Editor’s note: Much like Hollywood and the entertainment and media industries, the culture of sexual harassment at Silicon Valley tech companies is no longer a shameful open secret. Over the last few months, several high-profile men in tech have resigned or been fired over allegations of sexual harassment.
What impact can foundation-funded media have in the contested discourse over reproductive rights around the world? In this guest post, Kristen Mahoney of the WestWind Foundation, based in Charlottesville, Va., explains the strategy behind supporting AMAZE—a project designed to make sex education approachable, engaging and informative for very young adolescents.
The recent violence in Charlottesville, Va., has thrust racist ideas into the national conversation in ways Americans haven’t experienced before. Of course, tensions around race relations in the U.S. have been steadily building over the past few years, with high-profile protests around police shootings and a resurgence in hate groups. Intolerance in the streets has mirrored a spike in divisive rhetoric online, where trolls “drown out the voices of women, ethnic and religious minorities, gays—anyone who might feel vulnerable,” observes Joel Stein in Time. But most disturbingly, these same sentiments can now be heard in the highest corridors of power.
Inauguration day is just around the corner, and many funders and journalists are increasingly concerned about the role media play in a free and democratic society. The field is moving quickly to understand the impact of “fake news,” propaganda, hoaxes and biased coverage—both in how they skew information relating to the issues funders care about, and in how they contribute to undermining journalism and democracy.
Cartoonist Alison Bechdel is the recipient of a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship. She has authored a number of comic-based works revolving around themes of sexuality and gender, the best-known of which is Dykes to Watch Out For, which was syndicated from 1983-2008. Read more