Category Archives: women in journalism

Must-Read: A column from the Swarthmore student paper

A former student of mine who is a student at Swarthmore, has been sharing this column from the Swarthmore student paper on Facebook.  It’s written under a pseudonym–read it and you’ll see why–and it is a great example of column writing that strikes a balance between being personal and vulnerable and being informative.

Also, it is a great example of the kind of subject matter that does not get discussed enough or featured enough in the mainstream press.

I’ll be interested to see what you all think.


Journalist, Activist Masha Hamilton visits Sweet Briar

Given that Masha Hamilton will be visiting Sweet Briar this week, we will be reading some of her writing.  Her visit comes at a great time for us, as she has done a lot of investigative work.

Please read the first article for Tuesday’s class and the second and  third for Thursday’s class.



Also, please do your very best to attend at least one of Hamilton’s events while she is one campus this week.  Her schedule is below:

Wednesday, November 2

* 3 – 4:15 p.m. (FAC) Presentation and Q &A with y:1 students and faculty

* 8 p.m. (Wailes Lounge, Wailes Conference Center) Lecture & slideshow presentation to Sweet Briar and the outside community about Masha Hamilton’s career as a journalist, novelist, and humanitarian, especially her experiences with women in Afghanistan. (One hour with Q & A, book signing in looby to follow.)

Thursday, November 3 

* 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. (FAC) Afternoon meeting and discussions with Salt Block business students on entrepreneurial non-profit business management and their work for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project

Friday, November 4  

* 8 p.m. (Murchison Lane Auditorium, Babcock Fine Arts Center.) “Out of Silence” reading/performance by Sweet Briar theatre students (Note: An image of Lalla Essaydi’s photograph Les Femmes du Maroc #17, 200, which is in the College’s permanent collection, could be projected on stage before and after the performance.)

* 9:30 p.m. Reception to follow the performance in the lobby of the Babcock Fine Arts Center.

Monday, November 7

* 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. (Pannell Art Gallery) Afternoon reading and Q & A with Red Clay literary magazine staff, creative writing students. (Director of Art Collection and Galleries Karol Lawson can arrange for Lalla Essaydi’s photograph Les Femmes du Maroc #17, 2005 to be on display in the gallery during the reading.)

* 7 p.m. (Sanctuary Cottage) Dinner with creative writing students and faculty

Tuesday, November 8

* 3 – 4:15 p.m. (Fletcher 200) Meet with creative writing students enrolled in the ENGL 334 Fiction Workshop: Research and the Fiction Writer.




Abramson takes over the ‘Grey Lady’– first woman ed-in-chief of the NY Times

Jill Abramson, first woman editor-in-chief of the New York Times

Former managing editor of the New York Times Jill Abramson has just taken over as editor-in-chief of the New York Times, becoming the first woman to hold the post in the history of the venerable paper. Check out this excerpt of a profile of Abramson in this week’s New Yorker:

Once, it was preposterous to think that a woman could become the editor of the Times. When Eileen Shanahan, who went on to become a well-respected economics reporter, arrived for an interview with Clifton Daniel, the managing editor, in 1962, she hid her desire to become an editor. “All I ever want is to be a reporter on the best newspaper in the world,” she told him.

“That’s good,” Daniel responded, as Shanahan told the story, “because I can assure you no woman will ever be an editor at the New York Times.”

Four decades ago, women and minorities were second-class citizens at the paper. According to Nan Robertson’s book “The Girls in the Balcony: Women, Men, and the New York Times,” only forty of the Times’ four hundred and twenty-five reporters were women, and this included not a single national correspondent. There were no female photographers, columnists, or editorial-board members. Not a single black journalist rose above the position of reporter.
In the late nineteen-seventies, after facing multiple lawsuits alleging discrimination against women and minorities, the company became more aggressive in promoting and recruiting staffers who weren’t white men. By 2010, forty-one per cent of the editors and supervisors were women; just under twenty per cent of all employees were minorities; and thirteen per cent of supervisory positions were held by minorities.

This June, the paper’s publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., announced the appointment of Abramson and of Dean Baquet, who is black, as the new managing editor. Many who gathered in the newsroom that day were thinking of this history. Not a few women cried. Susan Chira, an assistant managing editor, says that she kept thinking that when she joined the Times, in 1981, many Times women were “sad, bitter, angry people who were talented but who had been thwarted.” Editors openly propositioned young women. “I can’t believe how far we’ve come. To see Jill take the mantle, I felt tingling. You have to praise and savor when a woman can earn it through merit. No tokenism here. Jill studied for this job. She earned it.”

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