'No woman will ever be an editor at the New York Times'


In a 1994 interview, Eileen Shanahan -- the first female reporter in the New York Times Washington bureau -- recalled her 1961 job interview with Clifton Daniel, who was managing editor at the time.

He asked me at one point in the interview what my ultimate goal was. Well, I had wanted to be an editor ever since i was an editor at my college paper. …But i had sense enough not to say it.

I said, "Oh, Mr. Daniels, all I want to be is the best reporter and you can't be the best reporter unless you're at the best newspaper, and that's the New York Times."

He replied, "That's good, because I can assure you that no woman will ever be an editor at the New York Times." The year is 1961. it wasn't illegal. People said things like that in those days. The law of course that made it illegal to say things like that was passed in '64, but it didn't begin to be litigated until the early '70s. So that's the way it was.

Shanahan died in 2001. (Daniel died a year earlier.) The Times obituary notes that she "left The Times in anger in 1977 after she found that, although she was regarded as one of the leading reporters in the Washington bureau, her salary ranked halfway down the list ...Every reporter who was paid more was a man."

> Breakthrough at the Times was decades in the making

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.


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