Women in American Journalism

Women in American Journalism
Women in American Journalism

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Women in American Journalism: A New History by Whitt, Jan

Book Review

Title of the book, author, publishing company, city, date.

  1. Give some background information on the author.
  2. Give an introduction to the book: time period, circumstances, and the individuals
  3. In relation to history, how did the individual, individuals, or event mold that period
    in history? What contributions did that individual, individuals, or event have on
    history, or change the course of it?
  4. Type of book:
    A. Biography Discuss how the individual prepared in order to make such an
    important contribution to history. What problem or problems did he/she
    encounter. How did he/she resolve them?

B. Book that Deals with a Particular Event What circumstances occurred prior to that event in order for it to occur? Who were the leaders involved in precipitating the events? What problems did the encounter and why did they succeed or fail?

C. If Your Book Covered a Wide Time Span – Select one time period of history and explain why you thought this time period was more important than the others included in the book your read. What occurred during this time period that brought changes whether they were wanted or not? How did it shape that time period?

  1. Type of book:
    A. Biography Discuss some of the other individuals that contributed to the development of the main character of your book, at least two. How did they help him/her.

B. Book that Deals with a Particular Event Why were the individuals involved in the cause so strongly motivated to bring about the event?

C. If Your Book Covered a Wide Time Span Briefly discuss two other time periods included in your book and why you thought they were interesting/outstanding.

  1. What did you thing of the book? Would you recommend it to anyone else? Explain. Was the author bias? Did he/she present a clear interpretation of the facts, individual/ individuals, or events or did he seem to favor one particular viewpoint?

Women in American Journalism: A New History by Whitt, Jan
Book Review

Women in American Journalism: A New History, Jan Whitt, University of Illinois Press (Jul 2008). Jan Whitt, currently an Associate professor in the school of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado, started her profession as a newspaper reporter and editor in Texas. Her academic credentials include a BA in Journalism and English(1977),a master’s degree in English(1980)and a PhD in English(1985).


In her manuscript, Whitt embarks in portraying women contribution in journalism, a subject previously ignored. She draws to the efforts of such women journalists as Ida Minerva Tarbell whose other fields included teaching and writing. For Whitt, most marvels have, through out history, been yelled at the men such as William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, leaving women achievers uncelebrated.

How event molded that period in history

She revels how, in history, women got great things in journalism moving. For instance, Ida Tarbell’s book; The History of the Standard Oil Company was ranked number five by New York University in 1999. Another female figure who left permanent marks in journalism was Ida Bell Wells-Barnett who stood the ground for civil rights, as an activist for women rights .Being an African American, she was against the maltreatment of blacks in America. She tirelessly wrote about it as she was a journalist and a newspaper editor too.

Whitt also touches on the literary works of various women writers. She explores the lives of women reporters who achieved significant historical recognition, such as Ida Tarbell and Ida Wells-Barnett, as well as literary authors such as Joan Didion, Susan Orlean, Willa Cather, and Eudora Welty, whose work blends influences from both journalism and literature .she further explains how numerous women broadened the editorial scope of newspapers and journals and She is also for the idea that their journalistic activities broadened their thinking hence great invention, ideally out of their touring various places and interacting with vast sorts of cultures .

Such women include Willer Cather, Katherine Anne and Eudora Welty. Thus, Whitt suggests that the line between journalism and literature is very thin, almost negligible since there is little or no much difference.

Lastly, she mentions the alternative press, whose existence she proves through the lesbian press. Women like Caroline Churchill are mentioned as early fight on how numerous women broadened the editorial scope of newspapers and journals are in feminist press.

More about the book

Classified as a feminist text, the book would be a perfect tool to fight for the recognition of the role of women in journalism in America and elsewhere. Otherwise, it would be too biased, favoring women over men. Whitt only develops women figures.

Anyway, it’s a good text and anyone, male or female would enjoy Whitt’s style of writing, especially the way she vividly describes individuals. The writer of the book also recognizes those women of power who broadened the editorial scope of newspapers and journals which is an inspiring move. She also focuses on the performance of men like Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst hence dint favor a particular viewpoint.

Whitt, J. Women in American Journalism: A New History. University of Illinois Press; 1st edition (August 4, 2008)

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