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

10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately. The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
 
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state. Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations. More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .
 
10/28/2014 Ohio Officials Threaten to Close Cincinnati's Last Remaining Abortion Clinic - Ohio's TRAP law may soon force the last remaining abortion clinic in the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area to close, leaving an estimated 2.1 million people without access to a comprehensive reproductive healthcare site. Planned Parenthood's Elizabeth Campbell Surgical Center received a notice earlier this week from state health officials threatening to shut down the facility for failure to obtain a transfer agreement with a local private hospital. Last year, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed into law a requirement that abortion clinics obtain a written agreement with a local hospital willing to take patients from the clinic in an emergency, despite the fact that emergencies are extremely rare and hospital emergency rooms must already accept patients. . . .