The Women’s Media Center today launched a new digital channel publishing original stories and commentary by progressive, feminist Latinx women in both English and Spanish.
WMC IDAR/E takes its inspiration from the legendary and atrevida journalist and activist Jovita Idár. In the early 1900s, Idár denounced the lynching of Mexicans and Mexican Americans by vigilantes and Texas Rangers. She wrote in publications like La Cronica and El Progreso about educational and economic inequities, condemned racism and racial violence, and advocated for the rights of women.
“For decades, traditional historians erased Idár, and these days the silencing and omission of Latinas in media continues,” said Julie Burton, president and CEO of the Women’s Media Center. “Latinas are frequently made absent on Sunday shows, in newsrooms, at cable networks, on op-ed pages, and online. Alarmingly, only 1.76% of all newsroom leaders are Latinas, and Latinas represent only 2.47% of rank and file journalists in print, according to our 2018 report The Status of Women of Color in the U.S. News Media. The new WMC IDAR/E journalism channel will help elevate and amplify diverse Latina voices, stories, and perspectives in media.”
WMC IDAR/E aims to increase the number and visibility of Latinx voices across a range of issues and inform and lead national conversations.
Erica González Martínez, founding editor and former opinion page editor of El Diario/La Prensa, said that the site will publish 52 weeks a year.
“IDAR/E is a new platform for progressive, diverse, feminist Latinx women across generations to write about issues the way we experience and analyze them. From Latinas weighing in on the C-suite to the treatment of blackness among us, or the silent trauma immigration reporters experience, you will find these topics and more at IDAR/E,” said González Martínez. “I am honored that the Women’s Media Center approached me to serve as its founding editor, and I thank the many women who offered their feedback in shaping this channel, especially Michelle García for conceptualizing the name.”
“WMC IDAR/E will take a deep dive into telling a fuller portrait of the U.S. story — offering stories that otherwise would not be known, said WMC co-founder Gloria Steinem. “The glaring absence of Latinas in our history books and present-day media landscape is an injustice and a loss in the lives of every one of us,” she said. “An inclusive society requires that Latinas not only have representation but also are decision-makers in news, film, radio, television, and books, and online — in every aspect of life.”
IDAR/E’s stellar advisory board of Latina journalists includes Michelle Herrera Mulligan, a writer and editor; Michelle García, a journalist and essayist; and Sofia Quintero, author of several novels and short stories.
“I am thrilled to see the launch of WMC IDAR/E under the guidance of the Women’s Media Center and the leadership of Erica González Martínez,” said Rossana Rosado, secretary of state for New York, publisher emeritus of El Diario/La Prensa, and former WMC board member. “It is imperative that we provide the space and platform to offer up our own narratives, our history, and our passions. It is essential for our whole Latinx family, but especially for our mujeres.”
The channel is launching with essays and opinions about the exclusion of Latina moderators from the presidential debates, how journalists of color are battling trauma from covering the cruelty of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and what C-suites must do to respond to demands for racial justice. Upcoming pieces will tackle how Latinas are pushing back on NYPD drone surveillance, challenging colonialism, and redefining movements for change in countries like Chile.
“If ever there was a time for IDAR/E, it is now,” said Monica Lozano, former chair and CEO of the Hispanic news and information company ImpreMedia. “It is only by knowing our history, by telling our stories, by changing the narrative that our democracy is sustained. Latinas have been trailblazing in the worlds of business, education, civil rights, politics, and social justice movements, but for far too long we’ve been invisible to the broader society. We need media that acknowledges and reflects these voices, and the Women’s Media Center is the right platform to amplify these untold stories.”
“I am very honored and grateful that Erica is the lead behind WMC’s IDAR/E,” Steinem said. “She is a daring and accurate journalist and I know she will help us advance our goal of making women and girls visible and powerful in media.”
Bombilla, a branding & design agency for social change founded and led by Ivellisse Morales, came up with the logo and look for this new channel.
Other WMC online and on-air journalism channels include the podcast and radio show, Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan, WMC Features, WMC Women Under Siege, WMC FBomb, and WMC Speech Project.
The Women’s Media Center, co-founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem, is an inclusive feminist organization that works to raise the visibility, viability, and decision-making power of women and girls in media to ensure that their stories get told and their voices are heard. We do this by researching media through the WMC Media Lab; creating and modeling original online and on-air journalism; training women and girls to be effective in media; and promoting women experts in all fields.