Hatty Oliver: The Field of Feminine Journalism An unwritten history

Introduction: This issue of medien & zeit asks why and how women have been systematically removed from the history of the press, how it has come to pass that their contribution to journalism has been largely ignored. I will attempt to answer this question not through historical analysis, but by considering the ways in which both the profession and the academy define journalism. I will examine journalistic discourses through the lens of my own research into contemporary women journalists. I am currently examining the professional identity of women working in a sub-field of contemporary British journalism, which I define as feminine journalism. This sub-field is composed of market-driven journalism aimed at women, is organised around consumption and the body and is found in women’s magazines and in the sections of newspapers aimed at a female audience. My inquiry into the professional lives of journalists working within this field has revealed the partial, gendered nature of both the professional and academic constructions of journalism. The universal figure of the journalist in both the industry and the academy is a man engaged in news journalism. This figure is of limited efficacy when applied to large areas of the profession that have historically been produced by and for women. The limitations of these constructions leave us with an incomplete image of journalism both past and present and go some way to explaining the absence of women from its history…

Lucia Hacker: “. . . in die Gesellschaft von Helden pass ich nicht rein.” Eine unbekannte Journalistin im Ersten Weltkrieg: Friedel Merzenich (1879–1956) und ihre Arbeit für die "Liller Kriegszeitung"

Einleitung: Eines der Phänomene des Ersten Weltkriegs auf publizistischem Sektor waren die sogenannten Feldzeitungen, Soldatenzeitungen, Frontzeitungen, Kriegszeitungen oder Schützengrabenzeitungen. Sie sollten den Soldaten, deren zeitnahe Versorgung mit deutschen Zeitungen an den langen Frontlinien erschwert oder unmöglich war, Informationen und Lesestoff bieten. Überdies verfolgten solche Kriegszeitungen das Ziel, die Truppen in ihrem Alltag abzulenken, sie zu beschäftigen und zu unterhalten. Fast alle Zeitungen wurden auf Befehl der Heeresleitung gegründet; es gab jedoch auch kleine, von den Einheiten selbst produzierte Blätter. Dementsprechend war die militärische Zensur mehr oder weniger stark ausgeprägt. Allen diesen Neugründungen gemeinsam jedoch war der Anspruch, eine Zeitung von Soldaten für Soldaten produzieren zu wollen…

Annie Rudd: “Not early enough is made use of women” Redicovering Ernestine Evans

Introduction: The history of American journalism, as it tends to be taught today, presents its students with a fairly homogeneous syllabus as far as gender is concerned. Women journalists, if they appear at all, are few and far between; they are particularly scarce in the first half of the twentieth century – as if there was a kind of interregnum between Nellie Bly and Joan Didion – in spite of growing numbers of women entering the profession of journalism during these decades. Our growing realization, today, that there were women journalists in considerable numbers – and that they did not all fall within the rather uniform categories of society writer, suffrage crusader or “stunt girl” that stick out in the historical record – serves as a compelling reminder that our “histories” are a cumulative process, not a product; they are subject to revision. The more we seek historical accounts of the careers, and the quotidian activities, of “average” female journalists, the more we realize just how rare such accounts are: omissions from the historical record may not look like omissions to begin with, but in time, we may realize that they are glaring ones. A healthy suspicion, then, of the existing “history of journalism” is important – is, in fact, essential to the project of reinstating women. It is only in interrogating and interrupting the historical record that we can work towards rectifying it, reintroducing women into the equation, however incremental that process might be…

Einat Lachover: The First Lady of Isreali Journalism Hanna Semer (1924-2003) Quest and discovery: The story of an exceptional woman

Introduction: This biographical essay tells the life story of Hannah Semer for the first time and from a feminist perspective. Semer is the first lady of Israeli journalism, a woman who managed to reach the top of Israel’s journalistic elite andwhose accomplishments are remarkable in the global context as well. According to Shlomit Reinharz, feminist biography is a form of protest against the discrimination manifest in the forgotten role of women in our common culture. In writing Semer’s biography, I do not claim that Semer herself was discriminated against. To the contrary. Semer is a rare example of a woman whose voice was not silenced and whose persona was not excluded. Unlike most women of her generation, she was a major player in the Israeli public discourse, upon which she left her mark. She wrote, edited and lectured in debates and forums at the heart of Israel’s public discourse, particularly on political, s ocial and economic issues, traditionally thought of as exclusively male territory. Her unusual story exposes the inequality for women at that time and can serve as a source of inspiration and a model for female journalists and other professionals…

Rezensionen 2/2009

Johanna Dorer, Brigitte Geiger & Regina Köpl (Hg.): Medien – Politik – Geschlecht. Feministische Befunde zur politischen Kommunikationsforschung. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2008, 285 Seiten.
– rezensiert von Daniela Hahn

Jan Whitt: Women in American Journalism. A new History. University of Illinois Press 2008, 180 Seiten.
rezensiert von Timon B. Schaffer