Skip to main content

tv   Women Journalists at the Turn of the 20th Century  CSPAN  January 7, 2017 8:00pm-9:05pm EST

8:00 pm
experience, or what the consequence of that volunteering is? in thankingin me dr. annessa stagner. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] announcer: you are watching american history tv. to join the conversation, like us on facebook. on lectures in history, iowa state university professor tracy cht teaches a class on women journalists in the late 19th and early 20th century. she discusses the careers of some pioneers and the societal pressures for women writers to balance traditional femininity and having a career in journalism. this class is about an hour. good morning. thank you for being here today.
8:01 pm
today's lecture is about american women journalists of the late 19th century. this is one of my absolute favorite things to talk about, as i am sure you all can imagine. i am going to dive right into it. talk ise of today's "sob sisters," because this label representative khanna job a newmerged -- represents kind of job that emerged in the 20 century. women seized the opportunities of the circumstances of their time to carve out a public space for themselves and to make a voice for themselves and for others when women's voices were welcomed or respected much. oftory is always a story
8:02 pm
individuals responding creatively to the conditions and circumstances in which they live. to really understand how this unfolded and how this new type of job, that being a newspaper in some of the biggest cities of the country, to understand how this came about, we really have to backup and talk about the business of journalism in the late 1800s. specifically i want to talk about a new business model that emerged in the 1830's called the penny press. this is a new type of newspaper that began in new york city. any ideas why it would have been called the penny press? >> [inaudible] it was cheaper, absolutely. it was sold for a penny. this is a new idea in journalism.
8:03 pm
until then, newspapers had been sold mainly by subscriptions. thank caters to the business class and political elites, and they were far more expensive. they cost about $10 a year for a subscription, which was a lot of money back then, and up to six pennies for one issue. a cheap newspaper actually did not come from a journalist at all. it came from a medical student named horatio shepherd, who noticed as he walked to medical school in new york city how many vendors were on the streets selling things for just a penny. what he noticed was that people were willing to buy anything for a penny. they were willing to give up a penny pretty easily. a sellingas, when newspaper for a penny and fill --with content that would be why not sell a newspaper for a penny and fill it with content that would be entertaining and give people a reason to buy it?
8:04 pm
he tried, this medical student, with the help of our friend horace greeley, and it failed. it did not work out for him. however, other people took up the challenge and made a go of it. these penny papers had characteristics that made them different. catered tong, they the masses, right? because the idea was to sell at sell a highe, to volume of newspapers at a low price, as opposed to selling just a few newspapers at a really high price. in order to appeal to as many they wrotepossible, in a more conversational way, they wrote stories about the city in which people were living, they wrote stories about
8:05 pm
crime, they wrote every day kind of news. class, so tos over speak. what else? they were competitive. as more and more of these newspapers cropped up, they began competing with each other for the most up-to-the-minute information. tall tales sometimes, scandalous types of things. thatiggest difference was now, because their purpose was to attract lots of eyeballs, they could charge more for advertising. this was a shift in the business of journalism, and it is one that is probably still recognizable to you. to sell the content pretty cheaply to attract a high circulation or lots of readers, and then to charge advertisers the opportunity to reach those
8:06 pm
readers. the first of these newspapers was started by benjamin day in 1833. t was "the new york sun." you can see there, price: one cent. the model of the new york sun was, it shines for all. why that model? well, because it was aimed at regular people, not just opinion leaders. this was possible for a lot of in the period.ns for one thing, urban populations were growing, the economy was growing, you had a middle class that was growing, so more people were able to buy newspapers but also advertisers were more interested in reaching those people, literacy rates were growing, democratic reform, expanding voter privileges, we
8:07 pm
are getting average americans a feeling of more enfranchisement, a greater interest in the affairs of their communities, and steam power was making it possible to produce more copies of these newspapers band could have been printed before. again, if you print a lot of newspapers, you have to sell a lot. what do you think happened? how do you sell newspapers? how do you attract attention? what do you think they did? any thoughts? student: go out on the street? absolutely. you get on the street and sell newspapers. and maybe use and socialize a bit, right? that was what the new york sun was known for. successfulmost series of stories was called the
8:08 pm
great moon hoax. this was a series of stories in 1835 in which "the new york sun" reported that life had been discovered on the moon. it reported on an article written in a scottish journal, allegedly reporting the discovery. there allegedly was plant life, fauna, on the moon, and even some winged bat-light creatures that represented the flying monkeys in the wizard of oz much later. in 1835, that's what they said late on the moon. of course this was a tall tale. of course it was made up. all the other newspapers called out "the new york sun" for making this up. sun, however, never admitted it, and it circulation rose to match the "times of london," and by then it was the most read newspaper in the world. it was fun. it was entertaining.
