Only 26% of people working in leadership roles in prime-time television are women, according to a 2008 study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. Of the jobs the study looked at, including producers, executive producers, creators, writers, editors, directors, and directors of photography, women were least represented among editors, directors, and directors of photography. Those are the jobs most directly involved in the physical creation of television–women might be involved in organizing media production, but they are not doing the actual creation.
Reel Grrls is a fellow Seattle-based nonprofit organization that trains teenage girls in the skills necessary to create media. By teaching girls these skills, Reel Grrls enables them to be leaders in their communities and to become leaders in the media. The organization also focuses on media literacy, so that girls learn not only to create media, but to do so with a critical eye, improving on the media that is currently available. Girls learn the value of representation, creating media projects that show the the diversity they see in the world but don’t find on television.
Many of the videos created by Reel Grrls students are educational in themselves, such as “Disability Advocacy” and “How to Fight Corporate Media.” You can find these on their YouTube channel, and read more about the program on their website. If you know any teenage girls, see if they’re interested in one of Reel Grrls’ programs!
–Post by Anna Zola Miller