A Talk with Women in Media on Women in Media


Pat Mitchell moderates panel with the amazing Helen Thomas, Courtney Martin, Charreah Jackson, Liza Donnelly, and Jensine Larsen.
One of my fave quotes was when Mitchell asks Thomas where she asks her, “You’ve covered presidents from Kennedy to Obama. Who has worked the hardest for women’s rights?”
“None of them.” *Commence standing ovation.*
(She actually clarified that while presidents have done work to improve the status of women, none of them have really put themselves on the line for women’s rights.)
Least favorite quote of hers? “Everyone with a laptop thinks they’re a journalist.” (Referring to bloggers.) *Commence disappointment.*
A couple of other random Q&A’s after the jump.


How are you doing on using Essence to include your women’s voice? (Directed to Charreah)
“We’re constantly thinking about ways we can we be effective and empower our readers. Our most popular sections of the magazine are our relationships and money sections, so we try to focus on empowering our readers through including these issues in those areas…”
What’s your media consumption? (Directed to all)
Donnelly’s: New York Times, Daily Beast, and the ones I work for. I read in paper and the web. I also use Twitter.
Martin’s: Mother Jones, podcasts, NPR, This American Life, Feministing readers’ emails give me news every day (woot!)
Thomas': Washington Post and the New York Times, The Nation, TIME, Newsweek, New York Magazine.

Join the Conversation

  • Comrade Kevin

    The mainstream media feels threatened by bloggers and while they claim amateurism is the problem, they are really saying that they’re afraid of being completely overtaken by substantive bloggers, of which this site features many.
    Perhaps someday a President will stick his/her neck out for women’s rights, but when we do elect a female President, there is a very large possibility that even she might not really advance Feminism the way it needs. It’s more likely that she will talk a good game during the campaign and conveniently forget it once elected. I hope not, but that’s highly possible. And if so, then it’s up to us to do the legwork.

  • annaleighclark

    MMMmmmm, about Thomas’ laptop quote: I think there’s something to it.
    I’m all for blogs and online media, and I am a regular participant in them. If she dismissed them all with one fell swoop, then I don’t agree with her one bit. But if she was referring to the enormous amount of sloppy, irresponsible, and mediocre blogging/reporting that is happening online: then yes, right on.
    I’m greatly troubled by the sentiment we’re seeing lately that it takes no skill (just access to a laptop, as Thomas quips) to be a journalist. People are mistaking writing anything at all as writing SOMETHING (i.e. with substance, investigative, based on facts).
    I don’t care if your medium is a blog or the New York Times: it takes SKILL and practice to do the journalism craft well. And it’s about time that journalists (online or otherwise) get props for it.

  • lucierohan

    I am so fucking with you on that. Very well put.

  • jeana

    Doesn’t it also take a degree in journalism in order to actually be a journalist? That’s one thing I really appreciated about certain liberal talk show hosts I listen to; they’d say outright that they weren’t journalists. Journalists worked for them (or the station) but they were talking heads/pundits–just like most of them on Fox.
    I wish the word “journalist” would always appear next to a person’s name when they’re speaking on television, and “pundit” would appear next to everyone else. Just so we could know.