8:09 pm
courts anded on police reports and crime. this had not been done before. founded atspaper this time was "the new york herald," founded in 1835. it was a little different. its mission was to provide a correct picture of the world, to give people information about and to the independent of politics, of religion, of the elite at that time. they shocked readers with this, by the way. they came out and said, we don't practice any particular religion . we are not protestants, we are not catholics. they called things what they were. ,hey used really frank language if you can believe it. legs" in hisword "
8:10 pm
imbs."per instead of "lambs. > scandalous, right? he used the word pantaloons. he called things what they were. he dared the folks in power, the upper classes to challenge him,. innovative.mely a lot of what we recognize in journalism today was a result of bennett's renovation. -- innovation. systemblished the beak of reporting. you still go into newsrooms and people will tell you what areicular beat they covering, meaning someone is assigned to cover courts, someone is assigned to cover crime, someone is assigned to cover politics. that was in its -- bennett's innovation.
8:11 pm
a press corps in washington, d.c. previous to that, lawmakers, when they had debates, in good time they would provide those to washington papers to publish. bennett was the first two said, we should cover this in real time. so he created a press corps to do that. he changed the definition of news. why is this important? ing with thert penny press? i want you to keep this in mind. whatever newspapers say their objective is, it is actually to make money. that's the real motivation. keep that in mind as we switched years a little bit, ok? the other thing that you need to know about this time period to understand this rise of a new type of female journalist was
8:12 pm
you need to know about gender norms in the 19th century. what did people think about gender and what it meant to be a man versus a woman? there are two i marry ideas that are important. one is the notion of separate for men and women. the ideology was that men's work was public, important, for men, and that women had other attributes and qualities. , ande natural caretakers the two spheres should be kept separate. were assumed to be naturally more intelligent, active, in charge, aggressive. women were assumed to be better at raising the children and running the household. womensly at this time,
8:13 pm
could not vote. their education opportunities were far more limited than men. they lacked property rights in many states. they were treated like property themselves. part of this ideology came from religion. it was believed that god en to be the leaders, and that god intended women to take care of their y,mily's physicall spiritually, intellectually. it was believed women were the better sex, they were pure of mind and heart, and they were needed to keep their menfolk in families onp their a street spiritual path. another reason that this separation of spears was so entranced at this time was that
8:14 pm
the industrial revolution had changed. the patterns of people's homes and work. and it was taking work which, to that point, had been in the home , out of the home. people were leaving their homes for wages as opposed to producing all their home goods in working the land and doing their work as a family unit. you start to see this distinction between public, the public realm, which was that of men,and politics and and the private realm, the province of women. the home, the domestic life of a family. separation of spheres. men and women are to be kept apart.
8:15 pm
barbara welter, a historian, famously wrote about the colt of three women head. -- colt of true womanhood. it required three things of women. int. ty, meaning they had to be religious. purity, they had to be pure of mind and body. submissiveness, they had to be submissive to the men in their lives. finally, domestic, they had to be well trained and able to manage the affairs of the household. so women were put on a pedestal, so to speak, in terms of being the better sex, being a protected class. were also changed
8:16 pm
to that pedestal because it restricted their areas of influence, their opportunities and what they were able to do. and, of course, it always depended on their livelihood, on the ability of the men around them to properly care for them, to provide for that materially and physically, and we know that that didn't always happened, which is something that will come up a bit later. so what is a girl to do in this situation? if you needed to work, what if you needed money? what if you had lost your male provider? would you negotiate this situation? what if you wanted to write, to be a professional? what if you had things to say?
