Look who's talking?  Men.  And editorializing, opining, pontificating, informing, pitching, swaying and influencing.  To a ratio of 80/20 according to the research .  That's right 80% of editorial opinion in the Canadian media comes from men.  This, despite the fact women make up  52% of the population; 60% of university graduates, and are represented in every vocation and profession in the country.

That's why Shari Graydon and colleagues at Media Action (formerly MediaWatch) have created Informed Opinions. To change this imbalance.

Informed Opinion's premise is straightforward. Expert commentary influences the public policy agenda.  The absence of women’s voices undermines democracy and denies Canada access to the analysis and ideas of many of its best and brightest.

Their assumption: Women have something to say and clearly female expertise isn't the issue. They boast as Informed Opinions declares, an, " in-depth knowledge, an ability to connect on both intellectual and emotional levels, and a bias for solutions."  What women may lack is familiarity with the means of submitting ideas to print, broadcast and electronic media, or practice in framing their analyses into accessible, short-form commentary. 

Informed Opinions offer: mentoring advice from professional journalists; practical advice for university faculty on making their expertise accessible to the broader community; and tailored training and workshops in expressing your informed opinions. Here are some of the topics: Pitching your Piece; Media Literacy for Adults; Better Writing; Effective Commentary Strategies.

Shari Graydon  knows what she's talking about.  She is an award-winning author, journalist and communications consultant, former newspaper columnist, TV and radio commentator.  She also served as press secretary to former BC Premier Ujjal Dosanjh and as president of MediaWatch.  Shari is no stranger to controversy having endured, for her own informed opinions: "name calling usually reserved for terrorists and puppy mill operators. "  In 2007 Shari received the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

Shari speaks tomorrow evening at 7:00 at SFU in Vancouver on The Top 7 Reasons Smart Women Should Speak Up.   For readers who live elsewhere, have a look at her website and subscribe to her blog posts.

Tuesday March 8th is International Women's Day.  Listen up guys.

Coming Soon: Shari's new book, the edited collection: I Feel Great About My Hands… And Other Unexpected Joys of Aging

Related Posts:

Women Must Speak Up and Make Canada BetterI was cutting across the parking lot of St. Patrick's Basilica in Montreal on my way to the old port the day Pope John Paul II died in 2005. A TV reporter stopped me to ask if I would comment. Of course, I declined. Fortunately for the news crew, the love of my life was happy to oblige…  Read more

Links to All Shari's Publications including these Two Books.

Made You Look: How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know – a No Logo for kids. Winner,  Canadian Children's Literature Information book of the Year.

In Your Face:The Culture of Beauty and You -  Winner Norma Fleck Award library award for young adults.

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