Frustrated by New York Times discussing presidential candidates' "trophy wives" rather than those candidates' positions on important policy issues that have particular relevance for women?
Ever wish YOU could moderate political primary debates, so the questions wouldn't be so predictably out of touch with the social justice concerns of your community?
Or even, do you think it would be fun to meet in person all those fab women writers who you've only known online?
If any of these ring true, then get yourself a ticket to Chicago for the upcoming BlogHer conference, where you can meet several WIMN"s Voices bloggers, and where I'll be representing Women In Media & News (and, of course, WIMN's Voices, the group blog we sponsor) in a session called "Earn Our Votes: What Questions Do Women Bloggers Want Candidates to Answer in Election 2008?"
Here's how BlogHer describes the session (scan down):
In a session led by two pollsters -- one conservative, one progressive -- attendees will work to develop a Voter Manifesto based on questions that women from across the political spectrum agree must be a priority in the next presidential election.
The session will open with a pollster presentation on the results of a pre-conference survey of attendees and the pollsters' own expertise on what women voters want in '08. Next, attendees will break into multi-partisan groups to take four critical issues raised by the survey, (such as health care, education, the environment and Iraq). Working together, each group will build a list of the burning questions women who blog really want answered by anyone who wants our votes for president. Attendees will work collaboratively to make a list of 10 questions per topic. And representatives from the presidential campaigns and media will be welcome to weigh in on why certain questions aren't asked or can't be answered, at least by their candidate. Lisa Stone will MC the sessions activities. Confirmed experts include pollster Anna Greenberg, Gina Cooper who puts on YearlyKos, Zoe Chafe from WorldWatch, Anita Sharma, who follows early childhood education and healthcare issues, Mary Katharine Ham from Townhall.com, Kelly Dougherty from Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Jennifer Pozner from Women in Media and News (WIMN).
Women bloggers will use these questions to measure the quality and depth of:
-- solutions recommended by candidates
-- coverage by the media.
The outcome of this session will be a template for candidates, (and the media covering those candidates), to follow if they want to address the issues that women voters care about.
It's not to late to register for BlogHer, but if you want to register, act fast, as available hotel rooms may start to be sparse.
I'd love to see you at my session, or some other time during the conference. And you'll be able to meet lots of great women in media there -- including WIMN's board member, and Chicago Parent blogger, Veronica Arreola, and lots of women from the WAM (women, action and the media) community -- and, likely, various WIMN's Voices bloggers, too. I'll update when I know who's coming.
Can't come to BlogHer but want to add your ideas to the lists of questions you think media should be asking of politicians? Suggestions welcomed in the comments field below.
This post originally appeared at WIMN's Voices: A Group Blog on Women and the Media , a project of Women In Media & News, the national women's media analysis, education and advocacy group. To bring Jennifer L. Pozner to speak to your campus or community group, or to send her blog tips, email info [at] wimnonline [dot] org. To subscribe to WIMN's free media alert list, see the Action Center at http://www.wimnonline.org/action/