Successful Edit-a-Thon Grows the Ranks of Women Journalists Profiled in Wikipedia

NEW YORK, NY, December 04, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Women Do News Edit-a-Thon, a Take The Lead-sponsored event (https://www.taketheleadwomen.com) held November 16th in New York City at Luminary (https://www.luminary-nyc.com), gave a much-needed boost to the Wikipedia presence of notable women journalists. The Edit-a-Thon garnered widespread public attention, trending on Twitter the day of the event.

Take The Lead, with support from the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, The Democracy Fund and Luminary, reunited graduates of its 50 Women Can Change the World in Journalism program (https://www.50womencan.com/50-women-can-change-the-world-in-journalism) so they could tackle a problem pinpointed at their inaugural leadership training: the pressing need to improve the quantity and quality of Wikipedia entries for women journalists. Visibility on Wikipedia, the women decided, is paramount in driving gender parity in journalism leadership by 2025, a key aim of the training. Presently, fewer than 20% of Wikipedia biographies are females.

At the Edit-a-Thon, the women created 35 biographies and identified 59 more to include as their efforts expand. The 50 Women cohort was joined by a dozen other volunteers in person at Luminary and more who participated remotely. Anyone who wishes to participate in the project, which is ongoing, can sign up at bit.ly/womendonews to receive information on how to proceed.

“I am so grateful to the cohort members who uncovered and addressed the striking lack of women journalist entries on Wikipedia,” says Take The Lead Cofounder and President Gloria Feldt. “Women Do News is vitally important because it matters who tells the story and through what lens. It matters who documents what is and decides what it all means.”

Swelling the Ranks of Women Journalists Listed in Wikipedia

Publication of the biographies is in process. Twenty-eight of the biographies are being fact-checked for proper sources to help ensure that the post will be accepted. Since Wikipedia runs on its own editing environment, the text of each entry must be coded with the appropriate “wiki tags” so that everything appears correctly. Seven have already been published.

“Women are underrepresented on Wikipedia and woman journalists are no exception,” says Angilee Shah, independent journalist, entrepreneur and one of the planning committee members of Women Do News. “But this collective’s purpose is not just about Wikipedia. It’s about changing the systematic ways in which women aren’t given their due. It’s about elevating the work of some of the world’s best journalists.”

“Partnering with Women Do News is aligned with Luminary’s mission to advance women through community,” says Surabhi Lal, chief impact officer, Luminary, a New York collaboration hub for women. “The dedication and commitment demonstrated by everyone at the event was truly inspiring; together we channeled our energy to make women more visible in journalism.”

About Take The Lead

Cofounded by Gloria Feldt, Take The Lead’s bold mission is to prepare, develop, inspire, and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership in every sector by 2025. Take The Lead has been featured in many leading media outlets including Bloomberg TV, Ms. Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, SheMedia, and The New York Times. Feldt has been a regular contributor to Forbes, Fast Company, and Time Motto. The signature 50 Women Can Change the World training and coaching program (https://www.50womencan.com/main) provides women in key sectors with the intention and skills to achieve greater leadership roles and embrace their power to lead change in the culture of their professions.


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