A PLACE IN THE NEWS: From the Women's Pages to the Front Pages by Kay Mills

A PLACE IN THE NEWS: From the Women's Pages to the Front Pages

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A drum-beating history of women in the newsroom by a journalist attached to the L.A. Times. From start (""There is a clear and current interaction between the women's movement, the presence of women on American newspapers, and the coverage of women by American newspapers. . .it is the focus of this book"") to finish (each chapter concludes with ""Everyday Indignities,"" a sounding-off, Reader's Digest-like anecdote), Mills salts her chronicle with plenty of polemic. Amidst the ire, however, are fascinating glimpses of women at work on the presses, going back to Colonial times, when John Peter Zenger's widow printed a newspaper. There is Cissy Patterson, editorializing on the front page of a 1930 Washington Herald that men should have no fear of a woman editor: ""Men have always been bossed by women anyway, although most of them don't know it."" There is Eleanor Roosevelt, giving women reporters a boost by allowing no male reporters to join them in covering her press conferences. There are Pulitzer Prize-winners Anna O'Hare McCormick (1937), Ada Louise Huxtable (1970), and Nan Robertson (1982). There are also, however, some gaps: Mills' chapter on women photographers makes no mention of the towering figure of Margaret Bourke-White, and no comment is forthcoming on the murky business of Janet Cooke's made-up Pulitzer story. A minor, didactic, but still useful--for shedding light on some shameful shadows--contribution to the history of journalism, and to women's history.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1988
Publisher: Dodd, Mead