The Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP) was founded in 1972 by Dr. Donna Allen. The purpose of the institute is to promote the inclusion of women's and minority voices in the media. Today, WIFP operates out of the home of Martha Leslie Allen, Dr. Allen's daughter. Martha is WIFP's director and supervised me during my time at WIFP. I only worked at the institute for two months, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. The work of WIFP is done almost entirely by interns. Martha directs, and supervises, but the interns are heavily involved in every aspect of WIFP.
During my internship, I researched and wrote analytical articles as well as did layout. I was able to write four articles on topics of my choice for both WIFP newsletters (as long as they related to media democracy or women's representation in media). Some examples of article topics include, Net Neutrality, representation of sexual violence in newspapers and media consolidation. I was also responsible for creating the layout for the online newsletter, and designing T-shirts. Basically, if you have an interest in something, Martha would find a way to work it into your time there. We also had the opportunity to represent WIFP at several events including The State Department's briefing on global sex trafficking as well as a young journalists convention. There were six other interns, but the number of interns per season varies. All the interns were smart and easy to work with. At the end of our internship, we had created two online newsletters and a print publication that was sent to contributors (a notable subscriber is Gloria Steinem).
This is a great organization for students interested in working with an independent, small feminist organization. It is an especially good opportunity for students interested in media and journalism. It should also be noted that Martha is the best supervisor anyone could ask for. She often made us organic lunches, and if you ask, she will be more than happy to spend the afternoon talking with you about her past and current work as a civil rights and media activist. Visit the WIFP website for more information and to see online copies of past publications: http://www.wifp.org/index.html