Mar 5, 2012

"NPR is still a notable outlier" in opportunities for women journos, Newsweek reports

Newsweek's Jesse Ellison reports on the power of women at NPR in a piece headlined, "How stuffy old NPR became a hotbed for female journalists." Ellison points out that at NPR, women hold the top editorial position at five of seven news programs and make up nearly half the overall staff. Longtime NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg said that's most probably a result of the days when NPR had no choice but to hire women because salaries were so low that few men wanted to work at the fledgling network."The inadvertent result was a roster of young female talent now considered among the most respected names in radio: Totenberg, Cokie Roberts, Linda Wertheimer, and Susan Stamberg, a group affectionately known as the 'Founding Mothers,'" who have since mentored many other NPR newswomen, Ellison says.

"We’ve come a long way since the 1970s," she notes, "but in terms of women’s achievement, NPR is still a notable outlier." The Women’s Media Center reported in February that women make up 18 percent of radio news directors, and 22 percent of the local radio workforce overall.

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