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1 WOMEN JOURNALISTS: THE FACTORS AND INFLUENCES THAT SHAPE THEIR CAREER PATHS By BRITTANY ALANA DAVIS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010
2 2010 Brittany Davis
3 To my parents
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I owe my deepest gratitude to my parents, Robin and Robert Davis, for all of their encouragement and sacrifice. I also thank my thesis chair Dr. Michael Leslie, who has been an integral part of my graduate school experience, and who helped make me aware of how race, class and gender can impact media coverage. Dr. Leslie read my thesis countless times, and he coached me through this process from beginning to end. This thesis wouldn't exist without him. It is a pleasure to also thank Dr. Kim Walsh Childers and Dr. Johanna Cleary for helping me find study participants and for th eir ideas and encouragement that contributed so much to this project. I'd like to thank Dr. Julie Dodd for her constant support and encouragement, and Professor Mike Foley who took the time to sit down and talk to me about the 1991 gender controversy at th e St. Petersburg Times Finally, I'd like to thank each woman who took the time to interview with me for this thesis. These women have influenced and inspired me more than they'll ever know.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 7 CHAPTER INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 9 Influences on Career Success ................................ ................................ .................. 9 ................................ ............... 10 Color in the Newsroom ................................ ................................ ........................... 12 Changes in Foreign News Coverag e ................................ ................................ ...... 12 Women and People of Color as Foreign Correspondents ................................ ....... 14 Theoretical Rationale for the Study ................................ ................................ ......... 15 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ ................................ 20 United States News Rooms ................................ ................................ .................... 20 Gender in Newsrooms ................................ ................................ ............................ 20 Race in Newsrooms ................................ ................................ ................................ 24 Social Class in Newsrooms ................................ ................................ .................... 26 Women Foreign Correspondents ................................ ................................ ............ 26 The Impact of Freelancers and Foreign Nationals on Diversity of Foreign Correspondents ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 29 Foreign Correspondents and Social Class ................................ .............................. 30 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 32 THE INTERVIEWS ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 38 Gender and Foreign Correspondents ................................ ................................ ..... 38 Foreign Correspondents and Family ................................ ................................ ....... 48 Race, Religion and Cultural Diversity of Foreign Correspondents .......................... 51 Family Background and Social Class of Foreign Correspondents .......................... 54 Gender and Domestic Journalists ................................ ................................ ........... 56 Family Responsibilities and Domestic Women Correspondents ............................. 60 Impact of Women Journalists on News Content ................................ ..................... 66 Race and Religion of Domestic Journalists ................................ ............................. 67 Impact of Journalists of Color on News Content ................................ ..................... 70 Socioec onomic Backgrounds of Women Journalists in the United States .............. 75 Literature and Discussion ................................ ................................ ....................... 76 Summary and Themes: Foreign Correspondents and Domestic Journalists, Commonalities and Differences ................................ ................................ .............. 79
6 APPENDIX SAMPLE TRANSCRIPTIONS ................................ ................................ ....................... 89 THE JOURNALISTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 103 THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS ................................ ................................ 103 THE JOURNALISTS WHO WORK IN THE UNITED STATES ............................. 104 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 105 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 109
7 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication WOMEN JOURNALISTS: THE FACTORS AND INFLUENCES THAT SHAPE THEIR CAREER PATHS By Brittany Alana Davis Decembe r 2010 Chair: Michael Leslie Major: Mass Communication This study examines the lives and career paths of women foreign correspondents and women journalists who work in the United States. Emphasis was placed on learning how gender, race and socia l class had influenced these women. This study explores the question: What factors and influences determine the career paths of successful women foreign correspondents and successful women journalists who work in the United States? Literature suggests that women and people of color have reported increasingly positive experiences in recent decades, but numbers show that both groups are still underrepresented. To answer my question, I interviewed 21 women journalists, nine foreign correspondents and 12 who wo rk from the United States, separating the two respective groups in order to compare the data. I explored the ways in which each woman felt that her family background, personality characteristics, race and gender had played out in her career. I used intervi ews because my aim was to understand the experiences and thoughts that influence the success of women journalists. My findings contrasted previous literature in some areas, and reinforced it in others. Nineteen of the respondents had a bachelor's degree, o ften from prestigious universities such as
8 Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. Women in both groups said their gender rarely hinders them, although it influences their relationships with sources. The domestic journalists in my study were mo re likely to have children than the foreign correspondents, but all women reported stress related to families and motherhood. When asked about ethnic background, the people of color were more likely than the white women to report that their race or ethnic background had influenced their career paths, whether through language ability, minority recruitment programs, or a heightened sense of social responsibility. Journalists from both groups said that women now, more than ever, have equal opportunities to suc ceed as their colleagues who are men.
9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Influences on Career Success The Washington Post People Magazine St. Petersburg Times in seventh grade, lov ed that reporting made her feel like a grown up. And the Los Angeles Times Tiffany Hsu grew up hearing stories about the adventures of her grandmother, one the first female reporters in Taiwan. DeYoung, Harmel and Hsu became journalists for different reas ons, and their opportunities and experiences have led them down different paths. This thesis explores the factors and influences that determine the career paths of women foreign correspondents and women journalists who work in the United States. Emphasis i s placed on exploring how factors such as gender, race and social class have influenced the career paths of the women in this study. This study brings a varied and insightful look into the lives of 21 women journalists at a time of great change for the med ia industry. Trends suggest that many traditional news organizations are shrinking while there had been an increase in online startups and non profit journalism groups (Walton, 2010). Although the mass layoffs of 2007 and 2008 have slowed, the future of tr aditional media, particularly print, is still uncertain (ASNE, 2010). About 15,114 professionals left newspapers in 2009 because of buyouts, layoffs and shrinking Television and radio have also suffered cutbacks (Barnhart, 2010; The State of the News Media: An Annual Report on American Journalism, 2010). Most study respondents are concerned about job security, and foreign correspondents, whose positions are expensi ve and among the first cut amidst industry turmoil, perceive the
10 precariousness of their positions to be especially acute. In addition to providing a snapshot of women journalists at a time of great change, this study also chronicles the lives and careers of some of the most prominent and fascinating women journalists of our day. From a myriad of backgrounds, career stages and media industries, many of these women have won prestigious journalism awards. For example, Lane DeGregory, of The St. Petersburg Tim es won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Associated Courage in Journalism Award and the 2003 2004 Edward R. Murrow fellowship from The Council on Foreign Relations. The list of awards is long, and this thesis helps us learn about the people and the stories behind their accomplishments. Recent statistics show that women have not obtained newsroom equality (Papper, 2010). I n local radio, women make up 29.2% of the workforce and 18.1% of news directors. And in December of 2010, when the female editors at the Oregonian and the San Diego Union Tribune announced their resignations, only two of the 20 highest circulation newspape rs were run by women (Lush, 2009). The underrepresentation of women in newsrooms, particularly in management positions, is especially puzzling because women have accounted for nearly two thirds of undergraduate journalism and communications students since the early 1980s (Cramer & Creedon, 2007). Cramer and Creedon (2007) argue that few role models, few opportunities for promotion, and a women. Another likely challenge is that in a society where women are often expected to do the bulk of the child rearing, women are less likely to commit to working the long, irregular hours often demanded in the journalism industry (Cramer & Creedon, 2007).
11 Harp (2007) argues that the male dominated culture at newspapers can create a double edged sword for women. A woman often must be aggressive if she wants to be promoted or if she wants to cover serious stories that are well played in the paper, but aggressive women are often viewed negati vely. To succeed as a domestic journalist or advance their careers to foreign correspondent positions, women must adjust their behavior to fit into a system that celebrates men's traditional attitudes and interest s. W omen have been forced t Different industries have had varied success in accepting and incorporating women as equals in the workforce, and news industries are behind the curve. The S hriver Report, which includes a comprehensive national poll conducted by The Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with Time Magazine found that women make up half of the overall workforce and are the primary breadwinners or co breadwinners in two thirds of households (Shriver, 2009). Even so, Joanne Lipman, former deputy managing editor at the Wall Street Journal points out that, according to the American Bar Association, women in 2008 still earn 77 cents to every dollar earned by a man (Lipman, 2009). Li pman describes the cultural shift that will be needed if women are to truly achieve professional equality with men (Lipman, 2009). First, we can begin by telling girls to have confidence in themselves, to not many, many men have come through my door asking for a raise or demanding a promotion. Guess how many women have ever asked me for But women ne ed to take risks and to realize that at some point they will fail. This is an incredibly hard thing to do, especially for women brought up in a culture that celebrates unrealistic perfection in every sphere, from beauty to housekeeping (Lipman, 2009).
12 Co lor in the Newsroom Making up roughly 34% of the population, people of color are at about 13.26% of newsroom employees (ASNE, 2010). There has been progress, but that progress has fallen short of goals set by the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE 2010). In 1978, people of color made up 3.95% of daily newspaper staffs, and the percentage increased nearly every year peaking at 13.73% in 2006 (ASNE, 2010). People of color also account for 11% of newsroom supervisors (ASNE, 2010). The percentage of w omen of color at newspapers, at 16%, is significantly higher than for men of color (ASNE, 2010). Some groups are concerned that the hemorrhaging of media industries will cause women and people of color, who are traditionally underrepresented in media, to l ose ground (ASNE, 2010). Ethics and diversity fellow John Huang (2008) explains it this way: Even though newsroom management across the country has not done a great job in retaining minority journalists, it has made up for this by recruiting new talent. Bu t it's not clear that kind of replenishment is going to be possible with as little hiring as newsrooms are doing moving forward (p. 1). Changes in Foreign News Coverage The internet has brought major changes in the way foreign news is gathered, causing han d wringing from some journalists and academics. Cutbacks at news outlets make traditional foreign correspondent positions more difficult to obtain or keep than ever before (Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, 2010). Los Angeles Times Afghanistan corr espondent Laura King said: Really, unfortunately, I think this kind of life, being a full time correspondent for a major news organization, is coming to an end. I feel bad for colleagues who are just embarking on this kind of thing, and who would have like d to do it as a long term career choice. I think there are just going to be so few
13 opportunities of this kind, at least until things shake out in the industry (personal communication, June 29, 2010). The decline in staff foreign correspondents began in the layoffs, according to Georgia Anne Geyer, a syndicated columnist with the Los Angeles Times Syndicate and the Universal Press Syndicate (Geyer, 2001, p. 1). Geyer said that while newspapers lose staff and look to cut costs, a nd Americans show diminishing interest in foreign news, the expensive foreign correspondent positions are among the city, one or two will now work from London or even New The eliminating overseas bureaus and reporters between 1990 and 2008. The number of overseas bureaus did not decline for the broadcast networks b etween 2008 and 2009 (The State of the News Media: An Annual Report on American Journalism, 2010). The modes of foreign reporting have been changing since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. For the broadcast networks, that has meant fewer permane nt bureaus overseas, more one person operations and, increasingly, dispatching news gatherers to locations around the globe as events take place (The State of the News Media: An Annual Report on American Journalism, 2010). In 2009, ABC had 10 overseas bure aus, CBS had 12 and NBC had 12 (Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, 2010).This is down from the early 1980s when CBS, for example, had 14 major foreign bureaus, ten small foreign bureaus and stringers in 44 countries (Fenton, 2005). In 2009, newspap ers employed 126 correspondents largely spread amongst the New York Times the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times (Many Eyes: Number of Foreign Correspondents at U.S. Newspapers, 2009). This is down from 186
14 foreign correspondents in 2002. Most news papers depend on freelancers or wire copy, even while they narrow their foreign news coverage in favor of cheaper local news (Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, 2010). Magazines have also cut foreign correspondents and closed domestic and foreign bu reaus. The number of [magazine] correspondents assigned to bureaus outside of the United States was cut by more than 25%, from 23 to 17. The number of foreign bureaus was also trimmed, to 12 from 15. Gone altogether were postings in several key cities aro und the world that were often the source of significant news: Moscow, Berlin and Cairo. The number of people assigned to both Jerusalem and Paris went from three to two (Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, 2010). No recent studies have addressed pos sible positive changes in foreign coverage brought on by the diversity of newspapers and other sources available through the internet. However, a few international news organizations have formed to fill in the gap. One organization called GlobalPost makes money from advertising, syndication and membership. The organization is made up of freelancers around the world who work on short term contract. We've tried to become an outlet that recognizes that the future of being a foreign reporter is going to be you are an entrepreneur. You are going to have to recognize that you need to think entrepreneurially and consider GlobalPost the base of what you do -a grounding, a steady gig where we give people a retainer to write four stories a month (Transforming Journ alism: The State of the News Media, 2010). Women and People of Color as Foreign Correspondents As a group, foreign correspondents have traditionally had somewhat different characteristics than domestic journalists, according to John Maxwell Hamilton (2009 ). The percentage of women foreign correspondents increased from 16% to 33% between the 1970s and the 1990s, with women citing many of the same challenges that face
15 women journalists who work primarily in the United States (Hess, 1996). However, women fore ign correspondents have faced additional challenges, butting heads with 1996). Many women in the Hess study also said the nature and danger of foreign correspondent jobs ma kes it difficult to balance family and work life, although this is also a concern for many men foreign correspondents (Hess, 1996). According to a story on NPR by Lourdes Garcia Navarro (2010), editors are now as likely to assign women to a foreign corre spondent posts as men. Veteran correspondent Hannah Allam, of McClatchy Newspapers, is one of several women who reported from Iraq while pregnant. She said she's formed close bonds with other foreign correspondents who are mothers. Hamilton and Jenner (20 04) also argue that opportunities in foreign correspondence have become more inclusive, with more women, young adults, and people of color reporting than ever before. The search to save funds has resulted in newspapers hiring more freelancers and foreign n ationals, opening the door for aspiring as many foreign correspondents as Main S treet journalists have attended private Theoretical Rationale for the Study Because this study focuses on the diversity of media professionals and the content they produce, agenda setting, ga tekeeping and framing theories underpin the study. The women in this study are members of influential media organizations, and the stories they report and how they report them influence the public. These theories are relevant
16 to this study because they arg ue that news professionals, and their backgrounds and biases, influence their audience. Agenda Setting Theory focuses on cues given by the news media to their audience about the relative importance of certain types of stories (McCombs, 2004). According to Agenda Setting Theory, topics media professionals choose to emphasize tend to be more important to the public. To convey views, the placement of a story in the paper, and the length of a story are factors that determine the public's perception of the impor tance of a particular topic (McCombs, 2004). Online newspapers send similar cues. Equally notable are the stories that make it into the newspaper, television or radio broadcast, and those stories that are left out (McCombs, 2004). On television news, there is room for even fewer stories, meaning that a brief mention of a topic could make the story seem very significant. Stories that are left out may never even come up on the radar of most media consumers who are unlikely to have immediately experienced the Among the various sources of our knowledge about the world around us, the mass relevant because it addresses the role of editors and writers in determining what gets covered. Gatekeeping is the process through which editors and writers narrow the many story possibilities to the few that can actually be reported and disseminated. Whether the journalists in this study are edit ors assigning stories or writers pitching stories to their editors and choosing sources and quotes, certain people are not represented and certain angles are not covered (Stacks & Salwen, 2009). Agenda Setting Theory addresses the role of reporters and edi tors in determining the choice and presentation of stories. And, because media professionals, inadvertently or not, share their agendas
17 with the public, many people argue that only a diverse group of journalists can create well rounded and diverse coverage (ASNE, 2010; Cramer & Creedon, 2007). As women and people of color have become more integrated in newsrooms and taken a greater role as writers and editors of international news, they've impacted the news agenda. But many studies have explored the impact of women when it comes to setting the newsroom agenda, and Craft and Wanta (2004) said that results tend to vary and be plagued with problems because it's difficult to define any particular viewpoint as a women or minority viewpoint (Craft & Wanta, 2004). Also, differences in race or gender may not be as important as individual experiences when it comes to determining journalists' thoughts or actions (Craft & Wanta, 2004). Despite criticisms, studies have yielded some evidence that gender has an effect on t he choice and presentation of stories (Craft & Wanta, 2004). Women reporters, for example, tend to use more women sources and use them more dominantly in stories than men reporters (Craft & Wanta, 2004). According to a Craft and Wanta (2004), who compared the content of 30 newspapers, noting the percentage of women managers, newspapers with a high percentage of women in management positions also tended to display issues more positively than newspapers with a lower percentage of women in management positions The same study found that men and women only seem to cover a relatively similar agenda of issues at newspapers that had a high percentage of women in management (Craft & Wanta, 2004). In men dominated newspapers, women reporters are more likely to cover education and business beats while men are more likely to cover politics (Craft & Wanta, 2004). The earlier noted Kerner Report alludes to the impact of agenda setting by stating that the underrepresentation of black people in
18 newsrooms resulted in inadequ ate media coverage, and therefore a lack of public concern about black civil rights and about race relations (Meranto, 1970). Framing Theory looks at the way reporters and editors influence their audience, but through a different lens. Framing refers to t he way the media frame or contextualize each topic they cover. The assumption is that the journalist presents each story through his or her own lens, and that the presentation of the story, in turn, has an influence on the audience. When it comes to frami ng, some scholars believe that putting more women in power positions in newsrooms would gradually change the definition of Wanta, 2004). An article by Sheila Gibbons sugges ts that the increase of women reporters who cover war abroad has resulted in less coverage of the war itself and more coverage of women and children war victims (Gibbons, 2002). The framing of international issues is especially important because many peopl e have no frame of shortcuts to information, media producers are central actors, framing such transnational human issues as poverty, education and health for the global public Shade, 2008, p.164). International media has a role in promoting social change as well as guiding international decision making and development (Sarikakis & Shade, 2008). Although there have been no studies on the framing effects of increase d women in international coverage, feminist researchers Sarikakis and Shade state that international media coverage still reflects a men dominated media hierarchy, and as a result, rarely reflect women as exemplars of strength, leadership or power (Sarikak is & Shade, 2008). For the proposed effects of agenda setting, gatekeeping and framing to be assessed,
19 women would have to be present in increasing numbers in the newsroom. The goal of this study is to discover, through in depth interviews with nine women foreign correspondents and12 women journalists who work in the United States, what factors these women believe influenced their introduction to, and subsequent success in their professions.