8:17 pm
what kinds of strategies could you use? well, there are two bank women who i think really illustrate the response to these conditions. if you look at them, they look similar. don't they look alike? they look like they could be the same woman, right? but they were very different people and did not like each other. hale, them was sarah other margaret fuller. i want to talk about their experiences as influential, really significant women journalists of their day, because again, it sets the stage for what is to come. , the first female editor of a women's magazine. she was the editor of a magazine called "ladies book," one of the important magazines of its time.
8:18 pm
extremely important person in journalism of the 1800s. she was a widow. she was widowed by her husband and had five children. she needed to work. she started to write. ,he had had limited education mainly what she was able to get a her home, but she wrote how tree and wrote a really successful novel that enabled her to find some other opportunities. by the way, she eventually wrote "mary had a little lamb," so there you have it. sarah jessica hale -- josepha hale wrote "mary had a little lamb." ladyas the embodiment of a at her time. she had impeccable taste in
8:19 pm
fashion and home to corps and literature. she was a traditionally -- as traditionally feminine as one could get. she was deeply religious. and she used her editorship of this magazine to tell other women how they can best live up to god's plan for them. best care for their families and their children. she was a strong advocate for equal education for women. she helped found bass or college vassar college, a women's college. she believed women should be physicians. however, she did not believe women should vote. she believed in education for women because she believed it would help them take care of their family, health and carry out -- would help women carry out their god-given duties.
8:20 pm
she was extremely influential for her time, but also managed to remain a lady. she lobbied several presidents to make thanksgiving a national holiday. she finally got lincoln to do it. it was partly her doing that we celebrate thanksgiving as a national holiday. that is sarah josepha hale. margaret fuller is a different story. byrilliant woman, educated her father, who gave her a classical education in great, italian, philosophy, history. they lived in cambridge, massachusetts, home to harvard, where many of her male friends attended. she, however, was not able to attend. she had to rely on lessons that
8:21 pm
her male friends were able to bring home to her. but yet, she was highly intelligent, recognized as being highly intelligent, and the family had a strong intellectual circle around them. except her dad went broke and a farm.e family to she ended up having to take care of everybody. of a male provider required her to become a teacher. the acceptedof jobs for women, the teaching, because it was part of caretaking and bringing up children. eventually she got bored. she moved back to the boston area. withung out transcendentalists. her friends included ralph waldo emerson, perot. this group founded a literary magazine called "the dial," and
8:22 pm
they made her an editor. i have a hunch they sort of wanted her to do all the work of , and sheut she did it was aoud of it, and it very critically acclaimed magazine. she's in this circle of friends, she is moving and shaking with some of the deepest thinkers of her time. everybody knows she is brilliant, capable, has stuff to say, except no one wanted to marry her because she was not perceived as being ladylike. she was not doing what sarah hale was doing. she was not fulfilling some time kind of traditional image of what it meant to be a lady, and this frustrated her deeply.
