While the press grapples with how to make Internet journalism profitable, there’s a silver lining to the transformation the media scene is currently undergoing. The Internet, and social media in particular, has enabled a more inclusive national dialogue, author and media technologist Deanna Zandt told the audience at the closing plenary of the Women, Action & the Media (WAM!) New York City chapter conference last weekend.  This, she says, means its harder for the power holds of big media conglomerates to squash voices from below.

"What happens when many people—especially women, of many races, classes, sexualities and identities—start deciding what everybody needs to know?” Zandt asks. “You get this shining moment of storytelling pushing through the noise and reaching people who need to be reached.”

Zandt describes some of the social media campaigns she’s been involved with, including a “16 & Loved campaign” which aimed to deliver non-political messages of support to women who publicly spoke about their decision to have abortions. Social media makes campaigns like these possible, she says, which help to stimulate grassroots movements that empower individuals.

WAM! is an independent national nonprofit dedicated to building a movement for gender justice in media.

—Sara Jerving