By Rita Henley Jensen
Editor in chief
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Women's eNews has relied heavily this year on a group of talented, unpaid interns. Their generous support and dedication has made almost every aspect of our operation possible. Rita Henley Jensen, editor in chief, says thanks.
(WOMENSENEWS)--Tonight will be a very special evening at Women's eNews. We will host our annual holiday party for board, staff and freelancers, but with a new special celebration of thanks for the younger women you are about to find out about.
Board member Holly Atkinson will present small gifts to the Women's eNews interns who have foregone any sort of payment for their work this year, labor that is simply invaluable. Faced with the toughest job market in generations, they found the means and the determination to be able to donate their time on behalf of delivering the news to women and those who care about women.
Without them, Women's eNews would have much less to celebrate today, and, I believe, as would our readers.
One of the larger decorations on the tree will be a photo in hand-made frame. The image is that of the Women's eNews' team gathered earlier this year under the nearby street sign commemorating the place where Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton published their newspaper in the 1860s.
A former intern, Kelly Lauturner, volunteered to make the decoration as we were putting up the tree in our office last week. She's like that, Kelly is. From Rockland County, N.Y., and a recent graduate of Marist College, she began her marketing internship at Women's eNews at the end of January. She worked with us for five months and did whatever was needed, including pitching in to help the editorial department.
Without pay, she showed up on time, cheerful and ready to work, writing press releases, tweeting our news stories and updating our Facebook page; helping us grow our audience by using the latest and most popular social media. She was able to help us put up the tree because she landed a job with the nonprofit that shares our space: The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. Thank you Kelly!
On March 7, Touline Habake arrived for a party at WeNews' office to celebrate the publication of Caroline Firestone's book on women in Afghanistan, after seeing the event posted on Idealist.org.
Touline has been here since.
Touline let us know during the Firestone party that she had been laid off from her job in real estate accounting and was looking to make a switch to the nonprofit world. She wanted meaningful work that would challenge her, she said. She added that her family was from Syria.
I asked if she knew that Women's eNews has an Arabic version and did she happen to speak and read Arabic? Yes, she said, while warning us she was no expert. I set up an interview later that week and Touline offered to work as a volunteer for six months. She now is on staff as a development associate and our resident Arabic speaker. Thank you Touline for helping us raise funds, apply for grants and redesign our Arabic site!
Marketing is to news Web sites as jelly is to PB and J sandwiches. What would be the use of all the reporting, editing and posting the editorial if no one else read our amazing content? In June, Amy Rubinson, a recent graduate of State University of New York, New Paltz, with a degree in women's studies and public relations, joined the Women's eNews crew. She quickly came up to speed on how to maintain our social networks, help promote events in our space and use the camcorder to make a video blog. We suddenly found ourselves without a marketing director for three months. Amy winged it and in August, on Women's Equality Day, managed the live streaming of a documentary and discussion while tweeting and managing the film projector.