8:23 pm
book in 1845 called "woman in the 19th century," a feminist book. she got the attention of forest really of "the new york tribune," who was impressed with her and hired her to be a literary critic. she is not in the newsroom. she is a correspondent. gives hery opportunities that have not been available to women before, and she becomes the first female foreign correspondent. he sends her to europe and she responds with letters and correspondence about going in all sorts of countries. thought that margaret fuller was not a good role model . this is what sarah hale had to
8:24 pm
say about margaret fuller. she thought she was ignoring the one true book? what is the one true book? the bible. and that, according to hale, was proof that the greater the intellectual force, the greater the errors into which women fall who wander from the rock of salvation, christ the savior. but sheas influential, was treated as sort of a freak. she did not get to be both a public intellectual and a brilliant writer and a traditional woman. it was not in the cards for her. in fact, her story, she's in europe writing for horace 10eley, she meets a guy
8:25 pm
years younger, giovanni angelo, which my don't know about you guys, but giovanni angelo sounds pretty exciting to me. they became lovers, they had a baby out of wedlock, they got married later. got involved in the roman revolution, sailed off to america, and then drowned. their ship wrecked off the , ande -- off the coast they drowned and their bodies were never found. isn't that sad? i feel like she was just coming into her own and it did not work out for her. this was the model for women in whichlism in the 1800s, nellie bly,ge for
8:26 pm
which i'm sure is a name you all have heard. and you talk about the history of journalism, nellie bly's name comes up. she is very well known. the reason she is so well known is because she was extremely significant. two pieces of context, increasing commercialization of the press, publishers in it for money, trying to drive up circulation, get eyeballs. upthe one hand, women caught in this sort of dilemma. on the other hand, traditional femininity versus a profession, a writing life, not being able to negotiate it very well. how do these things come together? they came together in the form of nellie bly. nellie bly was born elizabeth
8:27 pm
cochran, born in pennsylvania. her father died. are you sensing a pattern? her father died when she was six years old. mccain was pink -- her nickname was pink, by the way. her father had been married before. like 10omething children. she was a result of his second marriage, five children in that family. lefthe died, he had not any provisions for the second family, so they were broke. when she was a teenager, she went to school to become a --nager, because a woman was because if a woman was smart and wanted to work, that was often what she did. newspaper column in a local newspaper that called working women a monstrosity, her future changed. regular -- wrote an angry letter to the editor of
8:28 pm
the newspaper, because she knew that it was necessary for women to work a lot of times. so what were they to do? from her mother's experience -- her mother, after dad, her of nellie's ,other married an abusive man and that situation had not worked out, so nellie bly was really aware of some of the scary predicaments that women , and get themselves into had sympathy for it. so she wrote an angry letter to the editor in response to that column, and he was so impressed that he hired her to write for him and gave her the pen name nellie bly. she was feisty. she gave voice to people and issues that have not gotten a hearing before. the paper confide her to the , by thisage, which
8:29 pm
time, newspapers have begun to publish as a way to draw in women readers, because remember, new business model, advertising, eyeballs. women are making a lot of the purchasing decisions for their families, advertisers want to reach women, newspapers start women's pages and are now more interested in this type of content. that's where they tried to keep her from a about fashion. they tried to assign her stories about flowers and the stuff that would have made sarah hale happy, except she just kept busting out. she called for a reform of divorce laws. she wrote about the conditions for women who work in factories. she wrote about the medical treatment of the poor. she even convinced the pittsburgh paper to send her to mexico. it was there that she really
8:30 pm
started to get this taste of adventure. she came back and the newspaper tried to put her on the women's page. she said, i'm >> she left a note for the colonists who called working women a monstrosity, she said i am off to new york, look out for me, bly. she tried her look. . her luck doors forknocking on 6 months. managed tomen who get published were in the women's pages. the newspaper was a dirty,
8:31 pm
interesting place, but it was not thought to be an appropriate place for a lady and that is where she wanted to be. she finally gets the managing ,"itor of the "new york world do have a meeting with her. the "nework world -- by joseph," is owned pulitzer. one of his rivals is william randolph hearst. the type of the news that started with the penny press is theying over in -- into 80's and 90's and will culminate
8:32 pm
with yellow journalism. it involves lashing headlines and big illustrations. shy headlines and big illustrations. the idea is to draw readers. bly gets a medium -- give a meeting with john cockrell and said we need to write about the poor and how they are treated. aboutd, you cover a story blackwell's island, which was the insane asylum that was a very scary place to be, and i
8:33 pm
will give you a job. she takes the challenge and she fakes insanity, which, to be fair, was not hard to do at the time, especially for a woman. for a woman to get thrown into an insane asylum, all it took was her husband saying she was and they would lock her up. she fakes her way into this insane asylum with the promise the paper will send a lawyer to get her out. which they do. she writes a dramatic series called "ten days in a mad house ," and it tells about the awful conditions of the treatment of the patients there.