20 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW United States News Rooms Existing res earch on topics related to race, gender and social class in the newsroom suggests that journalism has long been an exclusive field with foreign correspondent positions among the most exclusive jobs (Beasley & Gibbons, 2003; Cramer & Creedon, 2007; Hamilton 2009). The themes of research papers, articles, census results and biographical and autobiographical works vary, but the uphill battle for women and minorities in newsrooms often plays prominently (Meranto, 1970; Papper, 2009). The struggle for equality has lagged and surged ahead at different times for the two groups, with the percentage rates of women and minorities in journalism jobs stalled for the past two decades (ASNE, 2010; Papper, 2009). Gender, race and social class are not the only factors that play a role in the professional paths of women journalists, but the information in this literature review focuses primarily on these factors to set the groundwork for exploring these and other influences that might affect women domestic journalists and fo reign correspondents. When it comes to hiring and promotions, women are still having mixed experiences, but statistics and anecdotes suggest that women have more opportunity than ever before ("Industry statistics," 2010). Gender in Newsrooms A wealth of re search has examined why women have consistently made up only about one third of people in newsrooms and have not integrated more quickly or fully (ASNE, 2010; Papper, 2009). In fact, according to a 2002 survey published by the Pew Center for Civic Journa lism, 45% of women at newspapers anticipate changing
21 employers or leaving the industry entirely compared to 33% of men. The survey also asserts that 42% of men anticipate promotion to the next logical position at their newspaper compared with 31% of women. Although research indicates that blatantly discriminatory policies largely deteriorated in the 1980s and 1990s, many women journalists fought long and hard for equality in the newsroom with mixed results (Marlane, 1999). In Power, Privilege and The Post: The Katharine Graham Story author Carol Felsenthal wrote that in the 1960s, (Felsenthal, 1993, p. 287). According to Felsenthal, writer Elizabeth Drew said that in the early 1960s, one bureau chief flatly told her that he would not hire a woman (1993). Former Time Magazine editor, Oz Elliot, said Time formerly confined women to research jobs (Felsenthal, 1993). Possibly the most famous account of discriminatory behavior toward women journalists is a 1974 lawsuit by former New York Times journalist Nan Robertson (Robertson, 1992). The grievances by Robertson and about 550 other New York Times employees who took part in the lawsuit included the complaint that all 21 names on the business side executives, belonged to men (Robertson, 1992). Additionally, of the six women employees at the New York Times Washington bureau at that time, each earned less than the median newsroom pay, and the lowest salary (Robertson, 1992). Although the New York Times denied any wrongdoing, the company settled out of court, agreeing to pay women for lost wages and institute a court ordered four year affirmative action pr ogram (Robertson, 1992).
22 Even as late as 1991, women journalists at the St. Petersburg Times accused the paper of sexist promotional practices, pay discrepancies and a general culture of sexism that set women up for failure. In an anonymous report to then editor Andrew Barnes, women listed examples of sexual harassment in the office. It's a male boss who comments to a pregnant female staffer 'Your breasts are really getting huge.' It can be as simple as the female reporter who is told to 'be a good girl' and 'not talk back' by her male supervisor. Or as awful as the male department manager who invited a female co worker to 'sit on his face' and made rude motions at her with his tongue.' Too often, we are assaulted by language and insensitivity that demean us. It makes our jobs harder. And it can harbor an atmosphere of fear (Times' News Women, 1991, p. 3). According to the document, one male supervisor told a female reporter that she'd have to choose between being a mommy and being a journalist. Women also reported that they were disadvantaged because men hung out together, often playing golf on the weekends. When opportunities for advancement came up, men first thought to promote their friends. Women also said they were denied access to assignments their e ditors considered dangerous. The report also gave examples of gender discrepancies in pay and power. At the time, the newspaper's board of directors had only one woman among its 12 members. A content analysis of staffer bylines for 1990 and 1991 showed tha t 80 percent of the staff produced stories on the Tampa regional front were written by women. In contrast, on the front page of the paper, two stories were written by men for every story written by a woman. We see a pattern of women progressing more slow ly as reporters and as managers...and remaining in the trenches while men become stars. To see it among the reporters, look at the bylines on 1 A. To see it in management, look around the newsroom. We have a big bunch of people in the 35 to 45 age range wi th roughly 20 years of experience. Why is it that after 20 years, several men are in a position to be considered for the managing editor's jobs...and the women are three or four steps behind? The power jobs this year have gone to Foley, Neville, Edmonds, C osta, Gailey, Tash all white
23 men who are roughly the same age and experience of the women making this presentation...and many other women who work for you. Why are the men's careers so much further along? We can't ALL be incompetent (Times News Women, 19 91, p. 9) The St. Petersburg Times assigned Mike Foley, an editor, and Cathy Heron, the treasurer, to respond with an action plan to address issues in the report. The action plan included 22 goals for the company including a refreshed anti harassment and discrimination policy, inclusive multicultural training for board members and supervisors, an improved evaluation system, and the requirement that all newsroom positions be posted before they were filled to assure that everyone had an opportunity to apply (A Plan of Action, 1991). Women in Television News suggests that gender discrimination wasn't confined to newspapers and magazines. Separate in depth interviews with 30 women broadcasters in 1973 indicated that all of the women felt the effects of their gender. As at newspapers, women often were denied serious stories in favor of stories on fashion, home goods or cooking (Gelfman, 1976). Producers long hesitated to give anchor positions to women, because women were seen as less credible then men (Gelfman, 1976). However, one woman in Gelfman's study also noted benefits to being a woman journalist, including access to men sources who were unwilling to be rude to a woman by denying an interview (Gelfman, 1976). Also, some women not ed that men often seemed more willing to open up to women because they viewed women as less threatening (Gelfman, 1976). Many of the women interviewed also felt that their physical appearance played a bigger role in getting on the air than it did for men (Gelfman, 1976). If a woman was successful in broadcast news, she often felt others attributed the success to her
24 attractiveness rather than her competence (Gelfman, 1976). In one of the interviews in Gelfman's book (1976) Marlene Sanders, the first woman to anchor a television news broadcast for a major network, recalled: Women who were on the air in the early stages always had to be better looking than comparable men. The men who do the news are not e women are. But they tend to be better than average looking. This is because women, I think, have always been judged partly by their looks, and looks have been excessively important (p. 49). As a testament to progress, Women in Television News Revisited: Into the 21st Century paints a different picture (Marlane, 1999). The report describes interviews with 31 many senior women television journalists described an equal new sroom environment. I can honestly tell you, there are probably some holdover people who may be skewed higher than they ought to be, as there is in any company. But the ranks of the people coming up, and the producers who have been here, since the last ten years, it is very equal (p. 176). ABC's Washington Bureau Chief Robin Sproul was one of 45 women to get pay raises after a 1987 investigation showed that men producers averaged $90,000 per year while women averaged $60,000 for the same work and credentials (Marlane, 1999). The study indicates that nowadays, women journalists are treated much more fairly: Race in Newsrooms A government investigation that resulted in the famous Kerner Report looked at poverty, inequality in income and education, crime and rac ial injustice, and named these as leading causes of the 1967 civil disorders (Meranto, 1970). The report also charged disorders and the underlying problems of race relatio in minority staffing as one of the contributors to this underreporting. (Meranto, 1970).
25 As a result, some news organizations implemented policies aimed at recruiting and retaining more people of color in newsrooms a nd ending discriminatory policies (Women Journalists of Color: Present Without Power, 1999). The American Society of Newspaper Editors has been one of the most consistent trackers of race demographics at newspapers (ASNE, 2010). Through their annual censu struggle for racial parity (ASNE, 2010). ASNE, along with other journalism organizations and think tanks such as the Poynter Institute, promotes racial diversity as an ethical goal for newsrooms and as a necessity if newspapers aim to provide accurate and thorough media coverage of American communities (ASNE, 2010). In 1978, ASNE set the goal that the newspaper industry should achieve racial parity with the U.S. population at l arge by the year 2000 (ASNE, 2010). In 1998, when people of color made up 11.46% of newsrooms and 28% of the population at large, ASNE realized the goal In the Gelfman (19 76) study, women of color described their challenges as different than those of white women or men of color. For example, in 1971, ABC affiliate and flagship station of the Walt Disney Company, WABC TV, took journalist Melba Tolliver off the air after she famously refused to put a scarf or wig over her afro when she covered the wedding of then President Richard Nixon's daughter (Gelfman, 1976). Judy Thomas, who worked for WOR TV at the time of the Gelfman (1976) study, explained what it was like to face th e barriers of double tokenism. You [had] to prove that you were qualified to everybody. Most people tend woman and because they were desperate. Not because you know what 119).
26 to feel negatively stereotyped in newsrooms because of their race (Jones, 1999). Many women of color also felt that their strengths and achievements were downplayed as a result of their gender and race (Jones, 1999). Specifically, 47% of women of color in the study said they were less likely than white men to receive high visibility assignments, and 51% said they have faced barriers to promotion. This is despite man agers' overwhelming insistence that they value newsroom diversity (Jones, 1999). ABC's Carole Simpson said that she has felt discrimination more because of her gender than because of her race (Marlane, 1999). I have suffered both race and sex discriminatio n. But the most discrimination I have suffered is because of sex; I have heard more often 'you can't do it because you're a woman than 'you can't do it because you're black' (Marlane, 1999). Social Class in Newsrooms Social class, a factor often noted when is less documented for journalists overall. There's no concrete definition declaring what it means to be part of one social class or another, making class comparisons difficult. Using education as a measure of s 2009). Women Foreign Correspondents For decades the prevailing image of the foreign correspondent was the glamorous Iv y League white man, a senior reporter with no attachments (Hess, 1996). Gradually, the doors have opened for women and minorities, both through systematic steps to diversify newsrooms, and because of the increasing use of freelancers, who report from
27 abroa d independently and sell their work to newspapers for a fee. The percentage of American women foreign correspondents rose from 16% to 33% between the 1970s and the 1990s (Wu & Hamilton, 2004). The historical struggle for women foreign correspondents is wel l documented, in part because news organizations' policies about women foreign correspondents were so blatantly prohibitive (Foote, 2008). According to longtime ABC journalist Marlene Sanders, news managers openly announced their duty to protect women from dangerous jobs up through the 1970s. Women were also seen as less serious and authoritative than men and therefore not suitable to report on revolutions, wars or other important political or social matters. According to Hoffman (2008) in On their own: Wom en journalists and the American experience in Vietnam, many men editors considered women lucky to be in the newsroom, so reporting from abroad was out of the question. In response to this, many women journalists bought one way tickets to Saigon and went to Vietnam to report on their own (Hoffman, 2008). War correspondence was a specialized branch of journalism that was almost exclusively populated by men. That women would attempt to appoint themselves to this mythic male pursuit in an era that prized confor mity especially for women above all else was nothing short of astonishing (Hoffman, 2008, p. 1). As in World War I, World War II and the Korean War, military leaders, and often fellow men correspondents in Vietnam felt women had no place near the battl efield (Hoffman, 2008). Despite this resistance, Hoffman identified 70 women correspondents who had their work from Southeast Asia appear in television broadcasts, magazines or newspapers, paving the way for the hundreds of women foreign correspondents who would work as staff or freelancers in later years. Freelancers are twice as likely to be women as men, in part because many women follow their husband's jobs to foreign destinations and then decide to take up
28 freelance work (Hess, 1996). According to He ss, a large portion of freelancers are simply adventurers: young, less experienced journalists who are unlikely to be married or have children. Those who are married are more likely than staff correspondents to have a spouse who is a fellow journalist. Ac cording to Hess, freelancers tended to have higher socio economic backgrounds than staff correspondents, and although education backgrounds are similar, freelancers are more likely to be proficient in the language of g. A large portion of women foreign correspondents are young college graduates from upper middle class families who are simply hoping to sell enough stories to make ends meet. These young women have earned a reputation for risk taking beyond that of tradit ional staff correspondents. For example, Donatella Lorch, a 26 year old in 1988 who had no journalism experience, smuggled herself with Mujahadeen guerillas through mountain passes at night when discovery would have meant instant death, and American freela nce photographer Jenna Schneider had her legs struck by mortar shells after she snuck into the Sarajevo suburb of Dobrinja, which was surrounded by Serb forces (Hess, 1996). In Foreign Correspondents: The Great Reporters and Their Times Hohenburg (1995) their rise to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s, a time of relative American peace. Some of the great women foreign correspondents noted by Hohenburg include Caryle Murphy, who won a P ulitzer Prize for her Washington Post coverage from Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War, Karen Elliot House, who obtained several exclusive and telling
29 Wall Street Journal and Sheryl WuDunn of the New York Time s who reported from China and from South America. Women foreign correspondents often have to fight discrimination from people of other countries as well (Hess, 1996). Women reporting from Saudi Arabia, for example, are forbidden to drive cars. Linda Matt hews, who reported from South Korea, said she with government officials (Hess, 1996). Sometimes, however, women correspondents felt they had it easier than men. Reporte r Elaine Sciolino said that it was easier to blend in and move about in Iran than it was for her colleagues who were men because she wore a chador, a traditional Muslim garment that covers the head and face (Hess, 1996). The Impact of Freelancers and Forei gn Nationals on Diversity of Foreign Correspondents The increased hiring of foreign nationals significantly impacts the data on race, gender and social class for foreign correspondents (Hamilton, 2009). Foreign nationals, people who report from their home country outside of the United States, account for 30% to 40% of journalists representing U.S. media organizations and are paid a median of $40,000 to $50,000 per year, about half the salary an American foreign correspondent earns (Hamilton, 2009). Because foreign nationals who work for U.S. news agencies are more likely to be men than women, the statistics bring the number of women correspondents who work for U.S. news agencies down to 22% when foreign nationals are included in the sample (Hamilton, 2009). While people of color have also broken some journalistic barriers in recent decades, the percentage of people of color who work as foreign correspondents for U.S.
30 news organizations still has not reached parity with the U.S. population (Hamilton, 2009). Ro ughly 15% of today's foreign correspondents are people of color (Hamilton, 2009). Foreign Correspondents and Social Class Perhaps one of the largest demographic differences between domestic journalists and foreign correspondents is social class (Hamilton 2009). For foreign correspondents who work as staff writers for news organizations, factors of education and connections in the media industry appear to play a large role. Often, prestigious news organizations use selective universities as a hiring filt er, and the most elite of that in these [elite] organizations was rather small, these journalists became an elite within s of foreign correspondents is so well noted, that one study even added up the celebrity families and kinships of foreign correspondents (Hess, 1996). Studies have consistently found that foreign correspondents are twice as likely as foreign correspondent s to attend a highly selective university and four times as likely to have a graduate degree (Hamilton, 2009). Also, 86% of U.S. foreign correspondents speak another language, a factor indicative of both their high education levels and the significant use of foreign nationals by media organizations (Wu & Hamilton, 2004). Scholars who criticize the predominance of journalists with Ivy League backgrounds covering foreign news say that Americans should have the opportunity to see the outside world through more than just Ivy League lenses (Hess, 1996). In summary, the history of exclusivity in newsrooms, particularly for foreign correspondents, has been well documented, as have many of the changes toward
31 greater diversity in newsrooms. However, there have been no studies comparing women foreign correspondents with domestic journalists, and there have been no studies which specifically address race, gender and social clas s. This study aims to help fill that gap, following up on qualitative research from an earli er era and adding information about the backgrounds, influences and obstacles that have guided the careers of today's women journalists and foreign correspondents. Additionally, the study aims to discover how factors such as gender, race and class affect w ork approach, career advancement and content produced by women journalists who work in the United States and abroad.
