The Japanese Surrender – In Lincoln, Nebraska

8:00 p.m. Thursday, August 13, 1945. Lincoln, Nebraska. Marj took advantage of the brief quiet from the teletype machines and looked around the tiny United Press bureau office. The desks were cluttered with carbon papers, empty Coke bottles, dirty coffee cups, cigarette butts. Editors and reporters throughout the Lincoln Journal building were sleepy, their nerves… Continue reading The Japanese Surrender – In Lincoln, Nebraska

An International Gathering of Women, 1965

Last Sunday was International Women’s Day. In checking up on the history of the event, I discovered that its first observation was in 1909 in New York – organized by the Socialist Party of America. Socialists and Communists continued the commemorations for many years with strikes and sometimes days off for women. It wasn’t until… Continue reading An International Gathering of Women, 1965

Finding Your People in a Conference Hotel

I got back a couple days ago from the annual conference of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender, held this year in San Francisco. It’s a “boutique” conference – 120 or so women and men gathered to talk about issues that really matter to me. I attended panels considering women and… Continue reading Finding Your People in a Conference Hotel

In Praise of Carbon Paper

I spent several days last week working through archived papers of women journalists. I’d been to the National Women and Media Collection at the University of Missouri before, but this time I was concentrating on the correspondence of the women I study, gazing at their professional and personal lives as I leafed through files of… Continue reading In Praise of Carbon Paper

Networks – Now and Then

Ever since I studied structured communication patterns as a graduate student, I’ve had a viscerally negative reaction to “network” as a verb. In this age of social media, though, such usage – and “networking” itself – is largely unavoidable. I’m a bit of a lightweight, but you can follow me on Twitter, like my Facebook… Continue reading Networks – Now and Then

Language Matters

In July of 1979, Bob made history. After several years of protest from women’s groups – especially those around the gulf coast – Bob was the first male-name hurricane. Or perhaps himicane.  Jason Samenow provides an interesting history of this change, including the worries of many in the meteorological community that storms named after men… Continue reading Language Matters

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Ah, early May. Flowers emerging from recently frozen ground. Ducklings and goslings learning to navigate the water on their own. Final exams at colleges across the country. Mother’s Day. And, I have realized in recent days, weeks in honor of two careers: Teacher Appreciation Week runs from May 5 – 9 (just the school days,… Continue reading What do you want to be when you grow up?

Did Dorothy have a confidence problem?

Dorothy Jurney had quite a career in journalism. Born in 1909 to a newspaperman father and suffragette mother, she began her career at the Michigan City News and was women’s editor at the Miami Herald, Detroit Free Press, and Philadelphia Inquirer. Journalism scholar Jean Gaddy Wilson said that she “single-handedly changed American newspapers” by changing… Continue reading Did Dorothy have a confidence problem?

The F-word: Then and Now

In 1968, Gloria Biggs was the executive women’s editor at TODAY, a Gannett newspaper in Coco, Florida. She wrote a column headlined “To Catch a Woman” for a trade publication in which she provided advice about how women’s newspaper sections could cater more successfully to target readers. In the penultimate paragraph she noted: I’d like… Continue reading The F-word: Then and Now

Equality in the Newsroom? Not so much

Marj Paxson’s first job was with the United Press wire service in Omaha, Nebraska during World War II. It was there she had her first brush with sexual harassment, fighting off the advances of a clerk at the Nebraska Supreme Court.   Twice during her career, Marj was demoted when the section she was capably… Continue reading Equality in the Newsroom? Not so much