodies, curvy hips and thick thighs with pride on the cover of the March issue of Ebony magazine.
Wearing bustiers, military-themed accessories and a whole lot of confidence, the image of the women is revolutionary, a portrayal that celebrates black women of size as sexy, sensual and desirable.
The cover isn’t a close-up shot of their pretty faces beat to the Gods or a headshot of this plus-sized crew. This is a historic celebration of the large black woman’s body by a major publication.
The movement for body acceptance in the United States is resulting in prominent images of larger women in media including the Ebony magazine cover and plus-sized model Ashley Graham’s historic appearance on this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover. But the visibility of plus-sized women in popular culture also comes with backlash including the criticism Gabourey Sidibe experienced after appearing in this month’s V magazine’s 100th anniversary issue in lingerie and two major networks’ refusal to air plus-sized retailer Lane Bryant’s new commercial.
Recent high-profile images of larger women in media are a sign of evolving attitudes about size and attractiveness but many of the images promote dominant beauty ideals that include the hourglass shape, sizable breasts, shapely hips and a flat stomach, says Harriet Brown, author of Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight and What We Can Do about It.
“It’s progress in the sense that they don’t have to look like Kate Moss anymore but we’re still talking about the shape that appeals to men and therefore the shape that appeals to advertisers because women might want to emulate that,” said Brown, associate professor at Syracuse University in the magazine department.
These recent magazine covers featuring plus-sized women’s bodies are groundbreaking and they deviate from the typical magazine cover representations of larger women, which is often celebrities’ extreme weight loss, said J. Maria Merrills, a fat activist who also writes films and books about women of size. “Usually it’s a diet ad or a before and after picture.”
The inclusion of plus-sized bodies, especially black women’s plus size bodies, hasn’t been happening enough in mainstream media especially considering the fact that more women in the country are larger, and representations such as Ebony’s “Curvy Confessionals” cover story take an important step toward including larger women’s bodies in media says Tomika Anderson, the freelance writer who wrote Ebony’s cover story and who considers herself plus-sized.
“We have so much happening as a community that challenges our love for ourselves. We’re at war, like the image on the cover, to really love ourselves and to look into the fringes [for] those who have not been brought to the table or been included by the media because we matter too,” Anderson said. “Just as much we are having conversations around hair and darkness of skin and all of these other things that don’t promote feelings of inclusion. This is something to add to the conversation, to be inclusive of bodies that haven’t been included before.”
The body positive movement and mainstream media images of larger women often don’t include black women making Ebony’s cover story even more important, said SheRea DelSol, the plus-sized creator of My Thrifted Closet, a brand dedicated to being fabulous on a budget.
“It’s awesome to see black women this way,” DelSol said. “It’s usually represented by white women. To me it is awesome that we have this type of representation of black women. It’s also a spectrum of blackness, lighter-skinned Chrisette Michele to deeper brown Danielle Brooks.The fact that this is created and produced by a black magazine is a step in the right direction because black people can perpetuate types of ‘isms’ including colorism in our own community.”
The Ebony cover is significant because it represents plus-sized black women as sexy, said Merrills, also an assistant professor of liberal studies at Winston-Salem State University.
“This is very different in that it suggests that large is beautiful,” said Merrills, author of Seeing Faith: When Life Throws You Curves. “This is the first time we’ve seen something like this in a mainstream magazine.”
The Sports Illustrated and Ebony covers have received positive coverage from other mainstream magazines including Cosmopolitan, applauding them for these celebratory images of larger women, but those magazines aren’t showcasing plus-sized bodies the same way, Brown says.
“I cannot imagine Cosmo having a cover like [Ebony’s],” Brown said. “I do think there is enough of the idea (body positivity) in theory being appealing because it has gained enough traction. They give a nod to body positivity without having to actually go there themselves. Just imagine a Cosmo cover like that. It is built around cultural body norms … They can praise it from a distance.”
But these images of plus-sized women aren’t praised by all. The commercial for plus-sized clothing chain Lane Bryant’s new #ThisBody advertising campaign features partially naked zaftig bodies including a woman who is breastfeeding. The commercial which boasts that “this body was meant to be seen” won’t be seen on ABC or NBC. Both networks rejected it saying it didn’t meet their decency standards.
The national networks’ refusal to air the commercial illustrates how deeply rooted beauty ideals are in our culture, Brown says. “No one would turn down a Victoria’s Secret ad and they’re almost naked in those ads.”
But, Brown notes, the strides made in body diversity representation in media in recent years is significant. “It’s better than where we were like 10 years ago but we still have a hell of a long away to go.”
Sherri Williams, who holds a doctorate in mass communications, is a post-doctoral fellow at the Anna Julia Cooper Center on Race, Gender and Politics in the South at Wake Forest University where she also teaches in the Communication Department. Williams was a newspaper reporter for 10 years before she transitioned into academia. You can also find her work at Backbonewomenonline.com.
In honor of Women’s History Month, University of Southern California Professor Miki Turner invited all women staff and faculty members at the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism to talk about women who have inspired them.
Turner enlisted students from one of her journalism classes to use Canon cameras to photograph some of the women. Those images and recordings were later condensed into short video interviews, shared below and also posted to the school’s social media channels.
As one of the most highly respected journalists in the United States and Latin America, Jorge Ramos has co-anchored the prizewinning evening newscast “Noticiero Univision” (Univision News) since 1986. He also hosts “Al Punto” (“To the Point”), Univision Network’s Sunday public affairs program as well as his first-ever English-language program, “America with Jorge Ramos,” on FUSION.… [Read more…]
BOGOTA, Colombia — For more than three decades, VenEconomia kept readers abreast of Venezuela’s tumultuous financial, political and business world. Published in English and Spanish, it was a go-to resource for multinationals and the diplomatic community trying to make sense of the country. This week, the publication became the latest victim of the sector it covered.… [Read more…]