Street Knowledge

Women in the Media- March 3, 1996

transcribed by Narshot Kuwra This particular show dealt with the images women have dealt with and are currently dealing with in the media...We assembled a diverse panel of women from various aspects of media to see how their particular job encourages change.
The guests were as follows:

Lori Read (executive producer, KPIX)
She said that if you're already in the industry, it's very important to be there for other women and other black people in particular, because it's very difficult for them to get in. Read said that there's not women come in all sizes, shapes, colors and backgrounds, and that's not being portrayed. Read said that if men feel intimidated by women, they have some issue within them that they need to take a look at. She said that women bosses sometimes have to be that B word and assert authority to be heard. Read said that it's very important for young people to believe in themselves, and that she's interested in helping young people break into the business. (415) 765-8883

Mary Hart (Entertainment Tonight)
This was a prerecordeed live interview in which Ms Hart spoke on the importance of sublties.. She explained that little things like billing the show as John Tesh and Mary Hart..rflect the power males have in this industry.. She encouraged people to remain committed and to try and look good when in front of the camera. She explained that viewers are usually checking to see how good you look.. She added that when she looks good she feels good. Ms Hart also explained that after being in the business for more then 20 years that things were improving.

Sydney Kohara (KGO TV - Marketplace)
She said that when you're in a community, people don't care what you are. Kohara said that if you really want to get in, you have to start at the bottom with everybody else; just like a sports team or actor/actress, they're looking for a style,a and they're going to find what they really want. She said that women have to keep forging ahead and see what they can change, lead by example, and go about it in a strong silent way.

Lea Rubio (assignment editor, KNTV News)
She said that she doesn't see any big change happening in her lifetime. Rubio said that when she has to make decisions about what story they're going to do, she tries to look at it from her perspective and see if it's going to skew the way women are portrayed by the media. She said that she gets a split response from men; sometimes she thinks they feel,"Well, you only got that position because they gave it to you."

Michelle Santousso (program director, KMEL)
She said that women have a long way to go in terms of running radio stations. Santousso said that you have to handle yourself with respect and dignity to be treated that way. She said that you can't compromise yourself in terms of the message you're sending; if there's records that are blatantly sexist, KMEL tries not to play them.

Pam Moore (KRON TV)
She said that she tries to work with women to get them to move into management, because decisions about what story is important can then be made by them. Moore said that diversity is important to a newsroom because people bring their own baggage, and if they didn't, the news wouldn't be fairly covered. Moore said that mentoring is very important because young people need to see that those who have already made it can be counted on.

Thembisa MShaka (Rap editor, Gavin)
She said that women can have their own businesses, start their own company; there are other things to do that can be lucrative besides working for somebody. MShaka said that each success for women begets another.

Lauryn Hill (actress, rapper from The Fugees)
She said that being around men who had a positive outlook, she was able to be herself as opposed to some image a man thought that she should be. Hill said that she feels black women in particular have a natural sensuality about them; she doesn't feel she has to sell her music short by taking off her clothes. She said that women are starting to take desperate measures to get men because there's a lack of men in the community.

Mystic (rapper)
she said that she's always presented herself in a way that was positive because she wanted people to hear what she was saying; when the skills are in place that also creates a sensuality.

Yvette Lee Bowser (creator of "Living Single")
She said that the women on the show are positive because they're coming from a positive place. Lee-Browser said that people have considered other sitcoms like this one but it hasn't happened - images of black women have been limited.

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