The ‘good ol’ days’ weren’t always so good

I was in a different part of my company’s building today and found myself staring at a 1976 front page from a Bowie newspaper.

(My company publishes today’s Bowie Blade-News.)

What initially caught my eye was a story across the bottom about the paper’s redesign. There were the typical explanations of the new fonts, headline styles and all that jazz.

Then there was a section of the story describing the reorganization of the “women’s pages” into a new section with all the community news and events women were seeking in the newspaper.

Now, I’m no dummy. I know my history and I know full well that once upon a time, women readers and writers were relegated to a fluff section in the back.

But I did not realize that was still the case in 1976!

I was so surprised I pointed out my find to my newsroom coworkers over and over again throughout the day.

I really thought that “women’s pages” were more circa 1956, not 1976. I had assumed that in the 1970s women likely were still struggling to gain a foothold in newspapers and other media, but I thought the “women’s pages” were long gone by then.

Good grief — 1976 was not long before I was born. That means that perhaps when I entered the world and my parents dreamed of my future, “hard-nose news reporter” was probably not much of a reality at that point.

Luckily, I was fortunate to be born to wise, thoughtful and supportive parents who encouraged me (and my siblings) to follow our dreams into whatever career we chose. I never thought that any career was off-limits — of course by the time I was a kid in the 1980s, we had women in space and sitting on the Supreme Court, and filling notebooks and column inches as reporters.

My little trip back in time reminded me of this video that periodically gets forwarded around among newspaper reporters and editors. Be sure to learn about the women writers at about the 5:06 mark. Enjoy.

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3 thoughts on “The ‘good ol’ days’ weren’t always so good

  1. I love that the principal job of a transportation reporter is to interview celebrities getting off trains or planes.

    (Glad to see being a columnist takes “a genuine talent for writing,” though.)

  2. I’m glad to see that those sexist gender barriers in the newsroom are history. Not that it would have made much difference to you, Pam. Even if those barriers still existed, you would have become a reporter anyway and helped knock them down.

    I know this because my fridge reminds me everyday. On it is a sticker that reads “Well-behaved women rarely make history.”

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