32 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This study is based on 21 interviews with women journalists. According to Daymon aim to elicit information by delving into the past and present experiences of participants in order to discover their feelings, perceptions and aim is to understand the constructs behind respondents' opinions and beliefs. These criteria apply to this study because I explore women's opinions about equality and diversity in the workforce, and I explore the basis for those opinions. This study also uses one to one interview s with one exception in which the respondents requested that she and her colleague interview together. Because my interview respondents live all over the world, this was the most efficient way to conduct interviews. The study also uses semi structured inte rviews, a strategy that, according to Daymon and Holloway (2002), helped ensure the collection of similar data from each respondent and adjust the content and order of the interview questions according to the interviewees' responses. By conducting 12 in d epth interviews with women journalists who work in the United States and nine interviews with women journalists who regularly report from outside the United States for an American news outlet, I explored the influences and factors that contribute to the ca reer paths of women domestic journalists and foreign correspondents. Although I originally planned on eight women from each group, I interviewed additional women to add to the breadth of knowledge about women foreign correspondents and journalists. After i nterviewing 21 journalists for 30 minutes to two hours, I had reached a point of saturation. To learn about differences and similarities in terms of how race, class, and gender have influenced career paths, I have kept the data
33 and the report for the group s separate. As Robert Weiss said in Learning from Strangers situation you are studying are in fact more frequent there than among people who are 30). Questions for my study addressed the role gender, race and social class played in the professional careers of the interview respondents, but the interviews revealed much more than that. Ultimately, the interview process led to information on the many factors that affect work approach, career advancement, and content produced by domestic and foreign women journalists. These conversations also led to information on childhood interests, mentors and religious background. I interviewed journalists from a v ariety of backgrounds, and I found most of my interview respondents through snowball sampling. Through a handful of existing connections at newspapers and magazines, I was connected to a wider variety of domestic and foreign correspondents. To obtain a gre ater variety in ethnic background and news media, I also did internet research that led me to call or e mail news agencies or individual correspondents to obtain interviews with respondents who best met the criteria. I was not able to obtain interviews wit h every woman I noted in my research proposal, but I was able to obtain interviews with many of them, including Anne Garrels, Deborah Amos and Susan Taylor Martin. Out of the 21 interviews, six were with women of color. I also gathered information from wom en at a wide range of career stages. Background information about race, education level and family background are available in the appendices. To conduct the interviews, I relied mostly on Skype, and I taped the interviews with a Skype application. When po ssible, as it was in four cases,
34 the interviews were conducted in person. I also tried to control for the influence of specific news organizations. For every foreign correspondent interviewed, I interviewed a domestic journalist from an organization with a similar level of prestige. During the Gubrium and Holstein (2002) p oint out that although in depth interviewing can be an effective methodology, it also includes shortcomings. To obtain the most useful and accurate information, I tried to create an environment in which the women could respond reflectively. But there is no shifted responses based on what they thought I wanted to hear, or they may only have remembered one perspective of a about her career and professional path might overshadow the big picture. So, for within the journalism industry, her r esponse might be very different now than it was a year ago or than it will be a year in the future. Because the interviews were primarily unstructured, with questions prepared ahead of time but not rigidly adhered to, I tried to avoid allowing interview re spondents to pigeonhole on topics that would not be useful to this study. Another specific challenge to this interview process is the tailoring of questions abstract notions of power and privilege, generally in connection with certain identifiable
35 respondents are worth identifying as such because relative social status affects the power relationship between the interviewer and the respondent (Gubrium & Holstein, 2002). Additionally, elite people are often members of elite organizations and are well rehearsed at guarding the image of their institutions. Institutions such as the New York Times or the Washington Post might be elite for the purposes of this study. When preparing for my interviews, I tried to be prepared that respondents might be guarded if asked to talk about an issue that portrays themselves or their institution in a n egative light. For the most part, the women in this study appeared forthright. Gubrium and Holstein (2002) also point out the interviewer must be extra careful not to be intimidated into avoiding hard questions during an interview with someone famous or so meone whom she admires. Gubrium and Holstein (2002) give the following advice on conducting a productive interview with an elite: The interviewer must establish his or her own authority to ensure a productive exchange. There are subtle ways in which an in terviewer can communicate expertise either in the field under study or in the knowledge of other prominent players within it. Many elite people may also be impressed by established publication records or the potential for the interview to appear in print. In all instances, the interviewer needs to read the situation and the individual concerned so as not to self aggrandize, appear arrogant, or, conversely, be ingratiating (p. 311). Interviews and data analysis were conducted using a grounded theory approach meaning that data collection and analysis occurred simultaneously throughout the study (Charmaz, 2001). Consistent with grounded theory, information gathered during each interview shaped the questions for subsequent interview respondents. The questions, concerns and themes gathered from the first research participants shaped the selection of future research participants and interview questions. For example, in one interview, a
36 later in the interview, she mentioned her Jewish background, to which I asked her follow up questions about how her Jewish background had impacted her. The hiccup prompted me to ask about religion in addition to ethnic background in later interviews, a qu estion that elicited interesting feedback. As I coded and categorized the interview responses, I continued to review the literature in an effort to discover new perspectives and pursue emerging themes. For example, when an early interview resulted in a res earch I went back to the literature and researched cases in which women cited specific examples of how content had been impacted. In future interviews, I was able to cit e those examples to give the respondents an example of the type of material I was looking for. The data analysis consisted of studying the data and drawing on several categories and themes, checking throughout the process that my categories accurately def ined the themes. I created index cards to be sorted in different ways, so I could take note of the comments made by foreign correspondents and domestic journalists and compare and contrast them. So, for example, I noticed through my sorting that only one o f the women foreign correspondents had been a foreign correspondent while raising children, and each of the foreign correspondents talked about what a struggle the job is for mothers. In contrast, several of the domestic journalists had children and worked full time as they were raising them. As a result, they were more likely to have anecdotes pertaining to balancing motherhood and career. While I do bring up some interesting
37 anomalies, analysis of the stories told in the research aim to tell the stories o f all or many of the research participants rather than the few. took note of ideas and concepts as the research moved along, as suggested by Christine Daymon and Immy Holloway 2002, p. 121). Memos were also used to note patterns and emerging themes in the data (Daymon & Holloway, 2002). Throughout t he research process I generated new hypotheses and took note of cases that didn't live up to the hypotheses, making changes to the hypotheses as needed. For example, responses from my early part of career connections may be one avenue for career advancement, women also landed prestigious career opportunities as a result of recognition achieved by winning awards, minority recruitment programs, and applying for a job position cold.
38 CHAPTER 4 THE INTERVIEWS Gender and Foreign Correspondents Much of the data collected for this study provides partial or total support for the literature on women foreign c orrespondents. While literature suggests that women journalists who wanted to be foreign correspondents had few opportunities in the 1970s, Anne Garrels (NPR), Karen DeYoung (The Washington Post ) and Deborah Amos (NPR), who all began their careers in the 1 970s, had opportunities to work abroad early in their careers. However, the women reported a mix of experiences in terms of professional opportunities, describing vastly different perceptions of the way they were treated. By many accounts in the literature such as the example illustrated by Nan New York Times (Robertson, 1992), severe professional limitations were placed on women journalists in the early 1970s. And although Gelfman (1976) reported that mo st women were confined to soft feature discrimination, obstacles were in the form of societa l expectations and sexual harassment from coworkers and sources, issues largely absent in the literature on foreign correspondents (personal communication, June 16, 2010). When Garrels graduated from Harvard University in 1972, she wanted a job that would allow her to explore her fascination with all things Russian. But those jobs were few, and her parents gave her mixed messages about appropriate career paths for women. On the one hand, I was told I could do anything I wanted if I worked hard...to a certai n degree. On the other hand, when I got my degree, my father just figured that I should be the secretary to the chairman of the
39 board of Exon. That was his idea of success for a woman. He did not encourage me (A. Garrels, personal communication, June 16, 2 010). Garrels worked briefly at a publishing company in London before she was hired at ABC. When she began working, sexual harassment and discrimination at ABC and many other organizations were profound, Garrels said. You did not raise these issues, when y ou looked around at women who had dared to raise them, which were very few, they had paid for it. They may have won a lawsuit but they lost the job (A. Garrels, personal communication, June 16, 2010). At 28 years old, Garrels went to Moscow as a correspond ent with ABC. It was not common for an editor to choose someone with her level of experience for a foreign post, and there were few women in foreign positions at the time. But Garrels had a passion for Russia, and the cultural and linguistic knowledge she had gained from her studies thus, Garrels began her career as a foreign corresponden t. In the early years, she worked mainly on her own or with a videographer. She was one of the few television reporters who spoke Russian, which gave her an edge over people from other stations who relied on the Russian national security agency, known as t he KGB, to get stories. The work that she did in Russia was especially rewarding because she helped lift the veil and show what was happening in the country before the collapse, she said. about women in journalism when she was growing up (D. Amos, personal communication, June 2, 2010) Not until high school did I start to see women on the news. It hadn't evening news the whole family stopped when the news came on, and it
40 was very important to them. Come to think of it, it was important to my father. He thought it was important thing to do. That had an influence (D. Amos, personal communication, June 2, 2010). When Am os graduated from the University of Florida in 1972, her gender provided her with opportunities. Because of the tide toward diversifying news staffs at that time, it my graduating class, so that was great because when I got out of college everybody to National Public Radio. The station was dominated by women, partly because it was not well k women did, and there were a lot of women who got their start there because it was 2010). Becau se National Public Radio was growing at the time and expanding foreign coverage, Amos and her women colleagues were easily able to take up foreign assignments. Although Foote (2008) reported that few editors allowed women journalists to go abroad, especial ly to war zones, Amos covered war from Lebanon early in her career. Karen DeYoung, who has been at the Washington Post since 1975, said her career has not been influenced by her gender (K. DeYoung, personal communication, June 2). She said that her parents encouraged her and her sister in the same way they after college, DeYoung travele d to Europe, Southeast Asia and West Africa, eventually becoming a Washington Post stringer from West Africa. In 1974 she returned to Washington and after several rejections from the Washington Post she was offered a
41 temporary copy editing position, which eventually led to a position at the Washington Post metro desk. By the age of 25, she was offered a position as bureau chief in Latin America where she wrote stories from all over the region. Over the next four decades, DeYoung reported from countries all over the world. Consistent with the literature, women such as Heidi Vogt and Maria Abi Habib, who both began working as foreign correspondents within the past decade, did not suspect any institutional discrimination based on gender. And while women journ alists report that their gender doesn't influence the way working abroad, both for the positive and the negative. As Stephen Hess (1996) reported, female foreign corres pondents may find themselves having to adjust their behavior abroad more often than male correspondents. For example, women journalists find themselves unable to get around by car in Saudi Arabia, an issue similar to one reported by St. Petersburg Times fo reign correspondent Susan Taylor Martin. In 2002, Martin checked into a Saudi Arabia hotel with a male photographer, but then the photographer decided to travel to a different part of the country for a few days to take photos. While the photographer was aw ay, Martin wanted to switch hotels, but the hotel Kathy Gannon (personal communication, July 3, 2010) who works in Pakistan for the Associated Press said she's established a mode of operation for w hen a source denies her an interview based on her gender. And although she might have to work harder than a man for the same story, she always manages to get the information she
42 needs. Sometimes, she said, when traveling with a man photographer, a source w ould refuse to talk to her and insist on talking with her photographer. I'd say...no you can't. It has to be with me. By nature, they get embarrassed if they have a guest sitting outside for hours. I might have sat a lot longer than a man to get the infor mation, but I got it. There wasn't anybody that I didn't talk to. I felt I had the right to, and I made a point of it. I was there all the time, I didn't relent, I had honest, open discussion. I didn't try to pretend that I was meek and mild (K. Gannon, pe rsonal communication, July 3, 2010). the need to conform much beyond that. Instead, she makes a point of behaving trying to be sensitive by not being never been denied an interview as a result of bei ng a woman (A. Garrels, personal communication, June 16). It's true, on a couple of occasions I had to wear a headscarf or do a full interview through a burqua face screen. Once, the person whom I was interviewing sat with his back to me even though I wa s fully covered. But he still did the interview. He was a conservative mullah in Pakistan and actually, Taliban, kind of, Talibanesque...let's put it that way (A. Garrels, personal communication, June 16, 2010). In Buying the Night Flight: The Autobiograph y of a Woman Foreign Correspondent Georgie Anne Geyer observed that being a woman is often an advantage while reporting abroad. Many of the women in the study reported similar experiences, noting, for example, that some people perceive women to be less th reatening (Geyer, 2001). trying to get people to tell you something, you're probably a less threatening figure and a less foreign figure somehow. On balance, being a woman is probably an advantage (K. DeYoung, personal communication, June 2, 2010).
43 Similar to the Ulf Hannerz (2004) report In Foreign News: Exploring the World of Foreign Correspondents, many of the women in this study reported the advantages of being a woman journalist in the Middle East. Ulf notes that BBC journalist Lyse Doucet a journalist among the men, and then slip away and sit down among the women in a way her male c Habib, who is Lebanese American and works in Afghanistan for the Wall Street Journal similar experiences. In Muslim societies, men are often banned from speaking to women, an obstacle for man rep orters (personal communication, June 1, 2010). At the same time, women reporters find that they have equal access as men in many situations simply as a result of being a foreigner. At weddings, which are often separated by gender in Muslim countries, Abi H abib reported that she's been permitted some reason, men from conservative countries in general don't really look at Western Maria Abi Habib, personal communication, June 1, 2010). DeYoung reported that she often senses that foreign women are working are seen as sexless (personal communication, June 2, 2010). Similarly, Susan Taylor Martin, of the St. Petersburg Times said she had many more opportunities than her male photographer to forge close relationships with women in Saudi Arabia (personal communication, June 11, 2010). I was able to get to places where men were not allowed and see Saudi women out from under the veil so to speak. I could sit down with them and talk with them woman to woman and see their faces and look at their eyes. And they really opened up to me the way they simply could not have if I was a male (S. Martin, personal communication, June 11, 2010).
44 Martin a nd Heidi Vogt (personal communication, June 12), who works for the Associated Press in Afghanistan, said they feel an extra layer of protection as women. When Martin was in Pakistan shortly after the September 11 attacks, she and her photographer were chas ed by an anti American mob. Some of the men stepped in and protected her and the photographer, something she's not sure they would have done if (S. Martin, personal communic ation, June 11, 2010). Heidi Vogt, who has worked internationally for about five years, said that she has never felt threatened. And she's always felt that someone would be likely to step in and help her if necessary. I always felt I had an advantage being a woman, and someone was likely to come to my aid if something really bad started happening. It's all hypothetical because while I've been in situations that could have gotten dangerous, I've never been in a situation where these things have actually gott en tested (H. Vogt, personal communication, June 12, 2010). Anne Garrels said that women do tend to be more vulnerable to sexual assault. It can sort of work both ways, if you're kidnapped, you can be treated better if you're a female. You may have a bett er chance of getting out alive. But you can also be raped or killed. But men can be raped too under those circumstances (A. Garrels, personal communication, June 16, 2010). On the day to day, Garrels said gender has not influenced her ability to get a stor y, young woman in Moscow, a famous soviet poet whom I interviewed grabbed me by the els, personal communication, June 16, 2010). In Buying the N ight Flight: An Autobiography of a Woman Foreign Correspondent, Georgie Anne Geyer (2001) says that women are especially vulnerable to sexual assault in Russia.
45 [Russian men] do not approach, the y lunge, they attack crudely. I very deliberately watched out for them. When I saw them drinking too much at a table where I was sitting, I often left, for nowhere in the world had I seen such aggressive, crude, and dangerous men as the Russian ones (Geyer 2001, p. 158). In the more recent Iraq war, when Garrels was a bureau chief in Baghdad, one of her were uncomfortable but not traumatic, are few, Garrels said. Nearly all of the women agreed that although gender doesn't play a large role in their ability to get information, it provides both benefits and challenges depending on the society. woman he re working. And there are plenty of women working here, but still there is some serious separation of the sexes here. My feeling on that is that it sort of evens out. I don't feel guilty if someone is giving me a break because they're worried about the wom an in the crowd, and I don't get too upset if I feel like someone is not taking me seriously because they take the men more seriously. That's the culture I'm in and I'm dealing with (H. Vogt, personal communication, June 12, 2010). Kathy Gannon, of the Ass ociated Press, said she sees herself as a journalist first and a woman second, but sometimes her gender does come into play. She said that, in order to get work done, she's created a reputation for herself as strong and forceful. She's more aggressive then she'd like to be (K. Gannon, personal communication, July 3, 2010). One way in which Gannon finds it necessary to adjust her manner in Pakistan is that she can't be as openly friendly to men. I used to be quick to smile to people, and very friendly, and I'm not that way anymore because it's misinterpreted. You smile to men here too much and they misread it. And it's because of the environment in which they come from and the repression (K. Gannon, personal communication, July 3, 2010). Many of the women sa id that age had a greater impact on how they're perceived than
46 Freelance journalist S ibylla Brodzinsky (personal communication, June 12, 2010) said when she was younger people took her less seriously. Being sort of talked down to...that's happened. The truth is I never felt it was about being a woman, but I felt it had to do with being y oung; it might have been both, or neither. The truth is, I've never sat down and thought I wasn't being taken seriously because I'm a woman (Brodzinsky, personal communication, June 12, 2010). Acceptable manner of dress can also play out differently for wo men than for men, depending on the country. Susan Taylor Martin of the St. Petersburg Times said that her wardrobe consists of different outfits for different countries (personal communication, June 11, 2010). She said she wears the abaya, or robe like dre ss, in ultra conservative countries like Saudi Arabia. But she has long skirts and linen blouses for places like Pakistan, where she can dress more informally but still has to cover up. The man photographer who accompanies her, on the other hand, can usual ly wear long jeans and long sleeved shirts wherever he goes, she said. Consistent with Hess (1996) Martin said wearing traditional clothing can be an advantage because it helps her blend in. Kathy Gannon said that she doesn't take on the local dress (perso nal communication, July 3, 2010). I don't behave differently. I cover my head only when I have to. I don't pretend that I'm anything but what I am. It doesn't matter that I speak the language or that I've been here forever, I'm still a foreigner (personal communication, July 3, 2010). Heidi Vogt said when she arrived for her post in Afghanistan; she tried to dress to fit in with the culture. Then as time wore on, and she spoke with other correspondents who had been in the region longer, she realized that i t often wasn't necessary (personal communication, June 12, 2010).
