Informed Opinions amplifies women’s voices for a more democratic Canada.
We work to ensure diverse women’s perspectives and priorities are equitably reflected by and integrated into Canadian society.
We are a national, non-partisan, charitable feminist organization. We motivate and train women to make their ideas more accessible to a broader audience; support journalists in more equitably representing the public they serve; and conduct research to document the progress being made in Canada.
The news media set agendas, shape policies and impact spending. The voices they amplify wield outsize influence. And yet research finds that women’s voices make up less than a third of those being heard through Canada’s most influential news sources. That reflects a mere 7% shift in the past quarter century. Indigenous and racialized women, those living with a disability or identifying as other than straight and cis-gendered, women from minority religious groups, their views are even further marginalized.
The absence of diverse women’s experience-informed insights undermines democracy denies Canada access to the analysis and ideas of many of its best and brightest, and reduces our capacity to effectively address the social, economic and environmental challenges we face.
Informed Opinions’ work is predicated on the following principles:
Responsible journalism is essential to the functioning of a democratic society;
Diverse sources are a hallmark of responsible journalism;
The news media’s current over-reliance on white male sources is neither democratically responsible nor good journalism, and robs our public discourse of critical insights.
We recognize that racism, like sexism, is systemic and often unconscious; people who hold concerning attitudes or manifest discriminatory behaviour don’t necessarily intend negative impact. However, as an organization, we are committed to pro-active anti-racism. Informed Opinions invites and will respect feedback on how we might become more responsible relative to issues of race and color and the impacts they have on all aspects of how we operate. We pledge to address identified sensitivities and inequities.
In the process of advocating for the inclusion of more diverse women’s voices in Canadian news media, we are also deliberate about seeking to amplify BIWOC voices, those who identify as LGBTQI2S+, and those who live with disabilities. We recognize that their perspectives across all fields and sectors are even less well-represented than their white colleagues’. As part of our anti-racism and inclusion strategies, and in the interests of accountability, we track and make public the ratio of diverse voices featured in our database, seeking to ensure that we reflect or improve upon levels of representation that correspond to Canada’s population.
Media Action (previously MediaWatch) is a national, non-profit charitable organization that has been using research and education to advocate for the improved portrayal and representation of women and girls in the media since 1980.
In 2010, former longtime president Shari Graydon founded Informed Opinions as a project of Media Action with the aim of bridging the gender gap in Canadian public discourse by 2025. Since 2010, Informed Opinions has helped amplify the voices of more than 2,500 women across Canada, supporting them in sharing their insights and analysis with a broader public.
In September 2019, Media Action was changed to the legal name Informed Opinions.