Last night, Vanessa, Miriam, Lori, Jos, Chloe and myself had the honor of attending the award ceremony for the Sidney Hillman Foundation prizes for journalism. Thanks to Jessica, who submitted our work, Feministing was put on their radar and presented with the award for Blog Journalism. I think I speak for all of us when I say that being awarded amongst such company with such a prestigious jury was a surreal and gratifying experience for all of us.
The Sydney Hillman Foundation honors journalism that prioritizes the public interest. Sidney Hillman himself was the founding president of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union of America that later became Workers United and held a lifelong commitment to issues of workers rights and lives. The foundation seeks to honor work that furthers the rights of those most disenfranchised.
Last night reminded me again of the importance of cutting edge, social justice focused, investigative journalism. Those that control the media, control our options, our choices and often our destiny. While newspapers downsize and funding for investigative journalism all but disappears, those who are sacrificing their lives and careers to cover the stories that matter the most and impact people’s lives, should be honored. Please check out the other winners: Isabel Wilkerson, Brad Heath and Kevin McCoy, Tim Noah, Mona Reeder and Najibullah Quraishi and Jamie Doran. It is an impressive bunch and truly humbling company.
When Feministing started we knew that we had hit a nerve because of the response we got both negative and positive. It was clear that young women were not just tapped into feminism and social justice, but they were mad about the way the media was talking about them, about what they saw on TV and about what was happening with regards to women’s rights in Congress. All of us were ready for something new, some new tools and for something to change.
I don’t think any of us thought Feministing would have the impact it has had on feminism and on the media. Every day we are so grateful we get to do what we do, even when it is really difficult, when it is super depressing or you just realize that you are doing a lot of work for not a ton of payback.
But we do get our payback and it is not just about prestige (even though that is really nice). It is about the community we have created (hint: you all), a community that nurtures us and pushes us forward with a full fledged recognition that discrimination is alive and thriving and making a lot of noise is one step towards seeing justice in the world.
Thank you again to the Sidney Hillman Foundation for honoring this mission of ours and young women’s voices. And a special thank you to Katrina Vanden Heuvel for her flattering and glowing introduction to us for our award. Last night was a milestone in our own 7 year history and a reminder to keep on doing what we have been doing.