March 5, 2012

The Daily Beast
In the 1970s, when Nina Totenberg joined NPR, the network of about 90 stations at the time had to hire women, she says, because “salaries were so low that few men were willing to take jobs there.”

The inadvertent result was a roster of young female talent now considered among the most respected names in radio: Totenberg, Cokie Roberts, Linda Wertheimer, and Susan Stamberg, a group affectionately known as the “Founding Mothers.” “It was a novel experience, being looked after [by colleagues] and not being hit on,” Totenberg says. The Old Girls’ Club, as she calls them, sat in a corner of the newsroom the men referred to as “the fallopian jungle,” and swiftly became the broadcaster’s earliest stars. In 1972, Stamberg became the first woman in the country to anchor a daily national news show.

Currently, “women hold the top editorial position at five of the seven news programs, and make up nearly half the overall staff,” reports Jesse Ellison. || Related: “Why women don’t contribute to opinion pages as often as men & what we can do about it” | Why do we need more women in sports journalism? | Should news sites have separate (but equal?) spheres for women’s content?

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Julie Moos ( has been Director of Poynter Online and Poynter Publications since 2009. Previously, she was Editor of Poynter Online (2007-2009) and Poynter Publications…
Julie Moos

More News

Back to News


Comments are closed.