AIR was born 30 years ago this November. Ten producers sitting at a kitchen table on Murray Street in New York City created this organization to be an advocate for independent producers. Advocacy remains at the core of our mission. Another constant is that the majority of our network — 62%, in fact — identify as women. I’m pleased to announce a new set of benefits toward this end. AIR’s Power of Word will be an on-going and integral new offering to AIR members. Starting Monday, May 7th, we will introduce new partnerships, smart experts, and various online resources for women-identifying producers wanting to seek support and hone their skills.
#MeToo and the collective choice to speak out has the potential to change the world. We, the men and women working here in headquarters in Dorchester, recognize that the 62% of women in our network have an important place in this. We have spent several months reflecting on the new reality surfaced by the #MeToo movement and how AIR can do what we do best — create conditions where our talent, where you can do your best work.
So much has changed in our world of independent talent. Podcasting drives a new economy and encourages new models for journalism and expression. We see indies emerging as savvy business entrepreneurs, and as builders of a new public media.
AIR’s network reflects these changes. Our tent-poles are stretched wide. We’ve grown in numbers, supported you as you’ve adapted your approaches to craft. Media outlets from NPR to leading stations and podcast outfits turn to AIR and to our most gifted makers to support their efforts to experiment and to cultivate a more diverse workforce.
Discovering “the power of word” is a uniquely individual path. I speak from personal experience when I say that this is not a one-off discovery but a lifetime of experimenting and failing, suffering and celebrating, and finding the courage to go one step further into uncertain and sometimes frightening territory. It’s not something one should endure alone, though many do. We are working to bring resources and expertise to support every woman navigating the workplace, cultivating confidence, and learning how to successfully gauge the timing and impact of their words. We will also bring resources and support to those of you who are organizational members seeking to strengthen your work culture and your own skills managing a complex workplace.
Stay tuned as we announce our Power of Word benefits and resources in the weeks and months ahead.
I am grateful, as always, for all that you are and all that you do.
To officially launch Power of Word, AIR’s initiative to advocate for women producers in the time of #MeToo, we’re introducing a new partnership with the Journalism and Women Symposium, a collective working toward the professional and personal growth of women in the field.
Women-identifying AIRsters may sign up for a JAWS membership at the $35 partnering organization rate, a 46% discount from their usual baseline fee of $75 for voting members. This partnership is an entry point to a new national network of professional journalists, giving women AIRsters access to tailored resources and opportunities.