The Women’s Media Center honors female journalists

The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court has unleashed a new wave of sexism, ranging from the blatancy of G. Gordon Liddy’s comments to more subtle questions about the judge’s “temperament.”

The Women’s Media Center, founded in 2005 by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem, exists to address such issues of sexism in the media and to find ways to make sure women’s stories are told. Last week, the organization held its first awards ceremony to honor women who are “making a difference in media.”

Besides honoring traditional print and broadcast journalists like Christiane Amanpour (CNN), Helene Cooper (New York Times) and Candy Crowley (CNN), the WMC recognized two women from the online world: Rebecca Traister from and Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend.

If you haven’t been reading Pam’s House Blend lately, you’re missing some of the best commentary around on Obama’s LGBT policies — or lack thereof. Pam gets right to the heart of every issue she takes on and often brings a perspective that you won’t find anywhere else on the Web.

The Media Awards also honored broadcast hosts Bonnie Erbe, whose PBS show To the Contrary has addressed women’s issues for 18 years, and Rachel Maddow, who certainly needs no introduction in these parts.

Abigail Disney and Gini Reticker received an award for their incredible film Pray the Devil Back to Hell, which documents the Liberian women’s peace movement.

In accepting the award, Reticker said, “It was a story that was going to be completely overlooked and disappear. It was women who changed the country.”

In theater, Dolly Parton was recognized for 9-5, The Musical, and Lynn Nottage, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama, received an award for Ruined, her haunting play about rape in the Congo.

Tina Fey was honored for her accomplishment as creator, writer, producer and actor of NBC’s 30 Rock. In the words of editor Sarah Warn, “I don’t quite get that one either, but hey, more Tina Fey is never a bad thing.” Exactly.

Steinem, who presided over the ceremony, used imagery every lesbian can understand to express why our stories must be told. “The media is the current campfire and we need to make sure that we are all represented around the campfire.”

Join me in congratulating these women and thanking them for representing us so well. With individuals like these on the front lines, perhaps the time will come when a ceremony like this will be unnecessary.