SHE SAYS: WOMEN IN NEWS (TV)

Summary

This documentary is about ten women in positions of power within journalism and the effect they are having on the profession, and the world. The ten women examined include: Judy Woodruff, CNN prime anchor; Carole Simpson, ABC News anchor; Anna Quindlen, Newsweek columnist; Narda Zacchino, San Francisco Chronicle senior editor; Geneva Overholser, syndicated columnist; Nina Totenberg, National Public Radio's legal affairs correspondent since 1975; Rena Pederson, The Dallas Morning News editorial page editor; Helen Thomas, Heart Newspapers political reporter; Judy Crichton, first woman producer, director, and writer for CBS Reports; and Paula Madison, president and general manager at NBC4 in Los Angeles. As the program begins, Quindlen talks about the "Sturm und Drang" of covering Geraldine Ferraro's 1984 bid for vice president. Zacchino talks about the significance of female reporters covering the Anita Hall sexual harassment case against Judge Clarence Thomas in 1991. Totenberg details first getting wind of Hall's charges and why she immediately thought it was an important story as an audio clip plays her first radio report on Hill's allegations. Overholser talks about how newsrooms were "traditional macho places" and how hard it was for a woman to start out in one several decades ago. Pederson talks about her early years in a newsroom when she would frequently get her bra snapped. Simpson talks about being "mooned" while on the air. Thomas talks about some of the earliest newswomen such as Sarah McClendon, May Craig, and Liz Carpenter before clips show early work from people such as Barbara Walters. Thomas, the dean of White House press corps, gives a brief tour of the White House press room before a clip shows her asking a question of President Gerald Ford. Quindlen talks about women before her making it safe for her to write in a "flagrantly female" way on the op-ed page. Quindlen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, talks about hanging out in the New York Times ladies' room, hoping to find friends, in her early days there. She also talks about "ghettoizing" oneself by writing about innately female issues. Overholser brings up her work covering rape cases, trying to eliminate the "stigma" of being a rape victim. Crichton details how, at one time, all female irritation was attributed to menstruation. She also discusses how she was treated as a second-class citizen in early newsrooms. Pederson details what she strives for on the op-ed page, an "opinion with integrity." She also details her management style in the newsroom as her co-workers talk about working for her. Simpson, the first African-American female network anchor, tells how she presents a news story while recalling the most satisfying time of her career, working for an ABC News series, "American Agenda." Simpson also details how news typically comes from a "white, male perspective" despite the diverse makeup of her own newsroom. Woodruff talks about juggling family and work life. She also spotlights her son, who has spina bifida, then speculates on why there are less women in management positions in journalism. Zacchino discusses how changing the kinds of stories which are put on the front page has altered the definition of news. She also talks about being hired as senior editor at the San Francisco Chronicle. Madison addresses how her race and gender slowed down her process of becoming a news director in New York. She also details how her background makes her different from most news directors. Finally, the women try to answer the question of whether they are "ambitious for power."

Details

  • NETWORK: PBS
  • DATE: December 18, 2001 Tuesday 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:56:47
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:74830
  • GENRE: Public affairs/Documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: She Made It Collection (Judy Crichton)
  • SERIES RUN: PBS - TV, 2001
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Joan Konner........ Executive Producer
    • Barbara Rick........ Producer
    • Abbey Lustgarten........ Associate Producer
    • Joan Konner........ Writer
    • Liane Hansen........ Narrator
    • John Califra........ Music by
    • Liz Carpenter
    • May Craig
    • Judy Crichton
    • Geraldine Ferraro
    • Gerald Ford
    • Anita Hill
    • Paula Madison
    • Sarah McClendon
    • Geneva Overholser
    • Rena Pederson
    • Anna Quindlen
    • Carole Simpson
    • Clarence Thomas
    • Helen Thomas
    • Nina Totenberg
    • Barbara Walters
    • Judy Woodruff
    • Narda Zacchino