47 They didn't wear headscarves, and they were like, you know, it's different if you're going to a formal ceremony or a funeral or something it's a sign of respect to wear a headscarf. But on a daily basis, nobody really expects it of a Westerner if it's not your culture (H. Vogt, personal communication, June 12, 2010). When Vogt visits the more conservative villages around Kabul, she covers her head and her legs because she doesn't want to cau se offense and because she wants to show her respect for the culture. with American troops overseas consistently reported that the dynamic is different for men than women reporters, an issue not addre ssed in the literature. It usually takes the soldiers a few days to get used to having a woman with them, said Laura King, who works in Kabul for the Los Angeles Times (personal communication, June 29, 2010). With the military embeds, it's sometimes easie r for men to bond with the soldiers, maybe there's more of an immediate rapport. One thing I worry about is that a lot of the troops tend to be from more conservative backgrounds and they tend to be chivalrous and protective of women, which is bad in these situations because they have jobs to do (L. King, personal communication, June 29, 2010). When Anne Garrels was embedded with troops in Fallujah in 2004, the soldiers were scared for themselves and how they would perform, and they were worried they wouldn 't be able to protect her (A. Garrels, personal communication, June 16, 2010). I was able, much to their amazement, to keep up even though they thought I wasn't going to be able to. We were all in it together, and I did my job and they did their job. We b ecame actually quite close, so it was fine (A. Garrels, personal communication, June 16, 2010). Many of the foreign correspondents said that their gender had little effect on the content they produced. Deborah Amos, of National Public Radio, said that, yea rs ago, there may have been differences in the way men and women approached war coverage, but that has evened out now.
48 Women did cover civilians in war more than men did fifteen years ago, even twenty years ago. Men have seen those stories, understood that those where important stories to do and have been doing them. I think early on, women did see the refugees. I think men have caught up and become more interested in those issues. Civilians have become parts of war, and there's more of that. I do think ear ly on coming into the business, we had different priorities and different sensibilities (D. Amos, personal communication, June 2, 2010). Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post said she doesn't think her choice of stories has been influenced by her gender. M aybe you could argue that women do more stories that would be more traditionally female things, associated with families and stuff. If I look back on my own work product, I don't think that's true. I was never raised to see a difference (K. DeYoung, person al communication, June 2, 2010). Foreign Correspondents and Family On the subject of family, nearly all of the women said that being a woman foreign correspondent is tough for men and women, but it tends to be more of a strain for women. Only two of the wo man foreign correspondents in this study have children and two have stepchildren. Many of the respondents mentioned that a few of the foreign posts are coveted by mothers, such as Jerusalem and Moscow, because they don't require as much traveling. Only Sus an Taylor Martin of the St. Petersburg Times reported going abroad while she had a child at home, made possible by the schedule she was offered from the St. Petersburg Times (personal communication, June 11, 2010). Because the St. Petersburg Times couldn't afford to post her overseas full time, she alternated between spending a month abroad and spending six weeks at home. When she was at home, Martin had time off to spend with her family. Still, when she decided to take the position, she had to consider her husband, her sick mother and her teens and I think that was a bad age for me to be away as much as I was. Not that anything horrible
49 happened, but I don't know I managed that as well as I could have (S. Martin, personal communication, June 11, 2010). Deborah Amos, who is married with no children, said that balancing family is the hardest part of being a foreign correspondent (personal communication, June 2, 2010). She said it used to b e that most women stopped being foreign correspondents once they had children, while most men were able to continue working while their wives stayed at home to care for the children. That has changed as gender roles have changed, she said. Often, a spouse and children can live in the many women who had no choice but to stay at home and be the caretaker, she said. uge strain to do this and have a Anne Garrels and Kathy Gannon, both veteran correspondents, have stepchildren, but no children of their own. When Garrels graduated college, she fully expected to ha ve children (personal communication, June 16, 2010). But when she married a man with two kids of his own, she had to face the fact that he didn't want to have more children. Garrels has traveled and reported from some of the world's most tumultuous regions for three decades, something that she might not have been able to keep up if she'd had children of her own, she said. My stepchildren love me, and they're not my kids. They've got their own father and mother and family stuff. My parents were not their gra ndparents. It is a different relationship. Certainly, some people laugh and say I'm missing a fear gene, but I don't have children I have to worry about. I have a husband I have to worry about, that's different (personal communication, June 16, 2010). Kare n DeYoung worked as a foreign correspondent for about 20 years before she had her first child (personal communication, June 2, 2010). After getting married where she
50 was posted in London, DeYoung and her husband, who worked for NBC, decided to move back to the United States and have a family. She said the move probably helped, rather than hurt, her career because it gave her the opportunity to get into national politics, which is the bread and butter of the Post I always thought that it would be easy to ha ve children when I was working overseas. It wasn't until I had children that I realized how hard that actually would have been. We came back to Washington in 1989 and had kids...a daughter the next year, and a son two years after that. And then I was prett y much here. I became the assistant managing editor for National. I was here for ten years, and that was great (personal communication, June 2, 2010). With two parents working full time, DeYoung hired a live in nanny. She often worked late at the Post, but her husband, who worked for NBC, was home with the kids at night. Maria Abi Habib of the Wall Street Journal and Heidi Vogt of the Associated Press, who are both unmarried and would like to one day have kids, said they see other women having children whil e working as a foreign correspondents, and that makes the idea seem manageable. Vogt said a part of the reason she was in such a hurry to work overseas was that she wanted to be able to do it before she had kids (personal communication, June 12, 2010). But now she sees that women don't necessarily have to choose one or the other, she said. This is especially true, she said, because in many countries it's more affordable to hire a nanny than it is in the United States. If you have young kids, you take a diff erent posting and you go on different kinds of assignments than if you don't. It was something I couldn't even imagine before I started working abroad, and I see people making it work. Working and having kids in the U.S. is challenging too, but it wouldn't be the reason I would move back to the U.S. It could be the reason I would, say at some point, take an editing job where I wasn't traveling as much (H. Vogt, personal communication, June 12, 2010). Sibylla Brodzinsky, who has worked as a freelance foreign correspondent for publications including USA Today and the Economis t for the past two decades, said that
51 her job hasn't prevented her from having a husband and kids, and it has enabled her to move from organization to organization, taking on projects that are important to her, even if they don't offer much stability or money (personal communication, June 12, 2010). Race, Religion and Cultural Diversity of Foreign Correspondents As Wu and Hamilton reported (2004), only one in five foreign correspondents is a person of color. Out of the nine foreign correspondents in this study, I was able to recruit two women of color. Both Maria Abi Habib and Sibylla Brodzinsky were heavily influenced by their international heritages. Maria Abi Habib, who grew up in Washin gton, DC, said that she has been influenced by her Lebanese American background (personal communication, June 11, 2010). As a child, Abi Habib visited Lebanon with her family in the summer, and she felt guilty coming back to the United States and leaving i t all behind. Her family relied on CNN to understand what was going on in Lebanon and to assure themselves that their family and friends in Lebanon were okay. Abi Habib was annoyed with the manner in which some media outlets covered the war, which gave her bias that international media had toward many situations in the Middle East, the way I felt like correspondents were sweeping in and covering it, pretending to be experts in a i Habib, personal communication, June 11, 2010). Because of her familiarity with the region, Abi University, and she worked as a stringer. After a stint as a freelancer she got on with Dow Jon es, and then later, with the Wall Street Journal She said her complexion favors her Spanish mother rather than her Lebanese father, so she can pass for being Arabic
52 or being white, whichever is more advantageous at the time. One thing that has been an adv antage is her ability to speak Arabic. I can never say it's a disadvantage because I can always yell at people in Arabic. If someone is being inappropriate with me, I let them know. I kind of like the fact that I don't look like a Western women. If I want to be like 'I'm a Western correspondent,' I can play that card really hard. If I want to be like, 'oh, I'm from the Middle East,' I can use that too. I had this one mullah who I was doing an interview with, and he just didn't understand that I could be fr om the Middle East and be Christian. He didn't understand it. And he was like no you're a Muslim, this is what you are. He really opened up to me, Habib, personal communication, June 11, 2010) Sibylla Brodzinsky, who is half Dominican and reports from Colombia, said her background has almost certainly provoked her interest in Latin America, something made easier by the fact that she can read and write in English and in Spanish. Almost immediately after graduating from Syracuse University, Brodzinsky saw an advertisement in Editor & Publisher for a reporting position in Venezuela. She did a into national politics, debt ne gotiations and oil policies, which are a really big deal in studied French, and she's written in French, English and Spanish. She's been in personal communication, June 12, 2010). Deborah Amos, who spent her first eight years in a Dutch enclave in New Jersey, said she was influenced by her Dutch background. I always felt a little remove d from American culture. Sometimes I think that did have an effect on how I saw foreign cultures and what I did bring to the table...being a little distant from mainstream American culture. Being able to see the country with a little more objectivity (D. A mos, personal communication, June 2, 2010).
53 While Brodzinsky and Abi Habib were influenced by their ethnic backgrounds and helped by their cultural and linguistic knowledge, none of the women reported that their ethnicities were relevant to their news orga nizations. Additionally, all of the foreign correspondents said that their status as Westerners define the way they are treated while abroad more than skin color or nationality. Heidi Vogt, who has strawberry blond hair and freckles, said that sticking out in different parts of the world is something that she came to terms with when she worked with the Peace Corps in Mali. Sometimes I look at women who are working in Afghanistan who are darker complected, and I think 'aw, I wish I could blend in the way th ey do. If they put on more traditional style clothing and a headscarf nobody necessarily knows they're Westerners walking down the street' (personal communication, June 12, 2010). Most of the correspondents felt that their ethnic background has little effe ct on their careers, and most of the women are not religious. Kathy Gannon, who reports from Pakistan and is married to a Pakistani man, said that she believes organized religion to be divisive. Anne Garrels said that because she grew up in England, she we nt to a Church of England school. There was a sense of duty in a colonial kind of way that was imposed on us. Doing good work overseas. That was sort of in the background. It was a very 19th century vision of good works. Probably had I not gone into journa lism, I probably would have gone into aid of some kind, I think (A. Garrels, personal communication, June 16, 2010). When Heidi Vogt (personal communication, June 12, 2010) was 12 years old, she and her family did an exchange program through their church, and they went to Russia for culture shock that early in life and it really changes your perspective on the world (personal communication, June 12, 2010).
54 Family Backg round and Social Class of Foreign Correspondents Consistent with an assertion by Wu and Hamilton (2004), most foreign correspondents I interviewed came from families with middle to upper class backgrounds, evidenced by their educational backgrounds and the backgrounds of their parents. All but one of the foreign correspondents interviewed in this study have a college degree. Garrels, whose father was an engineer and mother was a housewife, described her upbringing as privileged, but she also said her parent s turned her out without a dime immediately after she graduated from Harvard (personal communication, en so, Garrels graduated without debt, something that gave her a freedom she wouldn't have had bills. I could take jobs even if they didn't pay that well. I could li ve in a slum and follow worked in intelligence for the U.S. military and whose mom was a librarian and then a hey took out loans, but they kind of took it on themselves to take care of university for me. So I never had to Susan Taylor Martin's parents worked at newspapers in New York mother was a reporter with one of the big New York City afternoon papers, and she had just a wonderful career, and I always thought it would be a good career to come into. My father was a newspaper artist back in the days when the news papers used more
55 put her through college at Duke University, but like Garrels and Brodzinsky, she was financially independent immediately after college. Hess (1996) argues that high social class is often associated with opportunities for travel, and that many foreign correspondents are influenced by their travel experiences overseas ten Garrels. Garrels, who grew up partially in London, mostly traveled as a child to see correspondent. After college, Garrels went to Moscow independently, inspired only by her fascination with the country. Heidi Vogt did have travel experience early on, but her family was not wealthy (personal communication, June 12, 2010). She grew up in a small Kentucky community where her parents were marriage counselors for a Catholic church, but she was always encouraged to travel and to learn about the world, she said. Christian Science Monitor, which had really good international coverage, and they would get U.S. News and World (personal communic ation, June 12, 2010). Vogt's first travel experience was to Russia through a church exchange program. Although only half of the correspondents in this study traveled as children, most expressed an interest in traveling from college and from early in their careers. Karen DeYoung left the University of Florida when she was a junior, and she moved to Germany (personal communication, June 2, 2010). She eventually returned to college,
56 but she also traveled and worked independently in West Africa and in Southeas t Asia soon after graduation. Heidi Vogt joined the Peace Corps after college, and she moved to Mali (personal communication, June 12, 2010). Kathy Gannon moved around Canada early in her career, and she later moved independently to Israel, Pakistan, Japan and then later back to Pakistan (personal communication, July 3, 2010). Sibylla Brodzinsky felt comfortable in Latin America because she lived in the Dominican Republic as a child (personal communication, June 12, 2010). Almost immediately after college, she began independently traveling and working from Latin America. Brodzinsky said that many of her decisions were made out of boredom. But like many of the correspondents, she has a passion for social change, and she embraces the challenge of gathering all of the pieces and putting them together. Gender and Domestic Journalists The interviews with domestic journalists both reinforce and oppose existing literature. For example, although Creedon and Cramer (2007) reported that women are more likely than men to perceive gender discrimination in the workplace, none of the women in this study reported that they overtly suffered gender discrimination. If gender comes into play at all, the women reported that it usually revolves around interaction with sources. Fo People Magazine for 11 sports publications since seventh grade (K. Harmel, personal communication, June 25, 2010). A dedicated s ports fan, Harmel wrote a letter to the editor at the St. Petersburg Times about the value of going to the St. Petersburg Cardinals minor league baseball games. By 16 years old, Harmel started sending query letters to local sports magazines and pitching th em story ideas. Harmel has now worked with People Magazine for 11
57 years, and in her career, some doors have opened and others have closed. She was passionate about sports, and she wanted to be a sports writer, but she encountered obstacles early on. The su mmer before college, Harmel covered the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. She went to many of the games, and she had a locker room pass, she said. Some of the women journalists flirted with the players, and it contributed to women sports journalists being treated unpr ofessionally: They couldn't close the clubhouse to women because that would be discrimination, but at the same time, that would be where the men were changing. And these women, I don't know if they were from the radio station or what, but they would be si tting on the back of the couch that faced the showers. They would stand there and stare and wait for the guys to come out. I would see them talking to players, and it was very flirtatious. It was inappropriate (K. Harmel, personal communication, June 25, 2 010). When Harmel interviewed athletes, she didn't feel like she was on equal footing with communication, 2010). Tampa Bay Devil Rays players knew from previous encounters with Harmel that she understood baseball, but players from other teams could be patronizing, she said. For example, once, when she interviewed an Atlanta Braves pitcher, he st opped in the middle of the interview to explain to her that an ERA is an sports reporting, but said she is grateful for the many opportunities she has had. Similarly, Ashley Powers, Las Vegas bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times said that gender related social norms rather than the newspapers themselves cause do as her men colleagues d o and fraternize with sources at a bar until 3 a.m.
58 I had a friend who covered courts in Orange County; she used to talk about male reporters they would meet for drinks. Because sh e was an attractive woman, it was like this is going to be inappropriate in some way (A. Powers, personal communication, June 7, 2010). Melanie Mason, who works at the Dallas Morning News bureau in Washington, DC pointed to similar, subtle differences (M. Mason, personal communication, June 11, 2010). I think the leash that women have in terms of where persistence crosses the line into too aggressive or too bitchy is a shorter leash than what men have. When I'm dealing with press people or even with politi cians themselves, even if I get frustrated because they keep dodging my phone calls, I try to be totally fresh. They aren't going to be able to get rid of me, but at the same I really try to keep in check how irritated that I am that they're blowing me off So often, they have every reason in the world not to call me back anyway, I don't want to give them one more. I think men can get away with pushing the envelope more than women can (M. Mason, personal communication, June 11, 2010). At the same time, work ing as a woman journalist in the United States can sometimes But to ignore it would be glossing over the fact that it can affect the way she works with discrepancy. It is frustrating at times. I think political reporting is one of the last where it is kind of lop a sports fan, finds that she can bond with men colleagues about sports in a way that In order for a girl to fit in she has to act like a guy. The ways that I had to get to know my colleagues are doing things like hanging with the dudes and talking about
59 stereotype, but the truth is that of my female friends there's not that many o f them that feel comfortable doing that (M. Mason, personal communication, June 11, 2010). journalists I interviewed also reported that they often find themselves at an advantage becau se they are viewed as less threatening than men. Powers said she has covered prostitution stories that would be less accessible if she were a man. Once, Powers did a story about a woman photographer who held a modeling shoot and published a book of street prostitutes. The woman asked Powers not to bring along a male photographer She would rent a hotel room in this gritty section where the women worked. Just through the word of mouth...the deal was the women could come in; the pimps would not be allowed to come with them. They were not allowed to bring a trick or a john with them, and it was just women. They would do makeovers and do a portrait shot. These women never got positive attention and they seemed to like that. In this weird way, this woman to bring a guy in there. She didn't want someone in there who was going to be perceived as a sexual threat or a sexu al prize. She didn't say that, but if you analyze it psychologically it makes sense (A. Powers, personal communication, June 7, 2010). Deborah Shelton, a health reporter for the Chicago Tribune said that some people feel more comfortable opening up to wom en about their medical issues (D. Shelton, because I was a woman, they didn't mind. Sometimes people have an easier time Harmel has also felt that sources have opened up to her about sensitive issues in a way they might not have if she was a man. Once, for example, she interviewed a woman who had been raped repeatedly starting when she was five years old.
