Women Journalists See Progress, but Not Nearly Enough: `The Shortage of Women Editors Reverberates through the Ranks.' (Women: United States).(Column)

By Enda, Jodi | Nieman Reports, Spring 2002 | Go to article overview

Women Journalists See Progress, but Not Nearly Enough: `The Shortage of Women Editors Reverberates through the Ranks.' (Women: United States).(Column)


Enda, Jodi, Nieman Reports


The state of women in journalism today is one of those half-full, half-empty things. We no longer sit in the balcony, but neither do we have the best seats in the house.

During the past three decades, women in journalism as well as women in countless other fields have demonstrated what we always knew: We could do any job at least as well as men. At newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, women have changed the very definition of news and, with it, the nation's political agenda. As more and more women entered newsrooms, we brought new sensibilities. Stories about education, welfare, children and the elderly have landed in greater numbers on the front pages of the nation's most esteemed newspapers. Stories from war-torn countries have taken on more of a human face, and stories from our own backyards have spawned public responses to homelessness, domestic abuse, and child prostitution.

Betsy Wade, whose married name (Boylan) topped the 1970's discrimination suit against The New York Times, likens the sensitivities of women journalists to those of a nursery-rhyme pussycat. In London, our feline protagonist is indifferent to the queen, choosing instead to zero in on a mouse beneath the throne. "You see what you're looking for, what you're accustomed to," Wade says.

And women, as well as minorities, see things differently than white men do. Each of these perspectives enriches news coverage. Without each, a part of our society would be less visible. Without each, the picture' of who we are would be incomplete.

Newspapers of yesteryear did not cover the waitress struggling to keep her family together or the single mom striving to balance work and home or the female college graduate blazing a trail in the corporate hierarchy. By the 1950's and 1960's, a few pioneering women's page editors reflected women's concerns about education, the economy, and the environment, but many feature sections still read as though women's principal preoccupation was how to remove ink stains from a shirt.

Newspapers not only failed to adequately cover the lives and interests of women and minorities, they insulted them by treating them. as second-class citizens, or worse, as invisible. That has changed dramatically, though not dramatically enough. The overarching voice remains that of the white man. To succeed, many women and minority journalists have learned to emulate that voice. Still, the presence of women and racial and ethnic minorities in newsrooms and on editorial pages has prompted media outlets to pay more attention to such issues as racial profiling and date rape, raising public awareness to a level that could provoke change.

The emergence of women and minorities in newsrooms coincided, of course, with similar shifts in the nation as a whole. No longer do news organizations need to report on the first woman police officer in a given city, but we might cover the first woman police chief. Ditto with women in newsrooms. While women have broken through countless barriers and held every position from publisher on down, the emphasis remains on "down." Nearly three decades after lawsuits at The New York Times and The Associated Press changed the face--literally--of the news industry, precious few women have reached top management.

The shortage of women editors reverberates through the ranks. Without women decision-makers, it is tougher for women reporters to have their voices heard and get issues they see as important into print. I am not just talking about breast cancer and abortion here, though those topics remain vital. Women reporters often lead the pack on stories about the underclass, immigrants, child abuse, and racial and gender discrimination. I have done battle numerous times over stories about public housing tenants, welfare recipients or immigrants of color, news that my male editors feared would turn off those all-important white, suburban readers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Women Journalists See Progress, but Not Nearly Enough: `The Shortage of Women Editors Reverberates through the Ranks.' (Women: United States).(Column)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.