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Women in journalism and media professions

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Title: Women in journalism and media professions  
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Subject: Index of feminism articles, Women's history, Feminism in Greece, List of female Nobel laureates, Major women's sport leagues in North America
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Women in journalism and media professions

As journalism became a profession, women were restricted by custom and law from access to journalism occupations, and faced significant discrimination within the profession. Nevertheless, women operated as editors, reporters, sports analyst and journalists even before the 1890s.[1]

In the eighteenth century the Baroness Frederika Charlotte Riedesel's Letters and Journals Relating to the War of the American Revolution and the Capture of the German Troops at Saratoga is regarded as the first account of war by a woman. Her writing analyzes the relevant events, personalities of key actors and consequences of the military struggles she observed. Moreover she was personally involved in the heart of the Battles of Saratoga. She suffered the hardships of siege when she sheltered in the cellar of the Marshall House during the failed retreat of the British army.

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, women began agitating for the right to work as professional journalists in North America and Europe; by many accounts, the first notable woman in political journalism was Jane Grey Swisshelm. A former correspondent for Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, she persuaded President Millard Fillmore to open the gallery in congress so that she could report on congressional news.[2] Prior to Swisshelm, Horace Greeley had employed another noteworthy woman in journalism, Margaret Fuller, who covered international news. Nellie Bly became known for her investigative reporting at the New York World. She was one of the first female journalists of her era to report by going undercover.

While many female reporters in the 1800s and early 1900s were restricted to society reporting and were expected to cover the latest in food or fashion, there were a few women who reported on subjects that were considered the domain of male reporters. One example was Ina Eloise Young (later Ina Young Kelley). In 1907, Miss Young was said to be the only female sports editor (or "sporting" editor, as it was called back then). She worked in Colorado for the Trinidad Chronicle-News, and her areas of expertise were baseball, football, and horse racing.[3] She covered the 1908 World's Series, the only woman of her time to do so.[4] The 2014 Status of Women in the U.S. Media reported that of more than 150 sports-related print publications and sports-related websites, 90 percent of editors were white males.[5]

Another example of a woman in a non-traditional media profession was Jennie Irene Mix: when radio broadcasting became a national obsession in the early 1920s, she was one of the few female radio editors at a magazine: a former classical pianist and a syndicated music critic who wrote about opera and classical music in the early 1920s, Miss Mix became the radio editor at Radio Broadcast magazine, a position she held from early 1924 until her sudden death in April 1925.[6] In talk radio, there were no women among the top 10 of Talkers magazine's "Heavy Hundred" and only two women were among the 183 sport talk radio hosts list.[5] Women increased their presence in professional journalism, and popular representations of the "intrepid girl reporter" became popular in 20th-century films and literature, perhaps most notably in "His Girl Friday".[7][8]

In 2014, the Women's Media Center put out their third annual Status of Women in the U.S. Media. The study is based on a number of reports about the status of women in all forms of media in the US. The study revealed that women represented 28.8 percent of speaking characters in the top grossing films of 2012. In 2013, women had 16 percent of the top executive movie jobs and of the 16 biggest paychecks for actors per film, not one of them was female actress'. The top earning actress is Angelina Jolie, who made $33 million in 2013. The two lowest ranked men on that list made that same dollar amount. Also, 36 percent of newsroom staff are women, a percentage that has remained stagnate since 1999.[5][9][10]

Notable women in the history of journalism

See also Women journalists by name and by category

References for this section can be found on the article pages if not cited below.



Awards and organizations

See also

Further research

  • Library of Congress, "Two Centuries of American Women Journalists"[30] (exhibition)
  • Library of Congress, "Women Come to the Front: Journalists, Photographers, and Broadcasters During World War II"[31] (exhibition, 1998)
  • Washington Press Club Foundation, "Women in Journalism" (oral history archives; transcripts of approximately 60 oral history interviews documenting women journalists)[32]
  • C-Span, "Women in Journalism",[33] September, 2004 (series of oral history interviews)
  • Journalism and Women Symposium[34]
  • New York State Library, Women in Journalism: Newspaper Milestones[35] (Researched and Compiled by Bill Lucey, March 14, 2005)


