Category: Journalism

Loretta Tofani (b. 1953) is a journalist who, in 1983, won the Pulitzer Prize for
Investigative Reporting. She received this honour for her series of articles
investigating gang rapes in a Maryland jail.

She
got a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California,
Berkeley, and went on to work for The Washington Post, where she wrote
her award-winning articles. The investigation led to a change in the prison’s
policy in order to prevent rape among prisoners. In 2007, she uncovered the plight
of millions of Chinese workers making products destined for the United States.

Marlