About #50Shows

What is the #50Shows movement and why is it important?

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  • #50Shows is an effective way to empower women of all ages who can take advantage of an opportunity to build their skills and use digital media to amplify their message and educate listeners around the world through their collective voices.
  • With statistics from the Women’s Media Center clearly showing that women’s representation in media needs drastic improvement, the timing for #50Shows makes it an important part of a movement to advance women in media. The report commissioned by the Women’s Media Center on “The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2014,” noted how women journalists fared during the last quarter of 2013. It found that “64 percent of bylines and on-camera appearances, went to men at the nation’s top 20 TV networks, newspapers, online news sites and news wire services,” outnumbering women by almost two to one.
  • Other important initiatives focusing on empowering women are surfacing with the involvement of organizations through the Dove Real Beauty Campaign, Pantene’s #ShineStrong, and the Always #LikeAGirl viral video. The video “How the Media Failed Women in 2013” from The Representation Project offers many more strong examples of how women are negatively portrayed and why the empowerment movement is so important.
  • The key players behind #50Shows, who are intimate with the effort on a daily basis, are: Jim Nico, CEO & Founder; Jane Karwoski, PhD, Chief Science Officer & Host; and Terry Monoson-Nico, Program Director.

How did the #50Shows Empowering Women initiative come to life?

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  • Jim Nico, CEO and founder of The Social Network Station and co-host of The Social Network Show, along with his partner and host, Jane Karwoski, PhD, were recording their Internet radio program from the professional studios of the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at UNLV. They began with a focus on helping small to medium businesses use social marketing and by highlighting “cool” things happening on social networks.
  • A turning point in The Social Network Show’s development occurred with the report of a Canadian teen that took her own life following months of online exploitation and blackmail by an adult, combined with peer bullying. Greatly distressed by the news, Jim contacted Carol Todd, mother of Amanda Todd, for an interview and the topic of cyberbullying and abuse became a major emphasis in programming.
  • Because the majority of persons bullied and abused online are female, the new emphasis naturally led to a stronger focus on women and girls. According to DoSomething.org, girls are twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying.
  • With their own ever-increasing awareness of the importance of media image to women’s empowerment, Jim and Jane realized their access to a gorgeous, multi-million dollar recording studio was the means to facilitate media presence and influence for women. Jim’s ability to produce additional radio programs and the facility’s capacity set the parameters for #50shows by and for women and girls.
  • Dovetailing with the ability to provide a framework to spread messages empowering women, a clear vision for #50Shows emerged, especially as radio provides an important platform to promote healthier attitudes. The #50Shows initiative would offer women a stronger voice and a media platform to amplify positive, empowering messages.