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196 The Canadian Historical Review field, the author should be commended for how much she was able to include on Aboriginal and racialized minorities. The bringing together of major societal events such as the second industrial revolution, the Great War, and the Depression with what is often considered the private world ofkin and hearth provides a useful survey on an exciting and relatively new area of Canadian history. If students reading this volume come away with as many ideas for future projects as I did, this thin volume will reap an abundant harvest. SUZANNE MORTON McGill University Women Who Made the News: Female journalists in Canada, 1880-1945. MARJORY LANG. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press 1999· Pp. xvi, 359, illus. $32.95 The commercialization and popularization ofthe Canadian press in the late nineteenth century opened a space for women in Canadian journalism . Because advertisers recognized homemakers as important consumers, newspaper proprietors hired women journalists to appeal to female readers. The concept ofseparate male and female spheres which encouraged the employment of female journalists also restricted the women's work. Often confined physically to a sequestered corner in the dominant male culture ofthe newsroom, most women journalists found their writing opportunities limited to the women's section. Although a few exceptional women broke into the male specialties of politics, war, economics, and general news reporting, the typical newspaperwoman dealt with homemaking advice, fashion, society reporting, and women's club activities for the women's page. · Women Who Made the News provides an excellent general framework for understanding the working lives of Canadian female journalists and the evolution ofthe women's section in Canadian newspapers between 1880 and 1945· Nonetheless, the national scope of the book is not as complete as the title might suggest. Francophone journalists are explicitly excluded from the study, as are women writing for the ethnic press. In addition, women journalists in the Maritimes, admittedly a small proportion ofCanadian female journalists, seldom make an appearance. The book primarily focuses on Ontario, the Prairies, and British Columbia , because the majority of women journalists were concentrated in these provinces. Lang occasionally refers to regional distinctions such as the tradition ofassertive women's journalism in Prairie papers, but she does not attempt to analyze regional variation. Instead, she emphasizes what she found to be common to the experience of women journalists across Canada. Book Reviews 197 Newspaperwomen's efforts to win acceptance for themselves is a major theme threading through the book. Lang has examined journalists ' papers located in archives from British Columbia to Ontario, as well as the published record ofwomen's sections of selected newspapers in an effort to discern the motivations, accomplishments, or disappointments ofthe people behind the pseudonyms. Her main source, however, is the rich collection of the Canadian Women's Press Club, begun in 1904 to advance the interests ofprofessional women journalists. As Lang notes, simply establishing the identity of many newspaperwomen is often difficult. Precisely for this reason, it would have been helpful to provide an appendix of brief biographical notes to convey the results of any detective work and to assist further research. Because Lang is creating a composite picture ofwomen journalists' experiences, she does not delve in any depth into the lives of exceptional journalists such as Violet McNaughton, whose interests are documented in extensive archival collections. As a result, Women Who Made the News provides glimpses of numerous women who exerted influence through journalism , but does not make the reader well acquainted with any ofthem. Lang explores the ambiguities of professional status for female journalists. While journalism had difficulty achieving the dignity of a profession, women within journalism were further subordinated by the dominant male values that ascribed low status to the women's section. Journalism, like medicine, provided opportunities for married as well as single women to earn a living, but family responsibilities divided married women from single women and further complicated the recognition of women's professional status. Lang describes the dual path by which newspaperwomen sought professional advancement. Trying to escape gender discrimination, women journalists strove for greater equality with men in wages, types ofwork, and promotion. At the same time, within the separate realm of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 196-197
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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