Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Women of the Washington Press
This new book about women journalists in Washington by Maurine Beasley is in a word - amazing. (Dr. Beasley was my dissertation adviser and introduced me to the women's pages.)
It is rich storytelling - with strong anecdotes - grounded in significant research. Washington D.C. with its mix of politics and society has been a special place for women reporters. Dr. Beasley tells their stories well.
Two of the women I write about are mentioned in the book - Vera Glaser and Eleni Epstein. The work of both women ran in the women's pages.
Vera Glaser was the longtime political columnist for a national wire service. Her work often ran in the Knight papers so she became friendly with Miami Herald women's page editor Marie Anderson. I presented a paper about Vera at the winter meeting of AJHA-AEJMC a few years ago. It was published here. I am presenting a paper about Vera's friendship with Washington feminist Catherine East next fall. I have gone through both of East and Glaser's papers.
Eleni Epstein is also mentioned - she was the longtime fashion editor at the Washington Star. My article about Eleni will be coming out in a future issue of Media History Monographs.
I also enjoyed the sections of Dr. Beasley's book that describe the role of society coverage in Washington. I have included a section on women's pages and society coverage in the chapter I am revising on women and gossip.
Dr. Beasley also did a wonderful job of explaining the transition of the women's pages to the lifestyle sections - and the loss of much of the news about women. This is an area that I continue to work on.