60 We really got into talking in depth about that, and it really contributed a lot to the story knowing her back story. I don't know if she would have been able to open up on something to the same extent as a man necessarily. Not that she shouldn't have, but I think sometimes it seems easier for a woman to understand certain things (K. Harmel, personal communication, June 25, 2010). Family Responsibilities and Domestic Women Correspondents Despite reporting equal professional opportunities, many of the women felt that they coul women still take on most of the responsibilities associated with child care. The women in this study reported many of the same feelings that are noted in the literature, particular Creedon (2004) as the tendency for women to spend the day at work then start all over again with taking care of children and the house after work is over. Lane DeGregory at the St. Peter sburg Times said that many of her male colleagues have wives who stay at home, which leads to men being able to focus more and put in longer hours at work (L. DeGregory, personal communication, June 30, 2010). She thinks about her children often, and she calls home during the day to check on them. DeGregory, whose husband be at a baseball game or a dance class, but be unable to make it because of a story that co made it clear from when she first started working at the St. Petersburg Times that she likes to do some of her work from home. Typically, she writes her stories between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. So that she can be home with her family in the evenings. And she
61 bri ng my kids on as many stories as I can. If I do a story on the county fair or do a story personal communication, June 30, 2010). Many of the women leave work to pick up thei r kids from daycare, and then they bring their kids back to the office, DeGregory said. And when she leaves the office, her responsibilities are far from finished. You get home, you've got to make dinner, and do homework...and oh, shoot, what about the sci ence project? You've just put the dinner in the oven. Then copy desk calls, and my notes are in my car, and I need to get back on e mail (L. DeGregory, personal communication, June 30, 2010). DeGregory shares some of the responsibilities with her husband, and her parents also help. But most of the care for the kids is in her hands. On our news team right now, we each are on call one week out of every five of the month. We know that this week we've got to clear the decks and we're on call. I sent my younger son to my mom's this week. My mom just took my little guy (L. DeGregory, personal communication, June 30, 2010). Leonora LaPeter Anton, a general assignment reporter for the St. Petersburg Times was a single mother for about five years (personal communica tion, June 30). She's now remarried, and she has one daughter who is now 12 years old. LaPeter Anton has struggled with finances and time. When Anton's daughter was young, Anton was did daily stories that she had to have finished by 5:30 or 6 p.m. so she c ould pick her daughter up from daycare. Sometimes an editor would assign LaPeter Anton a story at 4 p.m., and she'd have to make last minute arrangements for her daughter, which was stressful. To avoid getting stories late in the day, Anton learned to come up with her own story ideas and pitch them early. Even with this strategy, there were times when she faced conflict at work over her responsibilities to her daughter. The height of the conflict, she said, was when she was told that she'd be placed on a te am that covered cops.
62 It's like, 'why am I, a single mother with a kid, on the general assignment team with the cops.' I asked if I could be on the other team, and I was told that I needed to be there for the job and the job needed to come first. I was rea lly stressed out about it (L. LaPeter Anton, personal communication, June 30, 2010). To deal with the times when she couldn't be there to take care of her daughter, LaPeter Anton established a circle of mothers who would trade off childcare responsibilitie s and pitch in when there was an emergency. I became extremely good at forming a network of parents. Then they would back me up and take my kid at night. It was this big system in place that I created. There was a whole bunch of people. You can't rely on t wo people. We're talking about six to 10 people. My kids were friends with their kids kind of thing (L. LaPeter Anton, personal communication, June 30, 2010). LaPeter Anton and DeGregory agree that daycare costs are difficult to manage on a lary. Every time their children's schools offer after care programs, they place their kids in those programs because they're relatively cheap. DeGregory said that during the summer when her kids were young, she would spend $300 to $400 per week and then pa y for aftercare. Now the costs have shifted from aftercare to activities such as dance, baseball or gymnastics. LaPeter Anton and DeGregory began allowing their cell phones so they could call us. Every day I'd get a phone call, and I'd talk to my son LaPeter Anton said that as time has passed, balancing work and home life have become less stressful. Her d aughter now spends a lot of time at gymnastics classes. And she's remarried, so her husband helps with childcare. But compared to the St. Petersburg Times men, DeGregory and LaPeter Anton said their lives are far more the office even call home during the day. They just
63 compartmentalize differently. They bring the lunches their wives pack for them. Can you No matter where each woman was in her personal life, each had an opinion about the impact of family and motherhood. For women such as Anna Gorman of the Los Angeles Times (A. Gorman, personal communication, June 8, 2010), one of the biggest challenges of being a journalist is balancing work and family. I hav e two young kids. I took maternity leave for both of them. One is 3 and one is 5. Some opportunities have come up that I have not taken, and one of those would be going to Iraq. Because I have young children at home, I'm not willing to take the same risks as a guy with young children might (A. Gorman, personal communication, June 8, 2010). Gorman said that she's learned to multitask better since she's had kids because she at 2010). For women such as Wailin Wong (personal communication, June 11), who is married and may one day have children, the issue of how she will balance home and family is something she thinks about often. Her husband works at home, so he might be id. It would be really hard for me to go back to work, and miss out on whatever my child doing. I was so spoiled in having my mom around, in some ways I want to provide the Many of th e women, including LaPeter Anton and DeGregory, said that often editors empathize with mothers. And some editors are women who have children themselves. LaPeter Anton
64 said editors have sometimes avoided giving her stories that would interfere with being ab le to get home to her daughter (L. Anton, personal communication, June 30, 2010). Sherri Day, an editor at the St. Petersburg Times has a young daughter and soon will have newborn twins. Contrary to working as a reporter at the St. Petersburg Times Day said that working as an editor has given her schedule stability (Sherri Day, personal communication, August 12, 2010). This is a great job. I have for the most part very set hours. I usually get here it gives me a chance to be a part of something. I need to work. I like my job. This company is a still reporting, things would be different (Sherri Day, personal communication, August 12, 2010). It would have been tougher to balance if she was still a reporter, she said. As a former religion reporter, she often worked on the nights and weekends, something she wouldn't want to do now that she's a mother. I think with three kids. be a regular thing (Sherri Day, personal communication, August 12, 2010). Day also shares childcare with her husband, she said. I take our daughter to preschool in the morning, and before preschool I took her to the babysitter in the morning. I have the early shift, and he has the late shift. I get to do the fun stuff, read stories and watch Dora the Explorer (Sherri Day, August 12 2010). In contrast to the study by Papper (2009), which found that women make up only one third of full time newspaper staffs and an even lower fraction of editor positions, the women in this study said that they've had many women editors who've been fle xible about mothers working from home. Christina Antoniades, a freelance journalist whose husband is an orthopedic surgeon, said that she takes on most of the childcare responsibilities while her husband is the primary breadwinner (C. Antoniades, personal
65 communication, June 9, 2010). She used her desk at the Washington Post so infrequently, the newsroom eliminated her spot when they reorganized, she said. She her husband's practice in Baltimore, she said. Although Antoniades has consistently had nannies, her kids always end up pounding on the door the first day of summer because they forget that they aren't allowed to interrupt her at work. But Antoniades has had understand relationship where I can be like, 'my kids are talking in the background, and we're just June 9, 2010). She's also had flexible male editors, she said. But it's unlikely that men would have experienced the same childcare responsibilities she has, and so they might not be able to empathize as much. She and her husband also can't completely understand e what it's like to be my husband who is the primary breadwinner, he can't really Antoniades, person al communication, June 9, 2010). The Chicago Tribune things easier for all parents (personal communication, June 10, 2010). There are a lot of my colleagues who go on maternity leave, and they have to come back from maternity leave much more quickly than they are ready to. We have the technology now so that a lot of the work can be done from home. That option should be more available (D. Shelton, personal communi cation, June 10, 2010). When Shelton adopted twin 8 year olds with troubled backgrounds, she had to take time off work occasionally to care for their needs. Her editors were proponents of adoption, and they were flexible with her, she said.
66 Impact of Women Journalists on News Content Consistent with the study by Harp (2007), many of the journalists in this group reported that factors such as gender, parental status, marital status, race and ethnicity impacted the news agenda. Harp also reported that the imp act is more significant for feature writers, who write a greater variety of stories and whose stories tend to be less structured. DeGregory and LaPeter Anton report that having children has impacted the stories and the reporting they do (personal communica tion, June 30). Many of their stories come from the people they network with, and these days, a lot of those people and 11 year old kids go on and I just noticed this huge communication, June 30, 2010). There was a moment when I just said I don't want to cover news anymore, and I want to slide into features. It made me so much less anxious to bust people and more anxious to tell the emotion of the issue. I found that people opened up to me in a really different way when I was a mom than when I wasn't. I would bring my babies to go interview people. Who's not going to ta lk to a lady with a baby? When I was pregnant, I got the best interviews (personal communication, June 30, 2010) Antoniad es often writes about parenting more interest in things that are related to children and families. A lot of the things I've pitche d have been related to children (personal communication, June 9, 2010). Although the exact numbers vary, studies such as Harp's (2007) report that about one fifth of newspaper sources are women, and an even sma ller fraction of women sources are on the front page. Respondents in this study reported that they may be exposed to more women through their social networks, and as a result, do more stories that include women. But when it comes to the everyday selection of sources, they often just have to
67 go with the best available source at the time. Wong said that when she used to cover finance at the Wall Street Journal in New York, she would look back on her stories and see how rare it was that she was able to quote a woman (personal communication, June 11, 2010). Occasionally, she would make it a goal to find at least one woman financial analyst to interview that day. But now doing more general business reporting at the Chicago Tribune she strikes a better balance an d doesn't feel the need to go out of her way to find women sources. Race and Religion of Domestic Journalists When asked how their race or ethnic background had impacted their careers, the women of color in this study were more likely to provide detail th an the white women. Compared with previous literature, the women of color in this study are much more optimistic about their opportunities. Reinforcing the 2003 report by Weaver et al., the women of color in this study reported that they might not have had opportunities to get into journalism without minority recruitment programs. While Jones (1999) suggests that journalists of color face obstacles to newsroom advancement, and 15% of journalists of color are satisfied with their frequency of promotions, the women of color in this study suggest that things might have progressed in the past ten years. None of the women said that they had suffered unfair treatment in terms of promotions or pay. However, Deborah Shelton, who is black, reported a lack of role mod els, mentors and connections as barriers to job acquisition and newsroom advancement (D. Shelton, personal communication, June 10, 2010). Shelton's report mirrors the points made by Jones (1999) in Women Journalists of Color: Present Without Power Shelton said when she got into journalism in the early 1980s, there were more programs to help recruit minorities than there are now. Her first two opportunities in journalism were internships
68 reserved for minorities, which gave her an opportunity she might not h ave otherwise. need for those kinds of programs indicates a problem in journalism and a larger social problem. It was a plus when there were attempts being made t o increase the number of minorities in journalism. A lot of people speak badly of affirmative action, advantage of those programs. Those programs don't exist anymore. Someone like me would have a great deal of trouble getting into journalism now I think (D. Shelton, personal communication, June 10, 2010). Shelton had an interest in journalism long before she began her journalism career in graduate school at the University of Chicago. B doing it, and the lack of role models made things more difficult, she said. And Shelton, like the 44% of women in the Jones (1999) study, reported that having a lack of black mentors pursuing a journalism career has be en problematic for her. Shelton's report also reinforces Jones' assertion that women journalists of color aggressively seek mentoring relationships and strive to build the support network they didn't get. As a more experienced reporter, Shelton now makes i t a point to mentor young African American journalists (D. Shelton, personal communication, June 10, 2010). On the day to day Shelton said she doesn't feel discriminated against, but race has also come up in a negative way. Once, when she interviewed at a newspaper, a friend who knew the considered for a job in another section because th e editor wanted to spread the black
69 (D. Shelton, personal communication, June 10, 2010). Shelton, who has also worked with CBS and NBC, said that broadcast journalism has been more inclusive of minorities because people watching television want to see diversity. Shelton's perception is reinforced by Papper (2009), who states that journ alists of color make up about 20.2% of the broadcast workforce. In contrast, journalists of color only make up 13.3% of the newspaper workforce. Shelton believes it's the fact that newspaper reporters are rarely seen by their readers that causes a lag. She also credits a part of the problem to poor, under opportunities to learn reading and writing. When Sherri Day, an African American who is the Brandon bureau chief for the St. Petersburg Times too k her first internship with the Albany Herald an editor told her that she should go into television, noting that many newspapers have a hard time retaining black journalists. Television news was her interest anyway, but she ended up getting into print jou rnalism while she was on the broadcast journalism track at the University of She wanted to be a television anchor, but when she arrived at Berkeley; her academic advisor sug course load in her journalism classes. She loved reporting and writing stories, but still set on studying broadcast, she was disappointed to find out that all of the broadcast classes to apply for internships again, Day didn't yet have the skills for the television internship, so she decided to apply for another print internship with the Sacramento Bee Even t hough she loved the Bee, Day told herself that the only way she would do another print
70 internship was if she got an offer from the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times She was offered an internship with the New York Times where she spent the next fo ur minority programs that helped her get in the door as an African American, she said. I love being a black woman. Some programs have helped me; I think it has not been a hi places you have to have the skills to be there (S. Day, personal communication, August 12). Impact of Journalists of Colo r on News Content Consistent with a report by Jones (1999) that only 25% of minority women journalists believe that their organization's content accurately reflects society, Shelton and Day both feel their African American backgrounds allow them to partial ly fill in news perspectives that are otherwise lacking. Shelton, a health reporter, often thinks and writes about urban health issues and other issues that impact minorities (personal communication, June 10, 2010). She said her own background makes her aw are of some of the issues that are often neglected, and she seeks out sources from a variety of racial backgrounds. Day also said that her African American background gave her inspiration to cover stories that were not a part of the white mainstream (perso nal communication, August 12, 2010). I would pick up the papers and not see myself reflected in it. I would see a lot of crime stories that had black people. But it was clear that we were not covering a whole community. My race has long fueled the desire f or me to to cover the voiceless communities (personal communication, August 12, 2010). When Day was living in New York and working at the New York Times she moved to Harlem. She asked her editor if she could do some stories on Harlem, and he told her
71 understand th communication, August 12, 2010). Day did write some stories about Harlem that earned her praise from her colleagues, but she also got criticism from the black community who communication, August 12, 2010). Now as an editor, Day said she encourages everyone in the office to keep an eye out for stories and sources that contain people of color. week after week and have no brown peop have to cover the crime, but let's not forget what the reality is. Barack Obama becomes an anomaly. We need to make sure we cover middle class bl ack people (personal communication, August 12, 2010). While Day brings her own perspective to the news business, she still has limited access to other minority communities, she said. a 2010). Tiffani Hsu, who is Asian Ameri can, said that she was influenced by her family background and she got her foot in the door at the Los Angeles Times through the paper's minority internship program (personal communication, June 8, 2010). The basic story is my maternal grandma was one of the first female radio reporters in Taiwan, and I grew up with her telling me stories about all of the
72 cool people that she'd interviewed and all the places that she'd been. Being good While attending the University of California, Berkeley, Hsu worked at the student newspaper, the Daily Californian. Some of the students went into college understanding how important it is to get g aware how important it is for potential newspaper journalists to have internships in the news industry. Her first internship was at the public access television station, and then she moved on to an alternative weekly newspaper. From there, Hsu went on to the Richmond Times Dispatch The summer Hsu graduated she got an internship at the Los Angeles Times from which she went straight into the METPRO minority training program. Hsu said her knowledge of there a lot to deal with whatever story is br communication, June 8, 2010). It only worked when the people talked with her in he said. Wailin Wong whose parents emigrated from China in 1968, said the effects of her upbringing on her career American home. I think I have a lot of very Chinese cultural values. Work ethic, respe ct for elders, and deep respect for the of that to her. On the
73 since high school, and she leaves comments on the Chicago Tribune website. When Wong was in graduate school at Northwestern University, her graduate pro gram set her up to work for Dow Jones in Argentina. Although she had studied Spanish for years and made top scores on her Advanced Placement tests, she realized when she arrived that the language barrier would make it very tough to communicate. Additionall y, people were curious about her background, and she could always count on the first ten minutes young female, but I was an American young female, and I was a Chinese American reporting from abroad again, but the opportunities for foreign posts are shrinking. She's if her Chinese background would help her if the opportunity came up to be a correspondent in China. I'll always speak Mandarin with an accent, so in some ways...it's funny because being a Chinese American and going to China and speaking bad Chinese may be less forgivable than a white person going in and not speaking Chinese. They have a very visible excuse, right? They're obviously not Chinese, whereas I look Chinese, so I wonder if that can be a liability (W. Wong, personal communication, June 11, 2010). Most of the white women in the study said that their ethnicity had little impact on their reporting. However, many of the women did note that they had limited access to some communities of color, and they strived to do better. Melanie Mason, a white Jewish reporter, said that when she was reporting in Oakland, where 35% of the people are black and 31% are white, she found that there were challenges and rewards to reaching out to the black communities. As a white reporter, that got a little tricky sometimes. Whatever background you come from, people assume that you have your own sort of prejudices and allegiances. One thing I actually really enjoyed about being a reporter there was when Obama was elected, and I was interviewing people in
74 Oakland. And I got to speak to this 86 year old black woman in from Louisiana who talked about how much it meant to her, and it meant something totally different to her than it did for me as a white Jewish girl from Los Angeles who was 23 at the time. And so I think that being a reporter actually kind of lets me co opt other people's experiences and feelings and sort of broaden my own experience (M. Mason, personal communication, June 11, 2010). And although there's been little scholarship on the way being Jewish plays out prof essionally for people in American media organizations, Mason said that her Jewish background impacts how she interacts with her colleagues in the workplace. I think, frankly, I'm a self deprecating Jew. I've noticed a lot of the news places I've worked in. That's kind of been an ice breaking. Particularly at the Republican, pretty much everyone is Jewish. I don't know if that affected my journalism so to speak. Particularly when you are a white mutt, you want to differentiate yourself as much as possible. T here's more to me than just being a white girl. I don't know if that has as much to do with journalism as it does with reacting to people in the workplace (M. Mason, personal communication, June 11, 2010). Many of the women said they can usually find a nic he to penetrate communities that connected as they would be if they were of that background. Anna Gorman, who is white, studied Spanish and spent a semester in Spain when she was in college. Sh e also improved her Spanish as she participated in Teach for America, a two year program that strives to lessen inequities in education by setting college graduates up to work as teachers in low income communities. As a journalist, her Spanish skills have opened her up to Hispanic communities in Los Angeles. She spent a year reporting from the Mexican American border, and at her current position in Los Angeles she often conducts interviews in Spanish, she said. Lane DeGregory, at the St. Petersburg Times s aid that there are many African Americans in her son's dance class, and she's been able to find some stories on the black community through networking with those parents. For some of the
75 correspondents, race was also a factor in reporting. Weaver and Wilho it (1996), report 38% of journalists. And while non religious women in this study feel that their lack of religion had no impact on their reporting, the women in this study who are religious said they do believe their faith influences them. For example, Kristin Harmel said that her Catholic background makes her feel that she has a moral and ethical responsibility to contribute good things to the world (K. Harmel, perso nal communication, June 25, 2010). It's my understanding that most world religions, for the most part, are about behaving in a way that is pleasing to God and that helps you get along with the rest of society. I do pray every night before I go to bed, not down on my knees or anything. If I'm facing something difficult, I'll always talk to God. There's a big moral and ethical responsibility that comes along with being a journalist also and also with being a Catholic (K. Harmel, personal communication, June 2 5, 2010). Sherri Day, who had a stint as the religion reporter at the St. Petersburg Times said her Southern Baptist upbringing has influenced her (S. Day, personal communication, August 12, 2010). Because many journalists are atheist or agnostic, she sa id, they might not realize the impact that religion has on people's lives. Her Christian background helps her relate to sources of all religions, she said. My faith teaches me to be open written great stories ab able to fit in there too. It makes me empathetic to people because I think I see the importance of religion. But I wanted my collea gues to know this is why this story is important and this is why we have to do this (S. Day, personal communication, August 12, 2010). Socioeconomic Backgrounds of Women Journalists in the United States Just like the foreign correspondents in this study, t he domestic journalists at major news organizations also tended to have mixed middle to high socioeconomic
76 backgrounds. All of the women had attained a bachelor's degree, attending a mix of universities from the prestigious Northwestern and Columbia univer sities to more inclusive public schools such as the University of Virginia or the University of Florida. In line with existing studies, such as the one by Weaver and Wilhoit (1996), which states that top tier news organizations recruit students from presti gious universities to help weed out the unqualified, Ashley Powers, reported that she's one of the few journalists at the Los Angeles Times who didn't go to the University of California, Berkeley, or to one of the East Coast Ivy League schools (A. Powers, personal communication, June 7, 2010). Perhaps another indication of social class, few of the women in this study had to take out student loans, a factor that enabled them to take low paying journalism jobs out of college. Tiffany Hsu's dad works as a cons ultant for a health insurance company, and her mom is a homemaker. Kristin Harmel's dad is a pediatric surgeon, and her mom is a nurse. Melanie Mason's dad is an attorney, and her mom is a public health educator. Only two of the journalists, Deborah Shelto n and Ashley Powers, reported coming from blue collar backgrounds. But both Shelton and Powers reported that their parents placed a heavy emphasis on education and on understanding world events. Literature and Discussion The findings in this study confirm previous literature in some cases and departs from it in other cases. As reported in The Great Divide: Female Leadership in U.S. Newsrooms in this study had variable backgrounds and outlooks on how their gender, race, social class and other factors impact their careers. The data on foreign correspondents confirms and adds to Hess (1996), who states that women foreign correspondents often fin d gender to be an advantage. Correspondents
77 in the Middle East are better able to blend in because they can use common Middle Eastern clothing to hide their faces. As in the Hess study (1996), many of the foreign correspondents said they were less likely t han men to be viewed as threatening. As in Hess, women correspondents also reported inconveniences related to the way women are treated in certain societies, namely restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia. Because most literature on women journalists as a wh ole focuses on issues like pay and newsroom attrition, the view of domestic journalists in this study on how their gender influences their abilities to connect with sources brings something new to the literature. Consistent with the literature, both groups said that women tend to take on more childcare responsibilities than men. Contrary to the literature, women of color expressed job satisfaction, and they said they're proud of their ability to contribute a unique perspective to their organizations. None of the women of color in this study suggested that her career had been hindered by race. On the issue of content, the data from this study both supports and challenges the theoretical framework put forth by agenda setting, gatekeeping and framing theories. Contrasting the assertions put forth by agenda setting, gatekeeping and framing theories, about half of the journalists stated that their output is the same as that produced by men. But many of the women do reinforce the claims put forth by these theories For example, women with children were likely to respond that becoming a mother influenced their interests and their social networks, which has caused a shift in the content they produce. Without exception, the women of color in the study gave examples of how their race or ethnic background impacted the content they produce.
