by Katharine Daniels
Founder and Executive Editor
Today is not only a celebration of International Women’s Day, but for us it is also a celebration of a great year of discovery, insight, growth, and development.
The WIP is official today. Our first day online.
International Women's Day was developed in response to the centuries-old struggle women faced to participate in society on equal footing with men. Similarly, The WIP was created to balance the under-representation of women in media and is a platform for women writers to expand their base and reach the general public. The WIP is a place for women writers to tackle the same broad political and social issues as our male counterparts. Our mission is to provide quality news from the unique perspectives of women, accessible worldwide and free to our readers.
As partners in universal struggles such as combating terrorism, ending wars, fighting global warming, and developing cures for illness and disease, we must improve our channels of communication. Mainstream media in the United States does very little to promote the acceptance and understanding necessary for us to succeed in this challenge.
A year and a half ago, The WIP was just an idea. A grainy concept a girlfriend and I discussed over black decaf at Peet’s Coffee. We had an idea to develop a news website where women were the experts, the public intellectuals, the writers. We were sickened that the same under-representation of women’s voices had even manifested in the latest media, the blogosphere. This dream soon grew into a plan that included better international news stories from local writers who would have lived through the events. And in our further development, we discovered a perspective that was forward thinking, careful, contextual, hopeful, and solution-oriented. We discovered a perspective that we felt was absent in mainstream media. We found the feminine perspective.
The incomplete news coverage in the run-up to the Iraq war was also particularly inspiring in the development of The WIP. It is hard to forget the bias and propaganda about weapons of mass destruction and the speculation that became fact about the threat of Saddam Hussein. If all reporters had done their jobs and had asked the tough questions that needed to be asked during this crucial period before the Iraq war—we can only imagine.
Today I am inspired by the challenges The WIP editors and staff face on our first day of publication. We are women and men from such different backgrounds who have worked tirelessly for over a year to develop this news service. The WIP was created to unite, not exacerbate our differences.
We do not come to you with an editorial policy that favors one political belief over another. We do not come to you with a religious affiliation. We do not come to you as members of one cultural group. We come to you only with an invitation, no matter your identity, to participate, because the more voices, the more identities that we publish, the more value The WIP will have.
At The WIP we honor the underrepresented voices. We honor women, we honor the indigenous, we honor the poor, we honor stories that don’t get press and we honor the freedom that is the gift that comes with the open exchange of analysis, investigation and ideas. At The WIP we value education. We value freedom of expression, words and stories and the excitement of learning about other people different from whom we see on a daily basis, people who through their words we often discover are quite similar to us. The internet brings us all closer and makes neighbors out of strangers in other countries, a closeness we could not have imagined possible twenty years ago.
I am the founder and executive editor of The WIP. I am a teacher, wildly passionate about politics, a world traveler, a pacifist. I love people, animals, relationships, learning. I am fascinated by the internet and by its potential. I am fascinated by humanity and our potential. I’ve always known we can do better.
I am a twin and a dreamer and a lover of nature. I want what has been so freely given to me growing up in California, to last for my grandchildren and beyond. I value news because it is a source of education. I value reading because when I am reading I am learning. Sometimes about myself, sometimes about other people. But as long as I am learning, I continue to grow. When I am growing, I know I am living. When I am living, my life is worthwhile.
I love working on The WIP. I love our crazy mix of editors and developers and interns and assistants. I love the writers we meet from around the world. Their beautiful, courageous words and open hearts.
They inspire me to do more, to keep writing, to do better.