  1. ^ Rick Brown, "The Emergence of Females as Professional Journalists",
  2. ^ "Jane Grey Swisshelm: A Staunch Foe of Slavery, A Noble Woman's Life's Work." San Francisco Bulletin, August 2, 1884, p. 1S.
  3. ^ "Colorado Has the Only Woman Sporting Editor." Washington DC Sunday Star, December 29, 1907, p.4.
  4. ^ "World's Series Notes." Harrisburg (PA) Patriot, October 15, 1908, p. 8.
  5. ^ a b c Bedard, Paul (19 February 2014). "Study: Hollywood execs have own 'war on women,' choking off major roles, salary from women". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Caroline Mitchell, editor. Women and Radio: Airing Differences. Routledge, 2000, p. 23.
  7. ^ Paul E. Schindler, Jr., "Women in Journalism Movies" (2003), available at
  8. ^ "Sob Sisters: The Image of the Female Journalist in Popular Culture", Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture, USC Annenberg School for Communication. Includes bibliography with 7500+ entries, a one-hour documentary, multiple papers, and other material.
  9. ^ "The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2014". Women's Media Center. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  10. ^ Zara, Christopher (19 February 2014). "Women In News Media: Gender Diversity Stagnant In Newsrooms, Horrendous In Sports Journalism, Says New Report". International Business Times. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "The Associated Press (AP): Remembering Marion Carpenter: Pioneer White House Photographer Dies". Retrieved November 25, 2002. 
  12. ^ IMDB
  13. ^ Font size Print E-mail Share (2006-07-06). "Katie Couric - CBS Evening News". CBS News. Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  14. ^ Evelyn Cunningham, Journalist and Aide, Dies at 94, New York Times, April 29, 2010.
  15. ^ Callow, Philip. From Noon to Starry Night: A Life of Walt Whitman. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1992: 110. ISBN 0-929587-95-2
  16. ^ Cheever, Susan. American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau; Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work. Detroit: Thorndike Press, 2006: 176. ISBN 0-7862-9521-X
  17. ^ Richard Goldstein, "Mary Garber, Sportswriter, Dies at 92", New York Times, Sept. 23, 2008.
  18. ^ "2008 Right Livelihood Awards honour champions of independent journalism, peace-building and social justice" (press release from the Right Livelihood Award Foundation)
  19. ^ Roger Streitmatter, editor, Empty Without You: The Intimate Letters of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok
  20. ^ Tom Heintjes. The Lynn Johnston Interview," ''Hogan's Alley'' #1, 1994""". Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ Dennis Hevesi, "Nancy Hicks Maynard Dies at 61; a Groundbreaking Black Journalist", New York Times, 2008 Sept. 23.
  23. ^ Mrs. W.B. Meloney, Noted Editor, Dies," ''The New York Times,'' June 24, 1943""". New York Times. 1943-06-24. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  24. ^ Good Morning America' Anchor Robin Roberts - ABC News"'". 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  25. ^ "Diane Sawyer - Biography". 1945-12-22. Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  26. ^ "Diane Sawyer's Biography - ABC News". Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  27. ^ Robert C. Kochersberger (Editor), Ida M. Tarbell, Everette E. Dennis, More Than a Muckraker: Ida Tarbell's Lifetime in Journalism.
  28. ^ "Women in Public Life Awards 2009". 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  29. ^ US Postal Service, Sep. 14 2002: Four Accomplished Journalists Honored On U.S. Postage Stamps
  30. ^ "WAR, WOMEN, AND OPPORTUNITY - Women Come to the Front (Library of Congress Exhibition)". Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  31. ^ "Women Come to the Front". 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  32. ^ [1]
  33. ^
  34. ^ "". 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  35. ^ "Women in Journalism: Newspaper Milestones: New York Newspapers: New York State Library". Retrieved 2013-07-06. 


  • Tad Bartimus, Tracy Wood, Kate Webb, and Laura Palmer, War Torn: Stories of War from the Women Reporters who Covered Vietnam (2002)
  • Maurine H. Beasley and Sheila J. Gibbons, Taking Their Place: A Documentary History of Women and Journalism, 2nd ed. (2003)
  • Kathleen A. Cairns, Front-Page Women Journalists, 1920-1950 (Women in the West) (2007)
  • Barbara T. and Jehanne M. Gheith, An Improper Profession: Women, Gender, and Journalism in Late Imperial Russia
  • Agnes Hooper Gottlieb, Women Journalists and the Municipal Housekeeping Movement, 1868-1914 (Women's Studies (Lewiston, N.Y.), V. 31.) (2001)
  • Catherine Gourley, War, Women, and the News: How Female Journalists Won the Battle to Cover World War II by (2007)
  • Donna L. Halper and Donald Fishman, Invisible Stars: A Social History of Women in American Broadcasting
  • Gabriel Kiley, "Times Are Better than They Used To Be", St. Louis Journalism Review (on women journalists)
  • Marjory Louise Lang, Women Who Made the News: Female Journalists in Canada, 1880-1945
  • Jose Lanters, "Donal's "babes" (Changing the Times: Irish Women Journalists, 1969–1981) (Book Review)", Irish Literary Supplement
  • Jean Marie Lutes, Front-page Girls: Women Journalists in American Culture and Fiction, 1880-1930 (2007)
  • Marion Marzolf, Up from the Footnote: A History of Women Journalists (Communication arts books) (1977)
  • Charlotte Nekola, "Worlds Unseen: Political Women Journalists and the 1930s", pp. 189–198 in Charlotte Nekola & Paula Rabinowitz, editors, Writing Red: An Anthology of American Women Writers, 1930-1940 (1987: The Feminist Press at The City University of New York, New York)
  • Nancy Caldwell Sorel, The Women Who Wrote the War (women wartime journalists)
  • Rodger Streitmatter, Raising Her Voice: African American Women Journalists Who Changed History
  • Rebecca Traister, "Ladies of the Nightly News"[1]
  • USC Annenberg School for Communication, Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture (IJPC) Database.[2]
  • Nancy Whitelaw, They Wrote Their Own Headlines: American Women Journalists (World Writers) (1994)
  1. ^ Traister, Rebecca (2008-10-30). "October 30, 2008". Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  2. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-07-06. 

External links

  • International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF)
  • The Marshall House, Schuylerville, New York
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