Thursday, September 27, 2012
Women's Page Editor Margaret Miller
I was pleased to get a lovely email yesterday and to learn about women's page journalist Margaret Miller. She was an Associated Press reporter from 1944 to 1952 before taking time off to raise her children. She returned to newspapering in Detroit in 1967 as the editor of the women's section - that would then be called "Suburban Life." Here is a great column about Margaret and her influence. I liked this: "Margaret was a pragmatist, but one who was skillful in moving business forward whether it be in the day-to-day tasks of getting out the newspaper or in edging forward women's equality in the workplace."
I also liked the story about Margaret's mentoring of a young man in her section. It reminded me of what Carol Sutton did as women's page editor at the Louisville Courier Journal when she hired the first man to report for her section.
My guess is that Margaret likely knew Roberta Applegate who also worked for the Associated Press during World War II. There was a strong community of women's page journalists in Michigan. Willah Weddon wrote a book about many of these women: Michigan Press Women: Today and Yesterday.
Like several women's page editors, Margaret wrote a column about her family. I have been collecting these family columns in the hopes of learning more about the private/public stories. Some of my favorite columns are from Dorothee Polson at the Arizona Republic and Edee Greene at the Fort Lauderdale News.
Another area that Margaret's story reminds me of is the different paths that some women's page editors took. For example, Janet Chusmir - who went from women's page editor to executive editor of the Miami Herald - stayed at home with her children after earning a journalism degree and became a reporter after they were in school.