Women and Journalism offers a comprehensive analysis of the roles, status and experiences of women journalists in the United States and Britain. Drawing on a variety of sources, the authors investigate the challenges women have faced in their struggles to become established in the profession from the mid-19th century onward. With a particular focus on news journalism, the book provides an account of the gendered structuring of journalism in print, radio and television and speculates about women's role in the new sector of online journalism. L Comparing and women's advancement in journalism in United States and Britain, the book identifies a number of key differences and the shared constraints that operate against women's progression in journalism in both countries. The authors argue that a gendered organization of newsroom cultures means that women are marginal in fields of "serious news" reporting. The authors argue that compared to male colleagues, women journalists are often considered open to criticism on their sex lives, parental status and appearance from audiences and management alike.
The book is unique in examining women's contribution to both mainstream and alternative news media. It examines the strategies women have adopted to gain power in a male-dominated media environment, charting women's independent press, radio, television and Internet initiatives in the United States and Britain: from the suffrage press to Spare Rib in the UK, from the abolitionist campaigners to Off Our Backs and Ms Magazine in the US; and from women's community radio, television news programs to women's Internet newsgroups in both countries. In stark contrast to the accent on women's rights in alternative news media, however, mainstream women journalists are central to the recent rise of a style of journalism distinguished by an emphasis on confessional, therapy "news" and market-led postfeminism. The authors conclude by addressing women's contribution to public discourse and their potential future role in the age of interactive news media and ask whether the concept of the "public sphere" is relevant to women in journalism.