8:34 pm
it talks about that food and poor treatment and dirty conditions. it was such a big deal when it was published that it resulted in an official investigation of the asylum, additional money was put into the budget to improve conditions and reforms were made. what is noteworthy about nellie she makesing is herself a central character in the story. she writes with the drama and a recklessness. she writes in the first person. it is riveting and it keeps people coming back. we might consider this investigative reporting. she was gaining access to a closed space and reporting on the conditions there and
8:35 pm
exposing a public problem, right? itther way we might think of is as stunt journalism. term oftenalism is a used to denigrate something like what nellie bly did. she did not only fake her way into an insane asylum, but she went around the world. she made it her mission to beat the fictitious character in "around thes novel world in 80 days," and that becomes the story. she is traveling around the world and reporting back from where she is.
8:36 pm
readers are wondering is she going to make it? the world goes nuts with this. they create a board game. she becomes a national celebrity. part gets left out, a woman he was writing for something called "the cosmopolitan magazine," the editor, when he got word that nellie bly was pulling this -- he sent his own ,ournalists and she did not win which is why she has largely been forgotten. a new type of journalism.
8:37 pm
bly continued to write tantalizing stories and always sided with the underdog. she wrote sympathetic stories about the poor and how women were treated by police. she traveled to chicago and there was a strike and she was the only person to write a story from the worker's perspective. she introduced a new john -- a new genre for women. would trickle out and influence women at other newspapers. william randolph hearst had his own stunt reporter, a woman with laurie whoe of annie
8:38 pm
worked for the "san francisco aaminer," where she faked fainting spell in the busy -- in the middle of a busy road to test the ambulance response time. and during a hurricane in galveston, she dressed as a man to be able to cover the devastation for her newspaper. i have also noticed a trend in other local newspapers. here in iowa, a woman by the name of dorothy ashby powell writing about camp dodge in 1917 pulled stunts or she would put herself into the story. sed justorter gets gas
8:39 pm
to write about it. let's see what this girl can get herself into this time. it was entertainment and a bit scandalous because these women are putting themselves in danger and in public. but it got attention and eyeballs. a twin type of role that emerges was often given the derogatory embodiedob sister is by a woman named dorothy dix. she was an advice columnist who became one of the most widely read and richest. her name was elizabeth mirabella -- elizabeth meriwether gilmer.
8:40 pm
she began her career in new orleans. she was married and, you guessed it, widowed. she had to find work. approached, she was by a neighbor who owned the "new cune," and shepi hired her as a columnist. 1894, she begins writing becomessalad," and it "dorothy dix talks." she was firmly on the side of the poor and the disenfranchised.
8:41 pm
she wrote more about domestic matters than nellie bly and the stunt reporters would do. she always gave a sympathetic ear. she wrote about temperance, which was the movement to prohibit alcohol. that was a big movement by women who felt abused by their fathers and husbands drinking. one of her most famous columns was called "the shelves this -- the selfishness of men," and it wreck wherea ship the men saved themselves and murdered women and children in the process. it was a big deal and she wrote
8:42 pm
about it. she wrote from a feminine perspective. that is what she was hired to do. because publishers had learned that femininity could be marketable. you take the commercialization of the press and he take these notions of divinity -- femininity and you combine them into a form of writing that sells and gets attention. writing that serves the purposes of the publishers. timetorian has called this the creation of the modern public space. a sphere was being created in which women now had a voice for the first time. women wrote about crimes of
8:43 pm
andion, these sob sisters it was here that they got their name. from 1907, the 20th century had a lot of trials and crimes of the century and in this case a wealthy, philandering, unstable society man had murdered a prominent new york architect. his wife, a beautiful social climber, had once been with the architect and got married to the guy with the gun and had to explain why she wasn't a virgin. the reason that she gave was that it had been against her will, causing the unstable, gun toting husband to hunt down the architect and kill him.
8:44 pm
you can imagine what this story was like in your city at the time -- in new york city at the time. it ended in a trial. this was scandalous stuff. this was going to be a trial that hinged on testimony about sex and bondage and there was a velvet swing involved. at the time, women did not sit on juries in new york city and many observers thought this trial was no place for a woman if we were going to be discussing matters that were that inappropriate. fouror formidable -- but formidable reporters demanded that they be allowed to cover the trial for their readers.
