Female journalists expected to humiliate themselves for column inches

(14 Posts)
LeninGrad Thu 30-Apr-09 16:06:17

How strange, I was just commenting on here the other day about what's perceived to be expected of female journalists in order to get into print, and here's some recent comment on just that:

www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2009/04/female_journali_1

TheDevilWearsPrimark Thu 30-Apr-09 17:14:59

Well Jon Ronson manages to make a pretty great tit of himself whenever in print, but maybe he's a exception.

angelene Thu 30-Apr-09 17:17:52

That is really interesting, thanks for posting that Lenin.

TheCrackFox Thu 30-Apr-09 17:18:49

I have been thinking this for a while.

A lot of female journos seem to write about complete drivel whilst the men write "the proper news".

I don't know who to be angry with the femal journos or their editors.

LeninGrad Thu 30-Apr-09 17:20:41

Men, CrackFox, men, at least that's what I was reminded of on the thread the other day. smile

Women are spending too much time slating eachother, it's the old divide and rule.

lalalonglegs Thu 30-Apr-09 18:22:26

In the newspapers where I have worked there has been a really obvious gender divide along the news and features departments - and guess which one is seen as the "real" work?

I suppose it is, in part, due to features departments having a more manageable work flow which is (just about) compatible with family life. There has been, however, more of a blurring about what makes a good feature and general ranting opinion pieces. And as a result of this, and the fact that no one wants to do "proper" investigative pieces because you only get paid the same amount as you would for writing about how Carla Bruni's bum doesn't measure up to Princess Letizia's (thanks for that one, Liz Jones hmm), the reputation of the features departments - and their mainly female contributors - suffers all the more.

Women are being asked to take more and more extreme positions in their writing in the hope of manufacturing a little debate. It's so sad and introspective - real stories get ignored because they aren't black and white enough or the people featured won't photograph well enough or whatever. It does depress me enormously.

Actually, I really like Jon Ronson.

auntyitaly Fri 01-May-09 10:56:51

I'm not convinced only the ladies get humiliated - the "personal" stuff is what brings trouble, and as men get into it - eg Tim Dowling in the Sat Grauniad - they expose themselves equally.

Tim Dowling, for example, is a twat. Liz Jones, I suspect, is finally having a complete mental breakdown. God knows what the Mail will do to fill the pages when she does - there just simply aren't enough pictures of cute animals or evil foreigners around.

But some people - men and ladies alike - survive. Charlie Brooker does ok, despite extremes of emotion that would endanger a lesser writer, as does Hdaley Freeman.

Madenwurm Fri 01-May-09 11:08:37

Just as a consumer of column inches and not from the inside, it doesn't seem to me that women feature writers are more likely to be driven into this sort of first-person drivel than men feature writers.

Lala's point that women are more likely to be feature writers than men are seems to be the crucial fact. And feature writers are more likely to write first-person stuff than they used to, perhaps because of the general dumbing-down human-interest turn that media have taken.

Hmmm. Well I'm a news journalist, not a lifestyle columnist. But I dated a guy who wrote a column once. He got paid loads for it - about 60% more than me. In terms of work-life balance you can see why it would be an attractive option for some women. 300-700 words a week - and more money I get for working full-time. Bargain. Clearly there are issues about how your family feel about being stars of that particular show - but that's another point entirely...

LeninGrad Fri 01-May-09 12:40:23

Really interesting to hear your thoughts. Have to say I've just stopped buying newspapers as regularly because I can't stand all the fashion in them. I want news and interesting features in a newspaper, not regular fashion, unless it has some cultural meaning of course.

TotalChaos Fri 01-May-09 12:41:55

It's not just print journalism either, it's creeping into tv journalism to - so you get a "documentary" on binge-drinking or size 0 - and some hapless female presenter who has to demonstrate the effects on herself to the TV audience....

Madenwurm Fri 01-May-09 12:44:20

Louis Theroux had liposuction for some programme or other. It doesn't seem to me to be a gender thing particularly, just a general dumbing down.

Ballina Tue 05-May-09 23:15:07

My god. Like there aren't actually any real feminist issues to deal with in the world anymore. The f word is truely f'd up.

I don't know - both those columns could easily have been written by men (without the bra references obviously).

I think women are slightly more likely to be self-deprecating (or, more likely, deprecating of their gender), but they're not more likely to write drivel. but perhaps that's because male journalists have a greater tedency to arrogance?

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