Commentary by Sheila Gibbons, Editor of the quarterly Media Report to Women (www.mediareporttowomen.com)
Monday, April 29, 2013
Get Mad AND Get Even
Journalist Lynn Povich, author of The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace, last week talked with Newseum interviewer John Maynard for the Newseum's YouTube channel about the historic fight Newsweek women waged in 1970 for equal opportunity at the magazine. Povich was among the leaders of the group fed up with Newsweek's practice of steering women into low-paid researcher jobs and men into the higher-paid and higher-status correspondent and editor positions. In a frank interview she described instances of sexual harrassment, including stalking, along with the dead-end job pattern. Sixty women ended up suing the magazine for discrimination. Their war room? The ladies' room at the magazine. It took a second lawsuit for real progress to be made. Povich became Newsweek's first female senior editor in the magazine's history. You can see her interview with Maynard here.
Media Report to Women Editor Sheila Gibbons has been studying the interaction of women and media since the early 1970s, and has written extensive commentary and analysis about this subject. She is the co-author of Taking Their Place: A Documentary History of Women and Journalism (Strata Publishing, 2002) and of Exploring Mass Media: Past, Present, Future (Lawrence Erlbaum). Sheila is the former director of public affairs for Gannett Co., Inc., where she was also a news editor. She has also edited a special-market women's magazine and taught journalism at the University of Maryland.