8:45 pm
and they were allowed to sit at a table to observe. the newspaper publishers put these women there to provide the woman's perspective. right?e emotionally, dorothy dix, ada patterson, any ,aurie and solely greeley smith one of the male colleagues wrote a column saying this is a travesty and they should not be allowed. he called them sob sisters and the label stuck. but what i want to say about influencedt this generations of women to come. women may not have been respected, while they may have been treated as girl
8:46 pm
reporters, has spectacles, right, as sob sisters, they found a way to make their voices heard. they found a way to raise issues that were not being discussed. they found a way to advocate for themselves and for other women and marginalized people. and, moving forward, a lot of women were the label proudly -- wore the label proudly. awoman iowa called herself sob sisters and she was proud because it allowed her to do a kind of work she found professionally fulfilling, right? so pioneers like nellie bly and dorothy dix inspired women to
8:47 pm
flock to newspapers in the 1890's and at the turn of the 20th century. when the nellie bly started her career, only 5% of journalists were women and that would rise by 25% by 1930. it is important to note that these women were doing what women had not done before. they were not following the model of sarah josepha hale or margaret fuller, but their gender was working for them. there,d to fight to get but they found a way and they found a way to create a public space or the self -- for themse lves and make their voices heard. i am curious what your questions are.
8:48 pm
that is a lot of ground to cover. barriers in any journalism today that women are still having to overcome? that is a really excellent question and what i will tell you is this. i just throughout the number, that in 1930, newsrooms were about 25% female. that proportion today is not all that higher. the period from 2016 you might expect it to be higher, but it is not. 36%emains stuck at about for quite a long time.
8:49 pm
it is a good question. the history of women in journalism shows that these individual women often created jobs for themselves by creating something new, a new genre. nellie bly created stunt reporting that had never been done before and it got imitated. a woman that i have written about named sylvia porter created personal-finance journalism. she was not allowed to do what other financial journalists were doing, so she did something new. she worked her way around it. what happens when you create these new genres is that particular genre gets attached to their gender. personal-finance becomes something that women do. or stunt reporting becomes
8:50 pm
something that women do. while these individuals create opportunities and open doors that have been closed before, sometimes that also creates what ghettos where there are stereotypes and the expectation becomes that they will stay in those specific roles instead of branching out. >> [indiscernible] were the early women reporters paid a lot less than the male reporters? absolutely. dorothy dix and some of the more enterprising women -- she became syndicated and became pretty wealthy by trademarking her name. but that was few and far between.
8:51 pm
they were not hired as full-time salaried journalists. usually they had to prove themselves by doing freelance work, being paid per column inch or for the content that they provided. that was a lot different than getting a salary. absolutely and the expectation was that men were the breadwinners. even if a woman did not have a mail provider, it was still assumed that she was not a breadwinner like a man would be in a similar situation. [indiscernible] was it just women who had 10 names or did all reporters have 10 names to protect themselves nnames or did all reporters
8:52 pm
names to protect themselves? >> you had in who wrote newspaper columns who gave themselves a nickname to give a persona to the column. you have a mark twain who went by -- you have single clemency went by mark twain. clemens who went by mark twain. but women used it because they were not taken seriously. while nellie bly and dorothy dix namesvery feminine pen because they're reporting was , but if a woman
8:53 pm
wanted to write something that was not gendered, they would often use initials so that you could not see if they were a woman. >> [indiscernible] >> when you look at the ratios of women to men in the newsroom, white is that and -- why is that and do i see that changing? it is a good question and the reason it is so interesting is because classrooms in journalism and mass communication are about two thirds women. newsrooms, thet ratio is flipped. full-time journalists working in
8:54 pm
news organizations, women hover around 36% and the higher you go in the ranks, the lower that percentage against. -- the lower that percentage gets. women are a low percentage of publishers, why is that? my scholarship has shown it is an issue of culture and this relates to my earlier response about individual people finding ways to be successful when there are constraints. finding ways to work around discrimination, finding ways to use what they have, use their resources to make their way.
