Blue-Ribbon Group of Media Leaders Concludes a Year of Deliberations With Release of Report and Review of Best Practices

Los Angeles, CA – November 13, 2012 – The Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls, consisting of more than 50 leaders from the media industry, creative community, academia, and youth-serving nonprofits, completed more than a year of deliberations today by releasing a report offering a variety of recommendations and best practices to encourage more healthy and realistic portrayals of women and girls across all media.

The Commission Co-Chairs – Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media; and former Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, International Telecommunications Union Special Envoy and Laureate for Child Online Protection – announced the release of the group’s report during the Third Symposium on Gender in Media of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

Recognizing the need for gender balance and positive portrayals of women and girls in the media, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), along with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and The Creative Coalition hosted the Healthy Media for Youth Summit in the U.S. Capitol in October 2010. At that time, a broad cross-section of stakeholders gathered to chart a course to promote healthy media for the benefit of all young people and recommended that a Healthy Media Commission be formed to develop recommendations supporting a more positive and gender-neutral media environment for women, promoting the healthy development of a girl’s social, emotional and physical well-being.

Strong Leadership

"We are so proud of the work of this Commission and deeply appreciate its guidance on how we can best address the growing issue of how images of girls and women often are portrayed in our mainstream media," said Geena Davis. "The Commission has recognized the importance of including more women throughout the creative process and helping the makers and users of media better understand the impact of media images among girls and women."

"This is really an important issue for our young people today around the world," said Deborah Taylor Tate. "With the growth of media proliferating, and girls being flooded with media and messages, it’s more critical than ever to heighten awareness of the need for more real and healthy images in the portrayal of women."

"It was a desire for positive change that brought us together with our partners on this project," said Anna Maria Chavez, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the USA. "As children’s media use continues to increase, all youth would benefit from seeing healthy and positive messages about girls and women."

Final Report

The objective of the report, according to its Executive Summary, is "to develop recommendations supporting a more positive and gender-neutral media environment for women, promoting the healthy development of a girl’s social, emotional and physical well-being." The report includes a section on "Healthy Elements of Media," designed to encourage more healthy body images, active and diverse female characters, equal and healthy relationships, and roles for women and girls.

In addition, the report offers wide-ranging recommendations to a variety of key groups, helping media leaders, creators, and consumers "learn" more about healthy media, "choose" to promote healthy media images, and "educate" peers and colleagues about the healthy media issue and its ramifications for the health of girls and women.

"Collectively we must lead efforts to raise awareness of, and facilitate greater education outreach around, healthy media, and work towards re-shaping our media landscape, so that it better promotes balanced and positive images of girls, and values their identities and aspirations," the report says.

The report was collaboratively edited and prepared for publication by Common Sense Media, and design work was contributed by Turner Broadcasting System Inc.

The Report and Recommendations of the Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls is available online at www.GirlScouts.org/HealthyMedia.

Sponsors

The Creative Coalition is the premiere nonprofit 501(c)3, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating, mobilizing, and activating its members on issues of public importance, primarily public education, the First Amendment, and arts advocacy. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President.

Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media Founded in 2004, The Geena Davis Institute On Gender In Media and its programming arm See Jane work with entertainment industry leaders and companies to improve media images of girls in all aspects of entertainment targeting children 11 and under. Its goal is to transform how the entertainment industry represents girls in its productions, sensitize the industry on gender portrayals, and reduce stereotyping and objectification of females in children’s media and entertainment.

Girl Scouts of the USA Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer or reconnect with, or donate to Girl Scouts, call 800-GSUSA-4-U or visit www.girlscouts.org.

The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association is the principal trade association for the U.S. cable industry, representing cable operators serving more than 90 percent of the nation's cable television households and more than 200 cable program networks. The cable industry is the nation’s largest broadband provider of high-speed Internet access, serving 45 million customers, after investing more than $185 billion to build two-way interactive networks with fiber optic technology. Cable companies also provide state-of-the-art digital telephone service to 24 million American consumers.

For More Information, Contact:

Julie Halpin, Sunshine Sachs
On behalf of Girl Scouts of the USA

(212) 691-2800
halpin@sunshinesachs.com

Risa Kotek, The Creative Coalition

(212) 512-8578
Rkotek@thecreativecoalition.org

Madeline Di Nonno, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

(310) 305-1958
madeline@seejane.org

Ann Marie Cumming, National Association of Broadcasters

(202) 429-5307
amcumming@nab.org

Joy Sims, National Cable & Telecommunications Association

(301) 529-5296
jsims@ncta.com