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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Looking ahead to Joe Biden's announcement of a female running mate, a group of women leaders sent a letter Friday to top news executives to warn them against "stereotypes and tropes" in coverage.

What they're saying: "Our country — and your newsrooms — have learned a lot since the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests for racial equality that his death spurred," the letter says.

  • "[T]he times and the experience made you, the most powerful people in media, stop and think about your role in perpetuating inequality and the opportunity you had to promote equality and simple justice with your reporting of the news," it adds.

The big picture: The new group, called We Have Her Back, was formed to be a watchdog on coverage of the running mate.

  • It includes Fatima Goss Graves (National Women’s Law Center), Ilyse Hogue (NARAL), Valerie Jarrett, Alexis McGill Johnson and Melanie Newman (Planned Parenthood), Debra Ness (National Partnership for Women and Families), Cecile Richards (Supermajority), Jess Morales Rocketto, Hilary Rosen, Stephanie Shriock and Christina Reynolds (Emily’s List), and Tina Tchen (Time's Up Now).

The letter continues that a woman V.P. candidate, "and possibly a Black or Brown woman candidate, requires the same kind of internal consideration about systemic inequality as you undertook earlier this year."

  • "Women have been subject to stereotypes and tropes about qualifications, leadership, looks, relationships and experience. Those stereotypes are often amplified and weaponized for Black and Brown women," it reads.
  • "Attempts at legitimate investigations of a candidate have repeatedly turned into misguided stories that perpetuate impressions of women as inadequate leaders, and Black and Brown women as worse."
  • "We believe it is your job to, not just pay attention to these stereotypes, but to actively work to be anti-racist and anti-sexist in your coverage (ie: equal) as this political season progresses and this presidential ticket is introduced."

Read the full letter.

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Go deeper

Nov 4, 2020 - Sports

William & Mary's track and field women fight to reinstate the men's team

The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

In an act of both solidarity and protest, the College of William & Mary women's track and field team is boycotting the season until the recently cut men's team is reinstated.

The state of play: W&M is hardly the first school to make pandemic-related cuts, but this time, the 26 women on the team took what they've learned at the school and used it to fight back.

Updated 6 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 7 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

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