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Serial and Government Publications Division



Using the Newspaper Collection
Women and the News Business
arrow graphicResearching Women in the Newspaper Industry
Women Reporters
PATHFINDER: Women's Editions of Daily Newspapers
Finding Women in Newspapers
Women as Audience






Researching Women in the Newspaper Industry
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Abigail Scott Duniway. Engraving, 1870-90. Biographical file. Prints and Photographs Division. LC-USZ61-787.

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| bibliographic record

Several works investigating the presence of women in the newspaper field have appeared recently. Until the 1980s, most discussions of individuals involved in newspaper production focused on men—as editors, publishers, columnists, and reporters. Few women, unless they were so renowned that the history of the news would be incomplete without them—as was the case with Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Nellie Bly— were highlighted in the histories, and even fewer treatments of women's roles were published.

One of the few early works on women and the press was written by New York Herald Tribune reporter Ishbel Ross. Ladies of the Press (New York: Arno Press, 1936, 1974; PN4872.R7 1974 N&CPR) is a colorful history of women in the newspaper business from colonial times to the twentieth century. Roughly chronological in arrangement, its index is helpful in locating specific women. Great Women of the Press by Madelon Schilpp and Sharon Murphy (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, c1983; PN4872.S34 1983 N&CPR) is a biographical introduction to women in the press, from Elizabeth Timothy, as the first woman publisher, to war correspondent Marguerite Higgins (1920-1966). Although not as comprehensive as Ross's work, Great Women establishes the importance and credibility of women in the newspaper industry.

Other reference works that cover specific aspects of women as reporters include:

  • Edwards, Julia. Women of the World: The Great Foreign Correspondents. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1988. PN4872.E39 1988 N&CPR.
    A history that tells how women joined the ranks of the elite reporters— foreign correspondents—beginning in the nineteenth century.
  • Mills, Kay. A Place in the News: From the Women's Pages to the Front Page. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990. PN4784.W7 M55 1990 N&CPR.
    Mills, then with the Los Angeles Times, provides an insider's view of women's presence in the newsroom.
  • Streitmatter, Rodger. Raising Her Voice: African-American Women Journalists Who Changed History. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1994. PN4872.S66 1994 N&CPR.

Periodicals of the newspaper industry

Several periodicals discuss women in their various roles as reporter, subject, and audience. While some are indexed in abstracting and indexing sources such as the general Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature and the more journalism specific Communications Abstracts, many periodicals are not indexed.

Periodicals that cover the newspaper industry include:

  • The Journalist (The Journalist Publishing Company, New York; PN4700.J8) 1:1 (March 22, 1884) through 39:13 (January 1907).
    Although primarily intended for the newspaper and journalism man, it contains biographies of women journalists (with portraits), reports of women appointed to positions of editor or bureau chief, and the rise of women's magazines. The Journalist also published irregularly a special “Woman's Number,” first published in 1889 with over fifty biographies of women reporters.
  • Editor & Publisher (Editor and Publisher Company, New York; PN4700.E4 N&CPR), 1901 to the present.
    Covering all aspects of journal and newspaper publishing, it absorbed: The Journalist, Newspaperdom, and Fourth Estate; and it publishes several annual publications, including Editor & Publisher International Yearbook.
  • Publishers' Auxiliary (National Newspaper Association, Washington, D.C., etc.; PN4700.P8), 1865 to present.
    It is self-proclaimed as the “newspaper industry's oldest newspaper.” (LC holdings begin in 1891.)
Titles covering the newspaper field can be found in periodical directories such as Ulrich's International Periodical Directory, Standard Periodicals Directory, and Serials Directory, usually under the heading “journalism.” Other journals that discuss and analyze all aspects of newspapers include:

American Editor: The Bulletin of the American Society of Newspaper Editors
Columbia Journalism Review
Journalism History
Journalism Quarterly (continued by Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly) Nieman Reports

SAMPLE LCSH: Useful biographical headings include:
Women journalists—United States—Biography
Foreign correspondents—United States—Biography
Women journalists—[state]—Biography
African American journalists—Biography

Journalism—United States—History—Periodicals
Mass media—Periodicals
Press—United States—Periodicals

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