78 This study also confirms much of the literature on social class, with many of the foreign correspondents coming from middle to upper class backgrounds. However, correspondence itself that results in exclusivity, and this study confirms that organizations with enough money and prestige to hire foreign correspondents also tend to recruit aggressively from expensive top tier universities. In addition to flexibility, journalists in this study listed persistence, talent, people skills and connections as factors in career success. Like the journalists in Weaver and Wilhoit's (1996) study, most respondents in this study said that they were helped by a factor can be a disadvantage for minorities and other under represented groups.
79 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY AND THEMES: FOREIGN CORR ESPONDENTS AND DOMES TIC JOURNALISTS, COMMONA LITIES AND DIFFERENC ES Persistence, empathy, and a passion for social change consistently came up when the women in this study were asked to list the qualities that define their career success. But through tellin g the story of their career paths, the women in this study revealed something more complex: the opportunities, benefits, disadvantages, sacrifices and concerns that have have shaped their professional lives. The balance of work and family is an issue of ce ntral concern to all of the women in this study. However, the foreign correspondents were less likely than the domestic journalists to have children of their own, although some had stepchildren. For the foreign correspondents, family struggles revolved aro und maintaining relationships with the people in the United States, whether they were husbands, boyfriends or parents. The foreign correspondents who were early in their careers anticipated balancing foreign correspondence with children. The foreign corres pondents who were later in their careers said that having children and working from abroad would be very tough or nearly impossible. Among the domestic journalists, nearly all had children or anticipated having children. These women said they stressed abou t juggling parenthood and their jobs. To cope, the women said they brought their children into the office, worked in the middle of the night and made babysitting arrangements with other mothers. Most women suggested that they took on more childcare respons ibilities than their husbands. The foreign correspondents were less likely than the domestic journalists in this study to believe that their gender impacted the content they produced. This could be for a number of reasons. It could be because the foreign correspondents interviewed wrote more hard news, while more of the domestic journalists in the study leaned toward
80 features. Feature writers tend to have more story flexibility, so the women's personalities, networks and experiences may have more of an imp act on content in those cases. Also, more of the domestic journalists in this study had children, which may affect the women's interests and world view. None of the women believed that gender impacted their careers negatively. On the contrary, all of the f oreign correspondents said that their gender was an advantage. In the Middle East, women could freely talk to men and women, while male reporters could only talk to men. Government officials in South America tended to underestimate women, which could serve to the female reporter's advantage. And women in Africa and the Middle East felt that if there was an emergency, bystanders might be more willing to step in and help a woman than they would a man. Domestic journalists also said that people are more willin g to open up to female reporters about personal issues related to health or sexual abuse. Because I interviewed only six women of color, this study has limitations in terms of what it can suggest about race. The two black women in this study, more than oth er groups, expressed concern about helping to create diverse, inclusive media coverage because they had long noticed that their communities were not fairly reflected in the paper. The two Asian American women in the study said their ethnic backgrounds and languages ability helped them gain access to communities they wouldn't otherwise have access to. All of the domestic journalists of color said they had been helped by minority recruitment programs, and they all said those programs were necessary. The forei gn correspondents in this study often exhibited an exceptional propensity toward risk taking. Kathy Gannon quit her job, sold her belongings and moved to
81 Pakistan to freelance. Karen DeYoung left school to move to Germany, and then later moved on her own t o SoutheEast Asia and to Africa. Heidi Vogt joined the Peace Corps and moved to Mali. Sibylla Brodzinsky moved to Venezuela out of college, and Maria Abi Habib moved to Lebanon. Leonora LaPeter Anton, Anna Gorman and Wailin Wong, on the other hand, express ed a desire to work from overseas, but they were unwilling or unable to do so because of family obligations or to take the risk of moving to another country to work as a freelancer. Even so, domestic journalists displayed flexibility, often moving across t he country to take newspaper opportunities, and often traveling to disaster sites. Many of the women who work at newspapers in the United States spoke of the Chicago Tribune b egan at a tiny Minnesota newspaper called the Stillwater Gazette (E. Gabler, personal communication, June 6, 2010). Through forming connections at professional conferences, Gabler landed a job as a business reporter at the St. Paul Business Journal where she worked for two years until she went to graduate school at Columbia University. From there she went on to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel where she was hired as an investigative reporter. Through going to professional conferences, she made connections t hat eventually led to her hire at the Chicago Tribune Melanie Mason's first internship, with the NBC bureau in Washington, came about because she had help from an intern at the NBC show Hardball with Chris Matthews (personal communication, June 11). She t hen interned at the New Republic in Washington, D.C., where a friend of
82 11). For Ann a Gorman, it was a boyfriend's father, who was an editor at the Los Angeles Times Freemont Argus to the Los Angeles Times She sent him an e mail telling him that she'd love advice on how to t ake the next step in her career, and he called her in for an informal interview. One issue that featured prominently in my interviews is the way women journalists are reacting to the decline of traditional reporting jobs in the media industry. Across the board, the women in this study were concerned with the future of their careers and the future of their jobs. When asked about career goals, every woman expressed a love for her job and her desire to be able to ride out the storms of the industry. Many of t he women said a job in public relations is one of their only options if they're laid off, but they want to stay in journalism as long as possible. Although the literature suggests that foreign correspondent positions are the most precarious because of thei r cost to news organizations, the journalists who work in U.S. newsrooms expressed the most anxiety about the changes, perhaps because most of them have watched colleagues all around them get laid off. The results of this study provide mixed messages for a spiring journalists. There is a dearth of jobs, and competition is stiff, even for entry level reporting positions. But for women who wish to follow the career paths of respondents in this study, persistence, networking, flexibility and dedication to the j ob are key. For those who wish to be foreign correspondents, this study suggests that the traditional path of working for a mid to upper level news organization and angling for foreign assignments is closing. The
83 remaining foreign correspondents are holdin g onto their posts as long as they can, while everyone is waiting for a new media model to emerge. This study contributes to the academic knowledge on the way race, class, gender and other factors influence career advancement for women journalists. It also contributes valuable information about the way women view the content they produce. Although the study achieved those overarching aims, it also has weaknesses. I was able to recruit a well rounded sample, mostly due to the women who chipped in and recomme nded other women to me. Scheduling, conducting interviews and transcribing was a two month process, and some things about the interviews changed according to the circumstances and according to the things I had learned from the previous interviews. For exam ple, as I became more comfortable with the interview questions and tape recorder in my computer, my interviews went more smoothly. My first two interviews were with Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post and Deborah Amos of National Public Radio. Both of the se women have had highly successful careers as foreign correspondents, and their longevity in the business brought interesting perspectives. With both women, I typed on a desktop computer and recorded the interview through a Skype application. Although I h ad tested the equipment in advance, the microphone on the desktop I used had an echo, and the recording application stopped working after a period of time. There were two things I should have done differently here: I should have done a more thorough job te sting the equipment. And I should have saved such valuable interviews for later in this study when I'd had more experience with the material and with the equipment. After my second interview, I switched to recording interviews on my laptop, which has a rec order with no echo effect.
84 I also switched to a more reliable recording program. When I began my interviews, I typed as I was recording in order to make sure I had a backup if the recorder failed. But when I listened to the interview transcriptions, I real ized that the typing distracted me from asking the most appropriate follow up questions. By that point I had more faith in my recorder, and I switched to taking occasional hand written notes while the women talked and then transcribing later, a strategy th at worked much better for me. The women I interviewed were also replying under a variety of circumstances, which could influence the length and depth of the interview and the material a journalist was willing to talk about. For example, when I interviewed Susan Taylor Martin, she spoke from her cubicle in the St. Petersburg Times office where she could be overheard by her colleagues. I interviewed Lane DeGregory and Leonora LaPeter Anton together at a restaurant, a process that had advantages and disadvanta ges. On the one hand, DeGregory and LaPeter Anton were able to help each other remember certain events, and they were able to add to each other's anecdotes. On the other hand, their answers may have been influenced by each other. My interview with LaPeter Anton and DeGregory was during a workday, and so I conducted the two person interview in about an hour and a half, which left about 45 minutes per woman, which is rather short. If I had the opportunity, I tried to conduct interviews in person so I could es tablish more of a personal connection and get better interviews. I interviewed Kristin Harmel privately at a restaurant, and the interview lasted almost three hours. I called Anne Garrels at her home, and I interviewed Heidi Vogt while she was on the road in between assignments. I called Christina Antoniades at her home while she was taking care of her children. In short, while I feel every woman gave me a thorough interview, the busy lives
85 and the diverse geographic location of the interview participants l ed to the interviews being conducted under a variety of circumstances. As I conducted interviews, some of my questions and my approach to different questions also changed. For example, in my first interviews, I would ask participants to identify their ethn ic backgrounds and to describe how they felt their ethnic background influenced their career paths. Then, when I interviewed Melanie Mason, she said she was white, and she identified her limited access to Hispanic and black communities as the primary way i n which her background impacted her. However, later in the conversation, Mason mentioned that she was Jewish. It hadn't occurred to me that people wouldn't see Judaism as an ethnic background, so I began also asking participants about their religious backg rounds, a question which yielded interesting results for my last several interviews. I also struggled a little bit with questions about race. With the women of color, each told me clearly how their racial background had influenced their careers. But with t he white women, it seemed as though most felt their race had little impact. This resulted in rather short answers, and I believe I could have done better in probing the women about white privilege and the ways in which their careers may have been influence d as a result. Finding appropriate interview participants and lining up time to speak with them was challenging. I began with Karen DeYoung and Deborah Amos because both women had connections with the University of Florida. I found their contact informatio n through professors at the University of Florida, and I asked these women to pass me on to other journalists who might be willing to interview with me. Deborah Amos passed me on to Anne Garrels, for example. I wasn't able to get every woman I had hoped to
86 interview. There are a number of factors that have contributed to this, but the most important factors are that I have no connections in television and that contact information for television journalists tends not to be available on the internet. Although I sent about a dozen e mails to reporters at the New York Times I didn't get any responses. The goals for this study included interviewing women from a variety of ages, ethnic backgrounds and media forms. Here are some of the successes and challenges ass ociated with the variety of participants in this study. This study contained 21 women, two who are African American, two who are Chinese American, one who is Arab American and one who is Latin American. In other words, less than a third of the women in thi s study are women of color. In some cases, women of color were easy to find. For example, Maria Abi Habib has an Arab last name, and she responded to my e mail right away. I knew an editor at the Miami Herald who introduced me to Sibylla Brodzinsky. But th e lack of diversity in the industry overall made it a challenge for me to find women of color. To meet this challenge, I asked white participants if they could recommend women of color who might be willing to interview with me. I also looked at staff lists and tried to reach out to people with last names that I thought to be Asian or Hispanic. I was particularly interested in the experiences of black women, but the fact that there are so few black women in the industry perhaps posed my biggest recruitment c hallenge. I made active attempts to contact African American women such as Helene Cooper at the New York Times and Carole Simpson, a broadcast journalist who has reported on black life in white America and on the OJ Simpson trial, I also contacted Ginger G adsden, an anchor at 10 Connects News in Tampa/St. Pete, who agreed to interview
87 with me, but I couldn't get in touch with her to schedule a time. In short, I think a larger sample size in general and a larger sample of black women in particular would add interesting data to this study. This study contains women from newspapers, wire services, magazines, and radio, but I wasn't able to recruit any current television news journalists (although some of the women I interviewed worked in television previously). I achieved relative, but not complete success when it comes to interviewing women who worked in different types of media. All but two of the women I interviewed worked in print. Of those 19 women, 14 work for newspapers, two work for a wire service, one w orks for a magazine and two freelance. These women fill a variety of beats, and several of them work as editors or had experience as editors. The two women participants who are not print journalists work for National Public Radio. I hoped to also interview w omen in t elevision n ews but I did not meet this challenge because I have no connections in television journalism, and because I found it very difficult to get the contact information for television journalists. One television journalist who I managed to get in touch with refused the interview. The other said she would do the interview, but never returned my phone calls or e mails to set up an appointment. In light of the information in this study, there is room for quantitative and qualitative follow up studies. For example, in contrast to the 1996 Weaver and Wilhoit report, the two black journalists in this study reported that they don't feel their career advancement has been impacted by race. A researcher could potentially survey a wider group of black journalists to find out if black journalists of 2010 still feel that race impacts them. Also, because the women in this study said that it was motherhood, rather than gender, that tested their ability to succeed in the workplace, it would be interesting to study male
88 journalists to find out if parenthood impacts male journalists in the same way that it impacts women journalists. Additionally, as the internet changes the news industry and opens up other forms of communication, gender, race and social class m ay play out in newsrooms very differently than they do now. Once the dust has settled, it would be interesting to broach the topics of race, gender and social class with a larger sample to see if old habits and prejudices are eliminated and new ones are fo rmed.
