Wednesday, April 28, 2010
We spent the afternoon going through Indiana women's page journalist and food editor Ann Hamman's thesis on microfiche. Her thesis, about the cost effectiveness of washers and dryers in the post-World War era, was interesting and showed how home economics was very much about economics.
Above is a great letter to the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review from Ann Hamman.
I am still collecting the initial information about Ann's career. She is the first of the women's page editors I have studied who had a background in home economics and found journalism later.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I have found several great articles with quotes from Miami Herald women's page editor-turned-managing editor Janet Chusmir.
Here is one of my favorites from the industry magazine Editor & Publisher.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
We spent yesterday at the beach. Curtis slept while I did the final proof on my article about Louisville women's page editor (and later managing editor) Carol Sutton - it will be out later this month in American Journalism.
I also started reading the book, A Big Life in Advertising. It is the story of one of the first female advertising executives in the 1950s and 1960s. Here is a chapter from the book.
I plan to explore the interaction of women's page editorial content and the advertising in the sections. I am also curious about how these "firsts" handled their new positions - especially if they had children.
Friday, April 23, 2010
I am still collecting information about Drue Lytle who was a Penney-Missouri Award-winning women’s page editor at the Honolulu Advertiser in the 1960s
She was married for several years to journalist John Terry, who was killed in the war - as shown above.
This shows that Drue worked for the government during the war.
I sent a request to the Hawaii Historical Society yesterday to find images of Drue.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I am working on a paper about women as newspaper "firsts" - the first female managing editors and publishers. In the 1970s and 1980s, several women who went into management were deemed "firsts." I am looking to see how they went from the women's papers into management. My article about one of those women, Carol Sutton, will come out this month. She went from the women's editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal to the first female managing editor of that newspaper - this promotion earned her nationwide attention.
I am beginning to look at the career of Mary Anne Dolan, pictured above. She became the first female managing editor of the L.A. Herald-Examiner in the 1980s.
She was mentored by editor Jim Bellows - another journalist I am researching. They are pictured above.
Here is an amazing piece she wrote for the New York Times.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I am just beginning to collect information about 1968 Penney-Missouri Award-winning women's page editor Arlene Alligood.
She spent most of the 1960s working at the St. Petersburg Times and the Evening-Independent. While at the sister newspapers, she would have worked with Anne Rowe Goldman and Gloria Biggs. Here is one of her articles.
Her Penney-Missouri Award was for her work at the Suffolk Sun in New York. She was a founding editor of the newspaper which began publication on November 21, 1966.
In January of 1968, she joined the women's page staff at the Washington Post.
She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida. Here is an article she wrote while in school.
The above image is from the Penney-Missouri papers located at the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri.
After the end of the women's pages, she went on to fascinating career that I am beginning to explore.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I just received another Jeanne Voltz cookbook: The L.A. Gourmet.
Jeanne Voltz was a leading food editor for the Miami Herald in the 1950s and the Los Angeles Times in the 1960s. Food sections were a large part of women's pages.
Voltz also wrote more than a dozen cookbooks. What has been helpful about the books has been the dedication pages. Through the dedications, I have learned quite a bit about her parents and grandmother.
I am completing a conference paper about Voltz and her work at the Times. In my look at her articles, I have found much more than simple recipes. She explores government regulation, consumer news and nutrition research.
Monday, April 12, 2010
I found this site that sells items with quotes from famous newspaper editor Jim Bellows. Jim was married to women's page editor Maggie Savoy until her death in 1970.
I am hoping to write a conference paper about Jim soon - especially his approach to women in journalism. He had progressive views on women's news and women in the newsroom. I have several of his letters that I found in archives at the University of Missouri (Penney-Missouri Award papers) and the University of Miami (Papers of Helen Muir).
I just ordered a water bottle with one of Jim's quotes - I am hoping it inspires me to get started on that paper!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Miami Herald Executive Editor Janet Chusmir (who began her career at the Herald as a women's page reporter working for Marie Anderson) offered interesting insight into the role of women in journalism during this 1988 panel, Women in Newspaper Management.
Janet made the transition from the women's pages to management rather easily. Others, like Gloria Biggs of Florida Today, struggled.
The DVD is available through C-SPAN.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Yesterday I interviewed Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten about his experiences with Miami Herald Executive Editor Janet Chusmir. (Gene was editor of the newspaper's magazine, Tropic, in the 1980s.)
He gave me some great insight and helped clarify more about her management style for a paper I am working on. He also provided a great story that I will share in a later post.
Janet's role as a "first" is worth studying and maybe more important is her unique career path. After earning her journalism degree, she stayed at home and raised two children. Then, when they were older, she joined the women's pages of the Miami Herald. She worked her way through the ranks to the top of the Miami Herald. She died suddenly in 1990 at age 60.
I have discovered 20 of her columns that I will be looking at this week.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Yesterday I received this great image of Edee Greene from the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri. It can be found in the papers of the Penney-Missouri Awards.
