Women's presence on political talk shows is abysmally low. To prevent it from being lower, a group of media activists took action: they turned on their TVs.
The Women's Media Center
and hundreds of its supporters tuned into "This Week
" with host Christiane Amanpour to support women on television yesterday. Amanpour is a highly-regarded TV journalist but her ratings
have been low since she took the helm of the Sunday talk show.
The media group, which boasts
Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem as board members, aims to improve coverage and representation of women in all forms of media, encouraged
supporters to live-tweet the show with the #WMCwatchin tag on Sunday. To drum up support, they cited studies
that have found that only 13.5% of guests on Sunday shows are female, an imbalance that even Politico
has picked up on.
So how did the watch-in go? WMC Director of Communications Yanna Walton reported back to Alternet:
While we can’t measure how our numbers affected Nielsen Ratings, we do know we had a really huge impact on raising awareness about “This Week” and women anchors in general. In fact, Christiane thanked us for our support via Facebook and Twitter, and it was highlighted on Salon, Jezebel, and Joe Trippi (who has a million followers) blogged & tweeted about the watch-in.
Walton reported that in terms of numbers, their alert about the show reached over 40,000 people through various media, including 1600 on Facebook. "Our #WMCWatchIn hashtag had over 2 million impressions," on Twitter she said.
In addition, many WMC supporters wrote in to say that they'd never even realized Amanpour had her own show, and planned to keep tuning in beyond this Sunday. Walton said that the WMC would definitely try the "watch-in" format again with other types of shows in the future.