89 APPENDIX A SAMPLE TRANSCRIPTION S Transcription: Ellen Gabler, Chicago Tribune June 6, 2010 Davis : Can you describe when you first knew you wanted to be a journalist? Gabler : I was in college, and I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was a busi ness major, but I had always been good at writing. I took a journalism class, I did well on it. I had to do a journalism co major. I thought that journalists were sleazy, and I didn't see it as a profession I would do. I was bored by all the business stuff and I didn't understand why someone would spend their life trying to sell more Pepsi. That seemed more meaningless. So then I had this great professor my senior year who had been a reporter for the New York Times I really respected her, and that changed my mind about journalists being sleazebags. I graduated, and I needed a job. It was a choice between working at a non profit and working at a small newspaper. I thought journalism might be my dream job. I might as well take this job at this small newspape r. Now that I'm almost 30, I remember thinking...God, if I go and work for a non profit and I'm 30 or 40 and I realize I want to be a reporter I won't be able to do it even then. So I went to the Stillwater Gazette, in Stillwater, Minnesota. Now it's a biw eekly. Davis : Where did you go to college? Gabler: I did my undergrad at Emory, and then a couple of years later I did my master's at Columbia at NYC. I got my master's in journalism. They had an investigative reporting track. You know, journalism gra d school is sort of a mixed bag. For me, it was great. I had one of the most fun years of my life. I learned a lot of stuff. I was a reporter for three years before going. Davis : Did you have any mentors who influenced your career? Gabler: At the begin ning, probably not, actually. There was the professor I mentioned before, she was really one of the main reasons I got into journalism. The other professors I had, I just didn't really respect them that much. One of the guys told me he'd slept with a sourc e to get a story before. I stuck with it, I think, because of mentors in later years. My boss at my second job was a really good guy. He was really ethical and I really respected him a lot. That kept me interested in the business. When I was 23, I went to Katches. Without him I don't know where I'd be, he encouraged me a lot, and helped me a lot. The other thing that I was sort of struggling with in the earlier years was am I goin g to be working at the Stillwater Gazette for the rest of my life? I didn't see how I could get beyond that. Mark, really helped me as a mentor. Davis : Could you take me through the different steps in your career path? Gabler: I was at the Stillwater Gazette for about 10 months. My first story was about a library expansion. I went to business school with kids who got pretty good jobs out of
90 college. Here I was covering a library expansion in some shitty town in Minnesota. I was like, what should I do? There was a small town, and all this crazy stuff going on. Then I got hired to be a business reporter at the Minneapolis at the St. Paul business journal. I had moved to Minneapolis right after graduation, and I was desperate for a job. I had sent out resu mes to every single journalism publication in town. They just saved my resume, and they had an opening. I had a business degree, which is sort of rare for people who are journalists. I was like ehhh, I don't know, business reporting sounds really boring. I worked there about two years, I had applied to grad school, and I got into this investigative program. They discouraged me from going; they wanted to keep me there. I went to New York for a year, and got my master's there. The day before I graduated, Mark my mentor, called me from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They started this new feature called public investigator. Quick hit investigations. I was hired to do that, and I worked directly for Mark, which was really awesome. I did that for two years. I ha ppened to get hired here in Chicago. I came here in October of 09. I was a little kid, basically, the thing I thought was so cool, I was this young reporter at a small weekly business publication...I didn't know anything about investigative reporting. Ever yone was so nice to me and so helpful. Mark was a big editor at a California paper. He offered to look at my clips and critique them. I basically just stayed in touch with him and every four months, I would send him four or five clips, and he would say thi s is terrible and you sound like a moron. We just had some sort of connection because I think, one really cool thing about him is he wants to help young journalists. Davis : So it sounds like you made connections that helped you jump from one job to the next? Gabler: After I went to that IRE conference the first time, I stayed in touch with Mark, and I kept going back to these conferences. People are really welcoming...I made all sorts of connections with all sorts of reporters and editors all over the country. Some of the people I met were my current editors, and other reporters. Mark knew a lot of them, and he introduced me to a lot of people. Our team in Milwaukee had a fair amount of success, I guess. Somebody on the team won the Pulitzer in 08. I d idn't win any of the awards, but other people did. So a lot of my success did come through networking, I guess. When they had an opening, the called and asked if I was interested. I was pretty hesitant because I was really happy in Milwaukee. I loved the p aper and I loved everything about it. I still miss Milwaukee a ton, I'm 29, and I was like...it could be kind of awesome to live in Chicago. I'm definitely happy with the decision. Davis : What are some factors or personal qualities that have helped or hindered you in achieving your career goals? Gabler: The number one factor is networking ability. I think that's been something that comes easily to me. I think that's the whole reason I've got to where I am. One of the major reasons is because of that. The other reason...I've always felt like I have a lot more to learn. I'm always open to hearing suggestions from other people and learning things. I think that helps your career.
91 Davis : What are some challenges you've faced in achieving your career g oals? Gabler: I think it's difficult to be a young reporter. I always felt like I'm never going to get to where I want to get. Before I worked for a daily newspaper, all I wanted to do was work at a daily newspaper. I didn't see how this whole situation was going to work out. Then I guess once I finished that out, the other challenge was probably how to do higher level stories. I did basic stories with the Stillwater Gazette. When I was a business reporter, I learned a lot. I wanted to do investigative st uff. I didn't know how to do it. That was a little challenging, I guess. I got that job in Milwaukee, and I had a great boss who taught me a lot of stuff. I'm pretty good at paying attention to what other people are doing, and learning from that. I worked with a lot of really amazing people. And I pay attention. I'm working with a lot of reporters who are so much better than me. I also look pretty young, which is kind of annoying. People still say stuff to me. I remember in Minneapolis, I covered Target and Best Buy. And someone said to me, I bet your mom and dad are really proud of you. People a lot of time say to me, oh so this would be your first job. Davis : How do you think your career has been influenced by your gender? Gabler: I think you have to use your, whatever your situation is, to your advantage. I'm a 29 year old female, so I try to sort of use that to my advantage in the sense that I can be like well you gotta explain this to me. I'm young, I don't really understand. I feel like I'm a lot more confident in my job now. I feel like I have a job to do, and I know how to do it, and I just do it. When people are giving me the runaround, I'm like just tell me. I think back to when I was in Stillwater, there was a 50 year old mayor who was very ad versarial toward me. I was asking questions, and he definitely intimidated me, and he shut down many of my inquiries. Davis : What is your race or ethnic background? Gabler: I'm Caucasian. Davis : How has your career been influenced by that? Gab ler: It hasn't really, except for, I don't know if it's just this story that I was assigned to...it was definitely a factor. I just did a story on skin lightening cream, and how they have mercury in them. Part of being a reporter is being able to understan d where other people are coming from. When I first started reporting the story, I went to some of the Asian and some of the Hispanic neighborhoods. You have to adjust your mindset. I feel like I've had a lot of experience. When I was in New York City, I re ported a lot on the Liberian community there. I had to cover Staten Island. Most of it was that I was an outsider, and they didn't trust me...and I can understand that. I did have a situation where I had a pretty serious language barrier with this one guy. He had been the president 15 years earlier. The president of Liberia now living in Staten Island. I couldn't communicate very well with him, and he had problems in his mind. I was actually really disappointed because I thought it was an awesome story. He couldn't communicate,
92 and I would talk to him. But I just really didn't think it would be fair to do a story on him because of his mental state. Davis : Do you speak any other languages? Gabler: I speak Spanish like barely. Davis : You may not be at the age where you're thinking about this too much, but do you anticipate trying to balance a family and a career? Gabler: I think about it a lot, actually. That's another reason I didn't want to become a reporter. I just didn't think that was possible. I just didn't know how it all worked. I have been really, really, really lucky to work with woman who are a fair amount older than me who have a family and are super, super dedicated to their families and have awesome careers. That has been really cool to s ee that. That used to be a concern of mine, and it's not at all anymore. Getting married and having kids...I think it's totally, 100 percent doable. One of my closest colleagues has a bunch of kids. She is totally awesome. Two years before there was anothe r reporter who was a Pulitzer finalist who had two little boys. Davis : What did your parents do for a living? Can you tell me more about your childhood background? Gabler: I grew up in Northern Wisconsin in Eau Clair. My dad was an attorney, and then he became a judge when I was a freshman in college. My mom was director of a non profit that taught people how to read. I have two older brothers. My parents are like overly supportive people. They were the kind of people who my first story in the Stillwat er Gazette was the most important things they've done in they're lives. My middle brother is a financial advisor, and my older brother is kind of like a social worker. Davis : What career goals do you still hope to accomplish? Gabler: I'm not exactly s ure, I need to become a significantly better investigative reporter. I'm always trying to do that, and you do that by continuing to work. Another thing that I might do someday, I could possibly see myself being an investigations editor. I was a swimmer in college, and I really like that team atmosphere. I think about what a big impact Mark and a lot of other editors made on me. The managing editor at the Journal Sentinel. He always had a really big impact on me on a person. When I think about that, I think that maybe someday...I think I have the leadership ability to do that, and I sort of owe it to journalism. It's made my life so much better. Transcription: Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times June 7, 2010 Davis : Can you describe when you first knew you wanted to be a journalist?
93 Powers: I think it wasn't until college that I really even considered journalism as a profession. I always liked writing. I think I went in as an English major. I saw an ad that the student newspaper was looking for writers. I w as working at the student bookstore at the time. And I was under the impression that the student newspaper would pay me minimum wage, which was not true, but it got me in the door. I went up there, and I thought this was kind of interesting. They explained to me what you need to do, and I thought, all I have to do is talk to people and write about it and you can make a career out of this? I kind of went from there. I worked at the student newspaper every year. I did an internship every summer. Davis : W here did you go to school? Powers: I went to the University of Toledo in Ohio. I want to say that the circulation was like 3,000 and we always thought that was inflated. Davis : Where did you go from there? Powers: Monroe evening news, part time copy editor. I interned at my hometown paper that was the hometown, The Vindicator. I did an internship at the Virginian Pilot. The summer after my senior year, I did an internship at the LA Times. Then I did a fall internship which kind of turned into a nine m onth internship at the Dallas Morning News. That was in spring of 2003. I just turned 29. I ended up going back to the LA Times through this...it's not really an internship program...it's basically like, you're a full time hire, but they pay you less. It's called a two year temporary reporter. You have full pay and much better than an intern. I worked at a once a week features section that no longer exists. Davis : How have mentors played a role in your career? Powers: It's interesting; Toledo didn't h ave a journalism program. I took two undergad journalism classes. One was totally worthless. There was a really great guy who was the formal managing editor at the Toledo Blade, who taught the basics...Journalism 101. Spell everyone's name right, don't mak e stuff up. More than any specific mentoring, every place I went...you'd find...there was usually like a reporter or an editor who would reach out to the interns...rather it was in a formal way or not. I don't know if it was like this for everybody, but it was usually at the end of the summer having a more senior reporter or editor. I guess there are informal mentors in every place that I was. But it wasn't like a formal kind of assigned system in the sense of a faculty advisor at college or anything like t hat. Davis : Can you describe your career path to me, beginning with your first job out of high school? Powers: Internships are crazy. I think they're more relaxed than anything. I think my very first internship...someone at the student newspaper had the connection with the little paper in Wisteria. That's how I ended up getting an internship there. It's about an
94 hour from Toledo, so other people from the University had interned there previously. I think most summers they got someone from the school. You send out a bunch of stuff and it's just blanketing. And it's like, okay, maybe they like me here. My friends who have gone to journalism school, I think there's more of a networking involved. I know someone at this paper. I used to work at that paper. At my school there really wasn't these places. I remember in college I went to two job fairs. They had one up in Detroit about an hour and a half from Toledo. It was gea red toward people looking for internships and people looking for jobs basically. All the internships I got were blind. It was like 'please pick me.' I got particularly lucky at the LA Times because it just so happens that the guy who did the internship pro gram just really liked my work. I know this now after being at the times for 6.5 years. A lot of the interns come from the big California schools, the USC, the Berkeleys the Columbias. There's a set network. I really lucked out because Randy, the guy who r an the internship program, was really willing to kind of take a chance. He liked my work, and he was like I think you should intern with us. And I was like, yeah, that would be awesome. Davis : What are some factors or personal qualities that have helpe d you in achieving your career goals? Powers: I think at think at this stage of my career, and with a lot of journalists...kind of being able to pick up and go and do anything to different places. For awhile I was moving once a year to different places i n Southern California. I was in this feature position. The advertising wasn't there though. They said okay you'll have to go to metro, and you have to go to one of our bureaus. And I was like, okay, whatever...I'll move. This job came open in Vegas. I was probably way too young to go to the national desk, but at the same time there were a lot of people who didn't want to pick up their families and go to Las Vegas. I was kind of like, I'll go. I'll do it. It was a great career move. I'm not married, and I do n't have kids. A lot of people were saying I don't want to move there. It's not the most desirable place. Because you're young, you're willing to kind of make that sacrifice. I also went to Riverside, California. It's only about an hour from downtown LA, b ut a world away. It was a fast growing area, and it had extraordinarily interesting stories. It was referred to as the dirt people. All of the smog in LA would get tracked, and many days during the summer, the sky would be brown. I had an amazing editor. T he stories were really good. It did remind me a lot of when I came to Vegas. There is something here quality of life wise. The fact that like right now, today it is 110 degrees in Vegas, and it's only June and that's not okay. Journalistically, it's been p henomenal, and it's a great place to be a reporter. When you're younger, you're able to take those chances. And make those sacrifices, like okay this isn't going to be forever, it might be good for right now. Davis : So I see that your title says you'r e the bureau chief. Are you an editor or a reporter? Powers: I have a title bureau chief that implies that I have a bureau. It's really just me. I'm totally a reporter, and one of our national correspondents. I cover the state of
95 Nevada. Las Vegas and Nev ada are so connected to California that at one point it was under our state desk. The running joke is that Las Vegas is California's smoking section. I'm kind of here and there and everywhere when I'm needed. The past few months, I've needed to go to Fargo and New Orleans. It keeps it pretty interesting. Davis : How has your career been influenced by your gender? Powers: It's kind of a tough question; I'm not going to say that it somehow hasn't been influenced by my gender because I just don't think th at's possible. Maybe one of the ways is, partly because I've always been more of a features writer, I think sometimes you have to work to overcome that perception that you just do softer stories and can't really pin people down or be harder. I remember whe n I went out to Fort Hood after that massacre in November. My editor made this joke; we all forgot what a good reporter you are. I was like what's that supposed to mean! I think it does kind of factor into story selection. A lot of people come out to Vega s, and they really want to cover the casinos. I write something every six months about the casinos but I'm not that into it. That's not something necessarily because I'm a woman. I know a lot of the Wall Street Journal gaming reporters have been women. All of my guy friend are like why don't you spend every day in the sport's book. I am much more interested in classically feminine social issues stories. I wanted to write about the economic devastation here instead of writing from 40,000 feet the economy is bad. I decided I wanted to do a narrative that showed the economic implosion here from the ground level. Prostitution in particular, I think that's one place my gender has been influenced by my gender. It's something that just kind of gets skimmed over or joked around. There's prostitution in the rural countries. In terms of writing about it, there's a story that hasn't run yet, and it will someday I'm sure of it. That I spent a lot of time on about child prostitution here. I remember feeling a great deal o f empathy for the girls while I was reporting it because It was so easy to picture yourself at sixteen or seventeen and wondering how many degrees of separation there were between you and these very confused girls...who just needed family structure and jus t wanted love and affection like everybody else. To a certain extent maybe it was easier to put myself as a journalist in their place because of the similarity in gender and remembering what it was like to be a confused 16 year old. There's always those so rts of unspoken dynamics when you're doing interviews. I did one story a couple of years ago about this women who was a photographer. There was another woman who lives here, and she did a published book of street prostitutes. She did a published book, a ph otograph of street prostitutes in downtown Las Vegas. I went out with her when she was going to do one of those photo shoots. Sure, I was just curious, is there any reason why...there's something about the dynamic of what was going on. The whole thing was that she would rent a hotel room in this gritty section where the women worked. Just through the word of mouth...the deal was the women could come in, the pimps would not allowed to come with them. They were not allowed to bring a trick or a john with them and it was just women. They would do makeovers and do a portrait shot. This photographer would actually do makeovers to do portrait shots. These women had never got positive attention. In this weird way, this woman thought it was altruistic. She did have a male in the room but he was gay. It was very important for her to say that I don't want you to bring a women. She didn't want
96 someone in there who was going to be perceived as a sexual threat or a sexual prize. She didn't say that, but if you analyze it psychologically it makes sense. Davis : What about when it comes time to be aggressive, how do you think being a woman affects the way people perceive you? Powers: I am kind of a generalist, and so I do a little bit of everything. But what's been kind of interesting is that Nevada is in the middle of a really crazy political cycle right reelection. I have to deal with a lot of these political consultants who have been aro und forever. I think with anything you change how you're talking and how you're asking things based on how someone is acting toward you. Oh, you look so young...you work for the LA Times, that's so great. I've gotten a little bit of that. I realize sometim es people are talking to you like I'm a child, like oh, nice little girl. It depends more on my relationship with the person I'm talking to then my gender. I think initially I try to feel stand that, can you them. Trying to use things more to my advantage. If I know someone well enough I can be much more direct. These initial impressions, as opposed to these o ngoing relationships. Some people might go in and say they oh, they are treating me differently because I'm a woman. Where I think that's only true the first couple of times you deal with someone. Now, I can't do what some of my friends who are political r eporters do and go out and get wasted with sources until 3 in the morning. The dynamic is different there because I'm a young female, and most of these consultants are married men in their 40s. It doesn't mean that if you had a really good source relations hip with someone you couldn't do that. But it's not the immediately de facto way of getting to know someone as it is for some of my colleagues who are men. I had a friend who covered courts in Orange County, she was a very attractive woman. She used to tal k about how her sources in the DA's office, the male reporters...they would only meet her for lunch. While the male reporters they would meet for drinks. Because she was an attractive women, it was like this is going to be inappropriate in some way. I imag ine if those people were her sources for a year or two that changes. But in the getting to know you portion, it's a much more significant role. Davis : Would you tell me a little bit about your family background? What did your parents do? Powers: My d ad worked at an auto plant, and it was at a general motors plant back in Ohio. My mom took care of kids. There were five of us. I was the youngest of five. We're pretty blue collar. All of us kids ended up going to college. I used to joke around; I have no idea where this newspaper career came from. My mom was a huge newspaper reader and subscribed to four of them. We used to have news. Davis : Were your parents pleased you decided to become a journalist? Powers: I think they were like, 'oh, that's oka y.' I have a brother who's an attorney. And
97 a brother who is a podiatrist. My mom is more of a cable news junkie. I do like to come back from covering stories that have been on CNN a lot. I'm like really mom, I've been to a lot of press conferences, I'm n ot going to lie. Davis : How do you deal with the question that many women face about balancing family with a demanding career? Powers: It's an interesting question because I'm just starting to get to the age where you start thinking about that. I tra vel a lot for work now. I'm on the road a lot. I know a lot of our correspondents do have kids. I'm kind of amazed at how they're able to juggle that. At the stage of life that I'm in, I don't have to worry about kids yet. And I'm not sure if that's on the horizon at all. It does affect my social life. It's like...hi, I know we were supposed to go out...but I need to go down to New Orleans for an oil spill. I don't know when I'll be back. Anytime I make plans with someone, they have to know that it's tenta tive...like I'd love to do that with you if no news happens. I was supposed to have dinner with old friends I hadn't seen in a long time. I had to call them and say I was stuck on a mountain covering a wildfire and I can't come into LA tonight. I was in So uthern California, and I was stuck on a mountain covering a wildfire. Someone asked: you end up being friends with other people in that industry. I think for journal ists it's also kind of more cloistered in that sense, because there are weird demands. There are a lot of weird demands on time that other people don't necessarily understand. I dated this guy living here. He was so annoyed that I didn't have a strict sche dule. That I could take and didn't want to go out in case the copy desk called. It takes a certain set...some certain personality traits to do this profession and giv e yourself to it. If some source wants to meet you at some crazy time in the middle of the night, it's like okay. It does make that relatively interesting...it's less of a stable existence then maybe my friends who are not in the business or are no longer in the business. Davis : What is your racial or ethnic background, and how does that impact you? Powers: White. The only thing and thi s is less of a race thing then a cultural thing. I grew up in a very, very white area. There wasn't a lot of ethnic diversity. There wasn't a lot of emphasis on learning a foreign language or learning other cultures. I really wish that when I was younger p eople would say, you really should learn Spanish because that will help you. It's more of a language barrier than a race barrier. It's very frustrating for someone who works in the field of communications to run across someone who you can't communicate wit h. That's something I've always wanted to rectify. I really wish that somewhat at some point had encouraged me to travel more and go overseas, but I didn't grow up in a place where that was encouraged. It was just kind of more the blue collar cultural plac e. Where I'm from, going to Columbus was crazy. I travel for work a lot. I was joking I was eating my way through New Orleans. I was trying to eat all the seafood before I got covered with oil. Most of my travel has been in the United States. I'd love to t ravel more internationally. I still got time, I'm not even thirty yet.