8:55 pm
but that is different from the culture of a place changing, right? for these early women, letting one woman, two women, three women into a newsroom is a lot different than the newsroom changing to incorporate these women's voices, experiences, and perspectives. but i think what you find when you look at the history is, a lot of times, even as the numbers go up, and this does not just apply to women, but it applies to racial and ethnic placesies and other where we see issues of diversity , just hiring people who are them intoand bringing a system that remains the same does not do much to encourage
8:56 pm
real inclusion or diversity and perspectives over the long-term. my position is it is an issue of culture. it is one thing to come into a newsroom and another to change the culture. >> [indiscernible] of womens the history in sports journalism? a really great question. into the 20th century, women had to fight really hard to be allowed to cover, especially men's sports. some of these areas, sports and politics, hard news are considered very masculine speech. --en really did not to get women did not get to cover sports in notable numbers into the 1970's with affirmative
8:57 pm
action policy and even then there were lots of issues surrounding access to athletes, locker room interviews, harassment on the job. that sports is one of those areas that was the last to become more excepting of women and it is still a work in progress. do you have a favorite female journalists at this time? >> do i have a favorite based on my research, yeah, i have to say that the person that i wrote about, i wrote a daughter feet of sylvia porter and she is still probably my favorite female journalists to talk
8:58 pm
about. t to talk journalis about. she was a brilliant. lived during the depression and her father had died and she wanted to work in finance. she created an empire and a brand. she was read by 40 million people. at the time she was as well-known as opera and mobster -- martha stewart. but history is full of interesting people and certainly some of these women are fascinating as well. >> [indiscernible] >> did these women meet with the
8:59 pm
-- where these women involved in the suffrage movement? ofnellie bly wrote a profile susan b anthony, and famous -- susan b anthony, a famous suffragist. newspapersorking at are not part of the movement. they cover the movement, but there is a separate type of female journalists whose journalism serves the movement and who is part of it. you have separate suffrage newspapers and publications that are politically involved and
9:00 pm
engaged. bute women were supportive not necessarily of the movement. >> do you think there will be a type of yellow journalism today today thaturnalism can make someone the same as nellie bly? >> that is an interesting question. with social media, it seems something similar could, absolutely, i could envision it. this type of reporting now could be called immersion reporting. these things have different labels over time, right? absolutely. and i also think there are a lot of parallels between the upheaval we are seeing now and the -- in the business models of
9:01 pm
journalism and the way that newspapers developed new business models in the 19th century. the model of charging for advertising and aiming for high circulation, that may not be panning out for news organizations on the internet, so they are going to be developing a different model and who knows what we will see after that. [indiscernible] >> good question, where women at home engaging with this content on a daily basis, where they reading it, and was there any backlash? absolutely, i am sure there was backlash. women are not a homogenous group.
9:02 pm
like sarah hale was not supportive of margaret fuller, there were plenty of women who thought nellie bly was scandalous. but as to the question of where people eating the content up, yeah, they were. this gets to this larger point of what commercialization made possible. was nots, even if this appropriate behavior for a lady, it made money. this populist form of journalism became a way for women to make their way into the industry because if they could bring the numbers with them, they can make a profit for the owners of these newspapers and who was to stop them? thank you all very much. [applause] >> i am glad you were here.
9:03 pm
announcer: join us every saturday evening as we join students in college classes to hear lectures ranging anywhere from the american revolution to 9/11. visit our website or download this from itunes. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] sunday night on q and a,
9:04 pm
rosemary stevens, professor emeritus of history at the university of pennsylvania discusses her book, a time of scandal, the makings of the veterans bureau." theo one had heard of veterans bureau scandal before and it was a big scandal in the 1930's. time, the veterans bureau scandal, of which charles ford was the center, was equally important, and yet, this man has come down in history as a crook. i got intrigued. announcer: sunday night at eight eastern on c-span q and a. historian military harry labor talks


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on