This is a PSA produced by the workshop Speak Up! Media Skills for the Empowered Sex Worker.
“Speak Up! Media Skills for the Empowered Sex Worker” is a day-long seminar offered by the New York-based organization Sex Work Awareness (SWA). The workshop is based on $pread Magazine’s successful “Journalism for Sex Workers” training, which was developed by two of SWA’s founders in July 2006 for the “Revisioning Prostitution Policy: Creating Space for Sex Worker Rights and Challenging Criminalization” Desiree Alliance conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The impetus for developing the seminar was based on a real need expressed by members of our community for more resources and skills training on how to (a) respond to media requests effectively and safely, (b) engage with the mainstream media in order to get a particular message out, and (c) create our own media products. Sex workers, like many other marginalized communities, find the mainstream media a crucial site of resistance due to the harmful misrepresentations and stereotypes that it promulgates. This is especially true when the job the sex worker does is illegal and becomes further compounded by factors such as race, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, relative poverty, drug use, family status, immigration status, and age. All too often, sex workers simply choose not to engage with the media due to potential social and legal repercussions or sex workers get in over their heads and are unwittingly exploited by the media without getting anything out of it.
For more information about Speak Up!, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info on sex work, check out SWA's public education site Sex Work 101.