98 Davis : What career goals do you still hope to accomplish, and what are some challenges that you'll have to overcome to achieve those goals? Powers: I don't know. With the state of t he industry right now, it's like where do you want to be in five years...I want to be employed. It's kind of hard to think very far in the future at this point. I would love to delve more deeply into long form narrative, more immersion type journalism and more magazine stuff. Someday it might be amazing to either be doing that magazine style in a newspaper or work at a magazine seeing as a lot of newspapers are cutting back on their storytelling narrative. Space, it's all a space crunch. The LA Times has be en hit particularly hard because we had an owner who took out a million dollars in debt and now we're in Chapter 11. That's really put on hold...the question of where do you see yourself in five years is really unclear. It's like...I don't know who is goin g to own the paper in two months. Transcription Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times June 8, 2010 Davis: Can you describe when you first knew you wanted to be a journalist? Hsu: The basic story is my maternal grandma was one of the first female radio report ers in Taiwan, and I grew up with her telling me stories about all of the cool people that she'd interviewed and all the places that she'd been. The really historical stories she covered. Being a little girl you're pretty susceptible. I thought hey, this s ounds like a good career path. I went to school, and it turned out that writing was the only thing I'm really good out. I think probably midway through college is when I told myself that if you're going to be a journalist, you're going to have to hunker do wn and do that. Before that I had the same aspirations that I think most people who think of themselves of writers do. I thought what I think many other people do. I had these really broad dreams before I got to college. I don't know exactly how it happene d; I joined a newspaper before I really knew what I was doing. I didn't do any journalism in high school. I did an internship, I guess, for juniors and seniors with the local paper. They had write about prom and these other teenage things. I didn't really do anything until college when I joined the paper. Dedicating yourself 20 or 30 hours per week, when you're going to school...it makes you think about if you really like doing this. Davis: Where did you go to school? Hsu: UC Berkeley. Davis: And did y our parents meet in the United States or did they get married in Taiwan? Hsu: My parents got married in Taiwan and then moved over to California. At the Daily Cal, which is the Berkeley paper, most people go in knowing exactly how the internship drill wor ked. I went in and had no idea how it worked. I did a public access TV internship the year after I joined the paper, which really has nothing do to with print journalism. Halfway through that I got an internship at one of the alternative weeklies the San F rancisco Bay Guardian. I went to the Richmond Times Dispatch. The summer after I graduated, I got an internship at the LA Times. Once that ended I shifted straight into
99 their Metpro program. It's the paper's minority training program for reporters and copy editors. To be a participant you need to be a minority, and that's different from the internship. The idea of Metpro is to give journalists who otherwise wouldn't have as much access to a job at the LA Times a kind of entryway in. Davis: How long have yo u been at the LA Times? Hsu: About three years. Davis: The jobs and internships that you found, how did you get them? Was it connections, or did you apply cold? Hsu: It was like the blanket application tactic. You scroll down your list of internships a nd send an application to each and every one. Davis: So that was how you got your foot in the door, and then how about moving from position to position within the paper? How does that happen? Hsu: I started out in metro and then moved over to the busin ess desk. It might have been through one of my Metpro rotations. Davis: Do you have a particular interest in business? Hsu: Nope, My younger brother has always been the one who is business minded in my family. I remember joking to my parents that I hate d business, and I didn't want to ever work in business. Here I am, Writing about the stock market. Davis: Statistically speaking, business is an area that still seems to be dominated by male journalists. Has that been an issue for you at all? Hsu: I don 't think so, I've never worked in another business section besides the LA Times, but the newsroom seems to be pretty diverse. Right now I have three women in my immediate pod and 6 guys. What I like about the Times is that there's a pretty good mix of ages as well. Davis: How old are you? Hsu: I am 24. Davis: Do you think your career has been impacted at all by your gender? Hsu: I haven't really noticed an impact, maybe because I haven't been a guy reporting. I've never had a problem because I'm a woman Davis: Some of the respondents who I've interviewed said age is a factor for them in terms of their relationships with sources. How has that played out for you?
100 Hsu: As for age, a year or two ago I had a lot of sources say oh you're an intern, that's r eally cute...are you having fun? That might have affected the way they saw the interview, but it has never kept me from getting the information I need, as far as I know. Davis: Can you tell me a little more about your family background? What do your pare nts do? Hsu: My dad works as a consultant for a health insurance company in the bay area. My mom was a homemaker until recently. She's now the CEO of a fashion retail company that is based in China. My brother is a rising senior at University of Californi a at Santa Barbara. Davis: Have your parents been supportive of you going into journalism? Hsu: I should actually have a complex about this, but I don't think my parents have ever read a single article I've written. I know my mom usually sticks with the Chinese language news just because working with a company that is based out of China, that's mostly what she cares about. My dad is just a big TV person. They know what I do, and they know more or less what I'm talking about. Davis: How has your Chinese background influenced you as a reporter? Do you have access to communities you wouldn't otherwise? Hsu: I speak Chinese, not so much in business because we actually have a business reporter in China. When I was over in metro it helped a lot because we hav e an area out here that has a lot of Asian immigrants. I got sent out there a lot too to deal with whatever story was breaking out there. A lot of the people who are out there who can speak and Cantonese and Mandarin. So if they were talking about somethin g, and they didn't want to talk to me, they would just switch to Cantonese. I'm now trying to teach myself Cantonese. Davis: Do you have any interest in working from China? Hsu: Maybe, it's not necessarily something I'm aiming to do...if the opportunity comes up I'd love to take it. But I'm most happy doing city based reporting. Davis: What are some factors or personal qualities that have helped you in achieving your career goals? Hsu: I'm pretty persistent. I get along with most people, which I think helps me empathize with a lot of my sources and make them a little more willing to chat with me. I'm a decent writer I like to think, I'm thorough. I'm reliable, I like my job, which is always a plus. I'm fast...I write fast if I may say so myself. Davis : What are some challenges you've faced in achieving your career goals?
101 Hsu: I tend to be a little complacent. I stagnate, and I quickly become satisfied with where I am. I'm really happy with the job I have now, and I guess the downside to that is I'm n ot very ambitious. I think the main thing, when you're going for internships and you're going for jobs...there's now such a glut of reporters and a dearth of jobs..it is harder. Recruiters are so much more selective. And of course, there's this thing about the state of the industry, I think my philosophy has been to keep your head down and keep working. It either will blow over or it won't. If it doesn't, then I'll find out. Davis: How have mentors helped you in your career, if at all? Who have you looke d up to as role models? Hsu: I've always wanted to do the kind of reporting that Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn do. I've always loved reading the stories in Marie Claire...they send reporters around the world to do women's rights reporting, which I've always really admired. Davis: Do you think gender influences the content you produce and the people you use as sources? Hsu: In business not so much. I talk to the same amount of male and female executives. I don't necessarily try to find sources who a re female, and I just find that maybe it's an LA Thing that there are plenty of business owners and entrepreneurs who are women. It's not really an agenda of mine to make sure that women are more covered than they otherwise would be. Davis: What about wi th your Chinese background has influenced the stories you choose? Hsu: Not really, the only times I've had to really use the language and used the advantages that come with being Chinese are because they were stories that my editors have pitched. There wa s some kind of recall that was out of China, I think it was seafood related. Davis: I know you might not be in a position to be thinking about this right now, but how do you deal with the question that many women face about balancing family with a demand ing career? Hsu: I have a long term boyfriend. At some point we'll probably have to think about that issue. That nebulous scenario. I'm living the bachelorette lifestyle, which is nice. It's always in the back of my mind. Would I be willing, if I ever get married and have kids, to do freelance from home? Would I still want to do the kind of journalism work where I come into the office and go out on assignments? Would I scale back the kind of job I have now? Would I want to work on a magazine instead of a n ewspaper? Do online reporting? That's something my friends and I talk about, we're all in the same boat. Davis: What does your boyfriend do? Do you anticipate that he'll equally share the workload?
102 Hsu: He's in investment banking, so when I first started out in business there was a lot of what does this mean, so he's been helpful. Davis: What goals have you set for your career path, and what do you think will be some challenges and obstacles that will help you in achieving those goals? Hsu: I eventuall y want to do stories that, I know this is sort of clich, make a difference, that reveal something that wouldn't otherwise have been revealed that should be revealed ...whether that takes the form of a different beat or investigative stories...I'm not rea lly sure. Since I'm young, I'm still learning a lot. I want to find a range of different
103 APPENDIX B THE JOURNALISTS THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS Anne Garrels is a foreign correspondent for National Public Radio. She graduated from Harvard University in 197 2, and she's the recipient of several awards including the Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women's Media Foundation. She's also the author of Naked in Baghdad. Deborah Amos is a foreign correspondent who covers the Middle East for Natio nal Public Radio. She joined NPR in 1977, and she's a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her awards include the Alfred I. DuPont Columbia Award and a Breakthru Award. She's the author of Lines in the Sand: Desert Storm and the Remaking of the Arab World. Karen DeYoung has been at the Washington Post since 1975, and she has been a foreign correspondent for much of her career. She's the author of Soldier: The Life of Colon Powell and she writes about terrorism issues at the Post's national and for eign desks. She is a graduate of the University of Florida. Heidi Vogt has worked as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press since 2006, first in West Africa then in Afghanistan. She's a Yale University graduate, and she worked for the Peace Corp s in Mali. Maria Abi Habib works in Afghanistan for the Wall Street Journal Habib grew up in Washington, DC, spending her summers in Lebanon. After she graduated from Canada's Concordia University in 2006, she moved to Beirut to pursue her dream of worki ng as a foreign correspondent. Kathy Gannon has worked for the Associated Press since 1986, and she's the Pakistan bureau chief. Born in Timmins, Canada, she's a recipient of the International Women's Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award, and the recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Fellowship from the council on Foreign Relations. She's the author of I is for Infidel: 18 Years inside Afghanistan. Susan Taylor Martin has worked at the St. Petersburg Times since 1982. She's traveled throughout Europe the Middle East, China and Central Asia, covering the war in Kosovo, the invasion of Iraq and the funeral of Jordan's King Hussein. She's the recipient of the 2007 Paul Hansell Award presented by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors for distinguished writing and reporting. Laura King has worked with the Los Angeles Times since 2002. She currently works in Afghanistan. From 1979 to 2002, she reported from the Associated Press from London, Tokyo and New York. She is the recipient of George Washington U niversity's Welling Presidential Fellowship. Sibylla Brodzinsky is a freelance journalist for publications such as the Miami Herald USA Today and the Economist She worked from several Latin American countries, and she's lived in Bogota, Colombia for ten years. She grew up partially in the Dominican Republic and partly in Virginia. She is 44 years old, and she's a graduate of Syracuse University.
104 T HE JOURNALISTS WHO WORK IN THE UNITED STATES Lane DeGregory has worked at the St. Petersburg Times since 20 00, and she is a recipient of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. She's also been a speaker at the Nieman Narrative conference at Harvard. She began her career at the Virginian Pilot, and she's a graduate of the University of Virginia. Leonora LaP eter Anton is a general assignment reporter who has worked at the St. Petersburg Times since 2000. She began her career at the Okeechobee News in 1989. She went to college at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign, and she has won many awards inclu ding ASNE's Jesse Laventhol Award for Deadline Reporting Anna Gorman reports on immigration for the Los Angeles Times She went to college at the University of California, Berkeley, and she attended graduate school at Columbia University. After graduating in 1996, she participated in the Teach for America program. She is currently a Neiman Fellow at Harvard. Ashley Powers is the Las Vegas bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times She attended the University of Toledo in Ohio, and she interned with the Virgin ian Pilot and the Dallas Morning News. She's 29 years old. Deborah Shelton is a health reporter for the Chicago Tribune She earned an undergraduate degree from Pitzer College in 1978 and a master's from the University of Chicago in 1981. She's worked at a number of media organizations, including American Medical News, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, CBS and NBC. Ellen Gabler is a watchdog reporter for the Chicago Tribune She graduated from Emory University in 2003 and Columbia in 2007. She also worked as a w atchdog reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Wailin Wong has written about consumer technology for the Chicago Tribune since 2007. Before joining the Tribune in 2007, Wong wrote for Dow Jones, covering Latin American economies and financial markets. Kristin Harmel is a reporter for People Magazine and a graduate of the University of Florida. She was born in a suburb of Boston, and she grew up in St. Petersburg. Her work has appeared in Men's Health, Glamour, YM and more. She's also written six women 's fiction novels. She is 31 years old. Melanie Mason covers politics for the Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2007 and from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010. She interned at several broadcast and print organi zations, including The New Republic and POLITICO. Tiffany Hsu is a religion reporter for the Los Angeles Times She focuses on alternative energy, foreclosures and unemployment. She's a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She's 24 years ol d. Christina Antoniades is a freelance reporter with 18 years of print and online experience. Her articles appear in the Washington Post Parenting Magazine, and AAA World Magazine. She earned a degree in journalism from the University of Florida in 1992. Sherri Day is the Brandon bureau chief of the St. Petersburg Times She earned her bachelor's degree at Clark Atlanta University and her master's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She did a four year stint at the New York Times and the n she worked as the religion reporter at the St. Petersburg Times before she became bureau chief of the Brandon office.
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109 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Brittany Davis was raised in Tampa, Florida and she graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Florida in 2007. She was born to Robin and Robert Davis, both Gators. After taking a year to travel and pursue media opportunities elsewhere, Brittany returned to UF to earn a master's in mass communications. While earning her degree, Brittany was a reporter, a metro editor and a managing editor at the Independent Florida Alligator and a frequent freelancer for publications such as the Gainesville Sun the St. Petersburg Times and the Miami Herald Brittany also taught MMC2100, Writing for Mass Communications.