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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.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

4 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

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