Executive-in-residence announces Healthy Media bill with Geena Davis, legislators
By Janel Shoun on 7/15/2011
|Deborah Taylor Tate|
Lipscomb University’s Executive-in-Residence in the Department of Communication and Journalism Deborah Taylor Tate was on Capitol Hill this week introducing a new bill to promote healthy media messages about girls and women for the benefit of all youth.
As co-chair of Healthy MEdia: Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls, along with Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis, Tate announced the new bill, called the Healthy Media for Youth Act.
The bill proposes creating a competitive grant program to support media literacy programs and youth empowerment groups, to facilitate research on how depictions of women and girls in media affect youth, and to create the National Task Force on Women and Girls in the Media to help promote healthy, balanced and positive messages about girls and women in the media.
Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D- WI) also joined in the announcement of the bill, the first major project of the Healthy MEdia Commission, founded in April by the Girl Scouts of the USA, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and The Creative Coalition.
Davis, who founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, partners with Tate, a former FCC Commissioner known as the “children’s commissioner” due to constant efforts to protect and nourish children in regards to media, are partnering to head up the commission.
“We are proud to join together to transform how we approach gender equality and images of women and girls in the media. What children see affects their attitudes toward male and female roles, as well as impacts the value they place on girls and women in society,” said Tate when the commission was announced.
|Davis (left) and Tate (right) announce the new commission members in early July.|
“Working together, Healthy MEdia: Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girlswill lead the national conversation about how to ensure we are creating a positive media environment for all our children,” she said.
Earlier this month, Tate and Davis made a national announcement of the commission members, made up of media industry leaders, subject matter experts, youth representatives and the creative community. Commission members include:
- Salaam Coleman Smith, president, The Style Network;
- Linda Kinney, vice president for regulatory affairs, Motion Picture Association of America;
- Cindy McConkey, senior vice president, corporate communications, Scripps Network;
- Ann Shoket, editor-in-chief, Seventeen Magazine;
- Jeanine Liburd, executive vice president, communications and public affairs, Black Entertainment Television; and
- Ivelisse Estrada, senior vice president, corporate and community relations, Univision Communications.
The commission held its first meeting this week in Washington D.C. The meeting included a private screening of the highly-acclaimed “Miss Representation,” a documentary addressing the effects of media on girls, directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, also a commission member.
The Healthy Media Commission grew out of the October 2010 Healthy Media for YouthSummit, hosted bythe Girl Scouts, NAB, NCTA and The Creative Coalition. The summit recommended the formation of a commission to spearhead an industry-wide commitment to promote positive images of girls and women in the media.
To accomplish that, the commission plans to host a national discussion on best practices promoting positive and balanced images of girls and women, develop a blueprint to create a positive media environment for kids, produce concrete recommendations to media and policy leaders and champion media leaders who are promoting positive content and balanced images.
Tate has served as an executive-in-residence at Lipscomb’s University’s Department of Communication and Journalism since last fall. She recently hosted a series of community forums on Leadership and Civility in the Digital Age on the Lipscomb campus, in cooperation with Lipscomb’s Institute for Civic Leadership.
Tate is also a senior fellow at both the East West Institute and the Free State Foundation and serves on numerous national boards including Common Sense Media, Centerstone Research Institute, Minority and Media Telecommunications Council and Healthstream Inc. Tate was recognized for her work on child online safety by the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day Laureate and was recently appointed the International Telecommunications Union's Global Special Envoy for child online activities.
|(l to r) Tate, Davis, Baldwin and Hagan watch as Girl Scout Katy McGraff announces the Healthy Media for Youth Act.|