Feminist media pedagogy produces ripple effects that are unpredictable and expansive. The practices of research and production create relationships that produce feminist engagements that can span across a lifetime, transforming as the years pass. In this audio podcast, Alexandra Juhasz (re)visits her former student Megan Cunningham, now the CEO and founder of Magnet Media, a production company and interactive marketing services firm based in New York. In 1994 Cunningham served as Juhasz's research assistant and a coproducer for her feature documentary video about the history of feminist media, Women of Vision: 18 Histories in Feminist Film and Video (1998). In this audio session, Cunningham reflects on how the values of her early production experiences translate in her current role as a leader in a male-dominated tech field. Cunningham identifies distribution as a significant game-changer enabling a new generation to bypass gatekeeping and magnify and diversify voices in the media; it seems that isolation is no longer the problem it was for Cunningham as a young woman thinking about entering the field. The two consider the role of mentors, teachers, leadership, and staffing, with Cunningham's commitments to diversity and inclusion a key lesson drawn from her formative work in feminist media history making. They discuss the speed and impact of contemporary feminist media hashtag activism and the need for its connections to more sustained forms of activism, history, and media.
Invisible Wins: Mentoring, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Media https://soundcloud.com/angela-aguayo/megan-alex/s-3WWsm
Alexandra Juhasz is chair of the Film department at Brooklyn College, CUNY. She makes and studies committed media practices that contribute to political change and individual and community growth. She is the author of AIDS TV (Duke University Press, 1995); Women of Vision: Histories in Feminist Film and Video (University of Minnesota Press, 2001); F Is for Phony: Fake Documentary and Truth's Undoing, coedited with Jesse Lerner (University of Minnesota Press, 2005); Learning from YouTube (MIT Press, 2011); The Blackwell Companion on Contemporary Documentary, coedited with Alisa Lebow (Blackwell, 2015); and Sisters in the Life: A History of Out African American Lesbian Media-Making, coedited with Yvonne Welbon (Duke University Press, 2018). Her current work #100HardTruths-#FakeNews is on and about feminist internet culture, including fake news: scalar.me/100hardtruths and fakenews-poetry.org.
Megan Cunningham is the founder and CEO of Magnet Media, an award-winning digital production studio and marketing services firm. Over the past decade Magnet Media has become known for its pioneering approach to reaching audiences through compelling storytelling on emerging platforms. Their clients include Apple, Microsoft, Google, ABC, Showtime, the Associated Press, DreamWorks Animation, NBC, and more. Cunningham began her career as a producer of educational videos to promote social change. She has worked on several documentaries for cable and public television.
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Alexandra Juhasz, Megan Cunningham; Invisible Wins: Mentoring, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Media https://soundcloud.com/angela-aguayo/megan-alex/s-3WWsm. Feminist Media Histories 1 October 2019; 5 (4): 66–67. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2019.5.4.66
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