The Insider: Author Lisa Jey Davis on Women and New Media, Special Contribution

In honour of the 25th birthday of the World Wide Web and International Women’s Day, PressReader has a guest contribution to the blog this week. Lisa Jey Davis, well-known author, Huffington Post contributor and speaker on women’s issues, talks with us about women’s news habits and the impact of the web in modern life. In this post, she shares her experience as a woman in the news, and her top tips and social tools for reflecting and discussing trending issues. She posts weekly on her blog www.MsCheevious.com.

1. Do you think women’s rights are where they should be today?

My answer is going to depend on what you qualify as women’s rights and what part of the world we’re talking about. In terms of the United States, if this were the late 1800’s, women still could not vote in elections in most states, and we were unable to serve on juries. Today we are legally permitted to do just about anything any citizen of the United States is legally permitted to do. But permission does not equate to acceptance or adoption. That is an area where there is much ground to cover. I lay the burden of this component on American women, however, and not on men or the government. How women behave and perform when they’ve been given an opportunity that is rarely given to other women in other parts of the world is critical.

It’s vital to the cause of women’s rights— if we want to continue to see opportunities grow for women— that women not only support females who rise to these various positions (insuring their success in these endeavors), but also that we hold them accountable to behave professionally and ethically, and to perform at the highest level possible, always giving 100 percent.

In other parts of the world, women are not as fortunate. There is much to be done to effect change. I would encourage those who wish to devote time and resources to this cause internationally to get in touch with an organization doing good work in this area, such as Amnesty International.

2. How do you think the World Wide Web has improved women’s lives?

That’s an interesting question, on this, the twenty-five year anniversary! We’ve come so far! On one hand it feels as though we’re glued to our Internet devices, and can’t seem to function without them for even the simplest of tasks. On the other hand, you see widespread slow movements springing up around the country and the world, as people begin to try to unplug and get back to nature and a simpler way of life. That said, the Internet has made easy, instant access to information a daily norm. While to some it may have complicated life with so much information at our fingertips, to those of us who have careers or personal pursuits, we can work from home, hold meetings with people from around the world, live-stream a conference, and submit work projects, artwork, musical scores, films and more via a solid internet connection. Additionally, we can set up shop and sell items we don’t even have in our possession to people around the world via on-demand product design sites, such as Café Press and Zazzle! Mothers (and fathers, of course) can find cures and treatments for common ailments, seek medical advice, find a recipe, and trace their entire lineage online. It’s been amazing!

3. As a women’s health advocate, where do you get your health news?

Well, because I am a health advocate, I don’t have any one or two sources that I look to for health news. My areas of interest are too diverse. I could be talking about menopause or puberty in one instance and then blow the horn for skin cancer awareness in the next. I use alerts to have news for specific keywords (such as skin cancer) delivered to my email inbox. Other than that, some of the top news sources online that I use for health (and fitness) are Women’s Health and LiveStrong.com.

4. What about other sources of news? Do you read other types of news? What do you look for?

Absolutely! And I think it’s crucial (particularly for women who want to get ahead in a career, but also for any woman who simply prides herself on being intelligent and communicative) to be up-to-speed on current events in our cities, states, nation and the world. We should never pigeon hole ourselves into one niche. It’s important to expand the mind by venturing out of our comfort zone or wheel-house from time to time.

One of my very favorite things to do is to read well-written news, articles and stories in a magazine or newspaper, cover to cover while I’m drinking my morning coffee. I have a few publications that I love, but when the writing is exceptional and resonates, I’m all eyes, ears and… well, I’m all in.

5. How has the World Wide Web changed your life?

The Internet has changed my life in all of the great ways I listed above, (as to how it’s made women’s lives better)! I absolutely love it! At the same time, it has created a demand for refining a completely new set of skills… that of being able and diligent to unplug regularly and whenever needed.

Also, I’ve found it’s far too easy to lose myself on the Internet. For someone like me who is highly active in social media and a writer, it’s quite possible for me to stay plugged in and working, networking, writing, researching and everything else in between for hours on end. It takes strict discipline to require myself to maintain a healthy life away from the screen – one that includes exercise, in-person socializing, in-person networking and indulging in non-electronic hobbies and interests!

6. What do you think your women readers want most when it comes to getting news?

Women want convenience. It’s that simple. Even women with the most uncluttered and unencumbered schedule look for simplicity and ease. If the news they want is easy to obtain, they’ll read it – and regularly. I also like to believe they want the down and dirty news, quickly and to the point. If someone could organize the most important news stories into a Cliff Notes or Reader’s Digest version, they’d be onto something. I’d also like to think that most women who read, are articulate and successful and don’t really want to read about reality television stars and their off-camera scandals. I’d like to think they’re more interested in the news that will affect their job, the economy, the health of their family and so on.

7. What are your go-to websites for news?

PressReader.com of course! But for news not yet available on PressReader I love to read the New York Observer (and I go to their site regularly), as well as the Financial Times.

ABOUT LISA JEY DAVIS:

Lisa Jey Davis

Lisa Jey Davis is a women’s health, wellness and fitness advocate. She is an author, award-winning writer, and senior publicist of Jey Associates PR in Los Angeles, CA. Lisa Jey is one of the “go-to” authorities on BRCA/ Breast and Ovarian Cancer (having been diagnosed with the BRCA2 genetic mutation in 2010 and undergoing preventative surgeries as a result). Frequently invited to provide her expert opinions and commentary on related stories (i.e. Angelina Jolie’s choice), she has appeared on the Emmy Award-winning nationally syndicated television show The Doctors, and a variety of news programs and radio shows; she has also been quoted in newspapers, magazines and online publications. See more at: http://www.lisajeydavis.com/lisa-jey-davis-biography/