Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

October-15-09

Celebrated Journalist Nan Robertson Dies

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nan Robertson died of heart failure on October 13 at a nursing home in Rockville, Maryland. She was 83. Robertson, a reporter for the New York Times, won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for "Toxic Shock," an account of her sudden battle with Toxic Shock Syndrome at the age of 55, reports the New York Times. She is also well-known for her 1992 book "The Girls in the Balcony: Women, Men, and The New York Times," which recounted a class-action sex discrimination suit filed against the Times in 1974 on behalf of all of its 550 female employees, according to the Washington Post.

Robertson, who joined the staff of The New York Times in 1955, was not one of the seven named plaintiffs in the suit. The case titled Elizabeth Boylan et al. v. the New York Times was settled out-of-court in 1978 for $350,000 and an agreement from the Times that it would implement an affirmative action plan and equalize pay and promotions, reports the New York Times. The lead plaintiff in the case, who now goes by the name Betsy Wade, told the Washington Post that Robertson's book "provides the only record of what we considered an important step for women in the most visible part of journalism at the time. But what other papers saw in this settlement was much more important: that if the Times can't win [a sex discrimination lawsuit], we'd better clean up our act." Robertson's book title referenced the auditorium of the National Press Club in Washington, where women were restricted to balcony seating. Women were not permitted to join the Club until 1971, according to the Washington Post.

When Robertson became a reporter with the Times she was assigned to the women's department. She was promoted to the Washington bureau in 1963 and the Paris bureau in 1973, reports the New York Times. After two years she returned to the US to seek treatment for alcoholism, later chronicling her recovery in the 1988 book "Getting Better: Inside Alcoholics Anonymous."

Robertson was born in Chicago on July 11, 1926. She attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism before launching her career. After retiring from the New York Times in 1988, she served as a Woodrow Wilson National Fellow and a fellow at MacDowell Colony before teaching journalism at the University of Maryland, according to the Washington Post. She was honored with the lifetime achievement award from the International Women's Media Foundation and the Washington Press Foundation.

Media Resources: New York Times 10/14/09, Washington Post 10/14/09


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

11/21/2014 STATEMENT: Feminist Majority Foundation Applauds President's Executive Order on Immigration - Statement from Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation president: "The Feminist Majority Foundation applauds President Obama for taking much needed executive action to help fix our broken immigration system that has for too long torn hardworking families apart. . . .
 
11/21/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Refuses to Reconsider Ruling Blocking Mississippi TRAP Law - The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider a panel decision blocking enforcement of a Mississippi law that threatened to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state. In July, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. . . .
 
11/21/2014 UN Expert Calls for Action To End Violence Against Women in Afghanistan - United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo returned last week from a nine-day official visit in Afghanistan with a call to the Afghan Government and the international community to continue its focus on creating sustainable solutions to reduce violence against women. This was Manjoo's third visit to Afghanistan, and the Special Rapporteur noted many positive developments since her travel to the country in 1999, during the Taliban regime, and in 2005. In particular, Manjoo cited the creation of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law (EVAW) by presidential decree in 2009 as "a key step towards the elimination of violence against women and girls."EVAW criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women - including rape, child and forced marriage, domestic violence, trafficking, and forced self-immolation - and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .