The Advocate, Balanced Black Girl podcast, Al Día Dallas and Wired Among 2020 MEA Winners
New York, NY — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) has announced the 2020 Media Excellence Awards (MEAs), which recognize exceptional media contributions that enhance public understanding of reproductive rights and sexual health issues — including abortion, contraception, sex education, racial equity, HIV, LGBTQ+ identities, STIs, sexual assault — and their intersection with Indigenous rights, and international family planning. Amid the dual U.S. public health crises of COVID-19 and extant systemic racism, Planned Parenthood’s 2020 Media Excellence Awards specifically honor work that centers the convergence of public health, racism and health equity, and sexual and reproductive health.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
We are thrilled to honor the journalists who reported accurately and compassionately on sexual and reproductive health and rights in 2020. At a time when hard-working members of the media faced constant attacks from the previous administration, we are proud to honor this select group of journalists and activists for their consistently honest, brave, and detailed reporting on health care access and health equity. Most notably, they have amplified the voices of those who need to be heard — women, communities of color, and immigrants. The stories told this past year were more important than ever, and we look forward to seeing what the awardees do next.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the systemic racism and the discrimination built into the very foundations of our health care system. The 2020 MEA awardees have shined a light on the people who have always faced systemic barriers to health care — including those in rural areas, as well as Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities — and who are disproportionately cut off from accessible health care services.
The 2020 MEA awardees include coverage on abortion access before and during COVID-19; equity considerations in a changing telehealth landscape; consent and sex education during a pandemic; public health implications of the widespread protests against police violence; and the barriers to health care — worsened by the pandemic, especially for people of color. The stories and voices of those most affected would not be heard without the honest reporting of these journalists, and news outlets. Planned Parenthood celebrates them and we are grateful for their exceptional work.
The 2020 Media Excellence Award winners are:
Pavithra Mohan at Fast Company, For many women, abortion access was already limited. Then COVID-19 hit, which expertly highlights how politicians used the COVID-19 pandemic to further reduce access to abortion, and how this affected patients and providers in states already at risk of losing abortion access.
Daniel Reynolds, Racism Is a Health Crisis. Why Aren’t We Treating It Like One? in Healthline, which clearly illustrates racial gaps in health equity, and how the social determinants of health and institutionalized racism affect Black patients.
Balanced Black Girl Podcast, Sex Ed, Consent and Intimate Relationships During a Pandemic with Dr. Sara Flowers. The interview with Dr. Sara Flowers (PPFA) on sexuality, relationships and consent provided tools and resources for Black women to maintain their bodily autonomy, even in the middle of a pandemic.
Wired, Access to Telemedicine Is Hardest for Those Who Need It Most, which excellently covered telehealth and equity issues during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Wendy Selene Pérez at Al día Dallas, Crean sitio web de educación sexual en español, which details the importance of sex education and health care despite existing barriers, and telemedicine as a way to bridge gaps in care.
Voltaje Femenino at La Visión (Georgia) for their May 14 episode, in which they discuss vital points about sex education and sexual and reproductive health, especially during the pandemic, offering candid reflections and important information for Latino communities.
In their work, the 2020 MEA awardees highlight systemic racism that has driven millions to protest against discrimination and violence, and worsened health outcomes for Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Latino communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also lift the impact of abortion restrictions on communities, and the undue burden these laws have placed on people seeking reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood is grateful for their work that makes it clear: Your access to health care should never depend on how much you earn, where you live, or who you are.
Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.