Edee was a groundbreaking women's page editor of the Fort Lauderdale News in the 1960s. She had a popular humor column and won several Penney-Missouri Awards. She was a leader in establishing a women's domestic violence center in her community in the early 1970s - the center still exists today.
I have an article about her coming out in 2011 based on a conference presentation.
The image was discovered by the archivist who is organizing the papers after I inquired about another women's page journalist Arlene Alligood - another Penney-Missouri Award winner. Arlene is sitting and looking up at Edee in this image.
I am just beginning to collect information about Arlene.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I just found this great column about women and history written by journalism legend Tad Bartimus. I loved this line: "Every woman who has a "first" label attached to her name walks in the steps of countless foremothers."
In the column she mentions women's page editor turned newspaper executive Janet Chusmir - a good friend of Tad's. I am currently working on an article about Janet. I want to explore the career paths of these early female newspaper executives.
I sat on a panel with Tad several years ago at the University of Missouri. She gave a wonderful talk.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Today I interviewed Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry about former women's page editor and executive editor Janet Chusmir. He gave me some great perspective about her role as a manager and confirmed some of my original thesis about Janet's role in the newsroom.
He gave me a name to follow up with and a clip I plan to track down.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
If all the men in the West Virginia mine disaster are found dead, it will be the deadliest U.S. mine accident since the 1970 Kentucky disaster.
Louisville Courier-Journal women's page editor Carol Sutton covered the 1970 story - it was a story that she later said impacted her more than any other.
From my article about Sutton:
"The accident killed 38 miners in an explosion in Hayden, Kentucky. The mine blew up on the evening of December 30, 1970. At 4 a.m. the next day, Sutton and a photographer drove through a 10- inch snowstorm to get to the community. They arrived to a gymnasium full of burned bodies. The next day, Sutton wrote:
The snow fell outside the school all day as widows, mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers came to identify their loved ones. Mrs. Jones never entered the gymnasium. Tears were not far from her eyes as she talked with relatives and friends in the hall. When the ambulance stretcher carrying her husband’s body rolled past her, Mrs. Jones grabbed a female relative for support. She was on the verge of collapse and had to be led to her car.
Twelve years later, Sutton recalled of the moment, “I can still see it.” A year after the explosion, Sutton went back to the community to talk to the families devastated by the tragedy, and she reached someone from each of the 38 families, going into areas where there were no roads. She recalled the poverty she witnessed: “There are no choices there; it’s the only option for well-paying work.”
Monday, April 5, 2010
I recently received a CSPAN video about the lack of women in newspaper management - it features Janet Chusmir who went from women's page reporter to executive editor of the Miami Herald. She makes excellent comments about the problem. I will post some of the video soon.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I have been working on an article about Vera Glaser, who in addition to being a women's page political reporter was also a member of a White House Committee on women's roles. Her question to the president at a press conference about the lack of women in government earned her national attention.
In my research I came across the above photo and an interesting column on the Nixon Library website.
Here is part of the column:
"Looking back now, we know that President Nixon’s actions brought gender equality into the mainstream of American life. He made equality “legitimate.” This legitimacy rippled through our society and helped create new opportunities for women in business, education, the professions, the arts and athletics.
But President Nixon threw himself unmistakably behind the cause of change, telling the nation in his 1972 State of the Union address, “While every woman may not want a career outside the home, every woman should have the freedom to choose whatever career she wishes, and an equal chance to pursue it.” That was a bold statement by a man of that time and that generation."
I don't think I completely agree with this assessment - especially based on the papers of Catherine East. But, he did make significant change for women. I am trying to find more about the Committee that Vera served on.
Friday, April 2, 2010
My paper, "Who’s Wearing the Pants? How The New York Times Reported the Changing Dress of Women," has been accepted for the fall National Communication Association convention in San Francisco - where Lance and I got married. I looked at the literal and symbolic power of women wearing pants.
I included a story about women's page editor Marj Paxson who went on to become a publisher of the Muskogee Phoenix in the 1980s. On the first day, she changed the policy for female employees - they could now wear pants.
From the paper:
She later learned that many of the female employees went shopping that evening. The next day, of the 45 women working at the paper, 29 were in pantsuits. She recalled, “That story got around town very quickly.” In fact, Paxson remembered shopping at Sears when the clerk looked down at the name on her credit card. She looked up at Paxson: “Are you the new lady at the paper?” Paxson replied that she was, and the clerk responded: “I’m so glad you let them wear pants.” Pants had become a symbol of change – a challenge to the status quo in terms of gender roles.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I recently came across information about this seminar in this article and I am thankful to the archivist at the University of Indiana who found and scanned this program.
This page shows that Janet Chusmir (E.E. of the Miami Herald) and Carol Sutton (M.E. of the Louisville Courier-Journal) attended the seminar. Both women went from the women's pages to newspaper management. I am looking at the career paths of both women, especially because they had children.
I am hoping to track down a video of the seminar. I have located a copy at the University of Illinois.
My biography of Carol Sutton will be published this month in a national history journal.