Welcome to Everywoman News

As an assistant journalism professor at the Medill School of Northwestern University, I will post regular comments about events in the media landscape that affect the lives of women. I am an author, journalist, workshop instructor, keynote speaker and mother. I look forward to your comments in this space. To learn more about me, please visit my website.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Welcome to Everywoman News

  1. Hi Michele,
    It sounds like you’ve really uncovered some uncomfortable, insightful trends in your new book. I’ve enjoyed reading you through the Dallas Times Herald, the Chicago Tribune, your other books and now look forward to your blog about issues that matter to women. — Bests, Lorraine Iannello

  2. Sahila ChangeBringer

    I read through your website Michelle – congrats on the book and hope you are back in form soon… liked the content (not necessarily the conclusion!) of this article (link below) you listed as a source…
    http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=4117

    I think there are two issues/entities here… 1: newspapers as a commodity item to be produced and sold for profit and 2: journalism…. and as time goes by, I am not sure that the raison d’etre for each makes them compatible bedfellows any longer…

    My personal opinion is that formal journalism’s role is to provide information that might not otherwise be available to citizens. (Narrative, memoirs, mythic writing etc are separate entities and issues for me). A journalist is my eyes and ears in places I cant be myself. I can get news about who’s been born, married and died and ‘who’s up who and who hasnt paid’ as they say where I come from, from various channels all over the place. I dont need a journalist for that… I do need a journalist to uncover and tell me whats going on in the wider world, in education, health, the economy, social trends, the political system, in national and international affairs etc…

    I think journalism has a duty to report on trends but not be part of a trend. It has a duty not to contribute to the ‘dumbing down’ many think is happening in this world. The influence of the mass media – with its emphasis on superficiality, the cult of the individual and catering to the lowest common denominator, is a major contributor to this ‘dumbing down’ phenomenon.

    Education levels are not rising (US children perform near the bottom of the academic achievement tables for first world countries) and that’s fine, if all one is interested in is maintaining the status quo on which this socio-economic system depends… that is, enslavement to consumerism and credit and a ‘concentration of power at the top’ political pyramid dynamic. Its not fine if one is interested in the future wellbeing of this society and the planet.

    In the past, there was justification for the lack of education and critical thinking and for the self-focus – people were preoccupied with survival issues. That is no longer the case (or ought not to be under globally and nationally achievable conditions of equality and equity, where resources are shared). As an aside, I wonder if people were less self-centred in the past – hard times requiring more community cohesion?

    If the masses do really want pulp and pap there are plenty of sources of supply for that – tabloids, magazines, the net, commercial radio and television…and maybe newspapers cant compete with that.

    But, I dont think journalism should throw up its hands in defeat/surrender and say – well, that’s what the audience wants, so that’s what I’m going to give it’…. you dont give an alcoholic a bottle of booze because s/he says thats what s/he prefers… surely its not such a bad thing if journalism holds out against the ‘trend’ and remains focused on providing real information?

    Maybe thats whats wrong with the business – its trying to play in an arena for which its ill equipped… perhaps if it pulls out of the arena and creates another ‘market’ it will retain both its integrity and its profitability…. I have ideas how that might be achieved, but the current business models of most mainstream newspapers couldnt support that shift.

  3. Jane Meacham

    Michele,

    I think the results of your thorough research for “Everyman News: The Changing American Front Page” will help journalists react more effectively to their nagging fears that the profession is being turned upside down.

    The book’s insights confirm and give urgency to the need to provide news and human stories to media consumers with new voices and platforms. As a journalist/editor for more than 22 years, I am convinced this can be done without sacrificing intelligence and the democratic mandate for a free and vigilant press. I’m also certain that women reporters, newsroom managers and educators will lead the way in making this transition work.

    I look forward to seeing what others have to say about women and news in the U.S. on your blog, whose look I love, by the way!!

  4. Pat Sullivan

    Michele, Great topic! Can’t wait to read the book.

  5. Hi, Michele. I hope this message finds you and your family well and warm. I read about your book discussion in the Tribune Book section (1.6.08) and enjoyed reading your blog comments. Both have offered me the opportunity to re-connect with you and let you know happy I am to see how your career and you life have evolved. I also visited your website… Brava for all your writing and speaking accomplishments! I tried to email you from your site. However, it keeps bouncing back. Is there a problem?
    Best regards,
    Sheila Glazov

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