‘Bitch Media’ editor talks feminism, social media, new ideas in journalism

Rosa Johnson, Managing Editor

Sarah Mirk is living proof that feminism and journalism aren’t dying fields.

Online editor for Bitch Media, Sarah Mirk, shared her lecture “Five bright ideas in feminist media” with mass communication students on Feb. 25.

Bitch media is a feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture. Founders of Bitch Magazine didn’t want to give up on pop culture, so instead they voice their opinions on it.

“Bitch tries to cover stories in ways that haven’t ever been covered before,” Mirk said.

Bitch Media has been around for 18 years and is based out of Portland. They publish their print magazine quarterly, publish bi-monthly podcasts and also post articles online.

“Good activists get a visual,” Mirk said.

Almost all of the media in our country are funded by one of six companies, but Bitch Media is an independent and a nonprofit organization that gets donations from their readers and sponsors. Bitch’s average donation is eight dollars.

Mirk emphasized how social media websites like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr help reach a whole new audience.

With online editing you are able to publish multiple headlines to attract more readers.

While online content  is published with more current and updated articles, print uses stories that interesting for a long periods of time without being outdated.

“Social media is media,” Mirk said. “Tweeters help shape mainstream media in a powerful way.”

Mirk revolutionized the classic definition of journalism by separating print from social media.

“When writing articles, you have to decide if someone will want to read it weeks to months from when it was published,” Mirk said. “Print is not dead, it diversifies.”

Mirk discussed the sexualization of females in the media.

“Female comic book characters are often portrayed flat and oversexualized,” Mirk said.

Expanding on the double standards women face, Mirk showed an example of comic book characters through the Hawkeye Initiative. Artists draw the superhero Hawkeye in the same sexual positions as women characters to reveal the double standard.

“Don’t hate the media, make the media,” Mirk said.

Students and professors gathered and tweeted along with #MirkTalk. Mirk will be releasing her novel, “Sex from Scratch” next August.


You can follow Mirk on Twitter under @SarahMirk.