The current issue features research by Kimberly Voss and Lance Speere exploring how the women’s pages of the Milwaukee Journal in the 1950s and 1960s focused on feminism in addition to the usual stories about food, family, fashion, and furnishings, often dismissed as the Four F’s. Barbara Freeman looks at how the Canadian Press struggled with how to share women’s news with its member newspapers. Richard A. Fine writes about Associated Press correspondent Edward Kennedy, who is best known for breaking the news of Germany’s surrender in World War II. Nicole C. Livengood explores the abortion narrative of George Washington Dixon’s Polyanthos in the 1830s.
Teaching Our Journal
With each issue of American Journalism, we feature teaching materials for a particular article and provide free online access to the article (through Taylor & Francis, the publisher of American Journalism).
The teaching materials provide topical overviews and various exercises for teaching the article in either undergraduate or graduate classes. The author of the article creates the teaching exercises and provides links to relevant primary and secondary sources.
We hope these teaching materials and the historical studies they reference will enrich your media history courses and, most importantly, your students’ learning. And we hope you will let us know how you use American Journalism in your classrooms.
Volume 33, Number 3
By Kimberly Voss and Lance Speere, University of Central Florida
The Milwaukee Journal is an example of a Midwestern metropolitan newspaper that featured an unnoticed but progressive women’s section in the 1950s and 1960s produced by a group of women who were doing more than giving superficial treatment to food, family, fashion, and furnishings, derisively known as the Four F’s. They were focused on a fifth F – feminism – quietly laying the foundation for the women’s liberation movement years before marches and demonstrations drew widespread media attention to the cause. A re-examination of the soft news of the women’s pages reveals a process of social change and demonstrates how the women of these sections were finding their own ways of redefining women’s roles.
While the work of the women’s pages has been marginalized as “just” soft news, primary-source material and growing scholarship have begun to demonstrated that there was likely more value to the women’s pages of the 1950s and 1960s than previously thought. It largely began with the Washington Press Club Foundation’s oral history project “Women in Journalism.” The four women’s page editors interviewed for the project told stories about including progressive articles in their sections prior to the Women’s Liberation Movement. The interviews also showed that there was a women’s page community with similar approaches to progressive content. Later studies revealed that several women’s page journalists were working to update their sections in post-World War II years before the sections were eliminated in the 1970s. Read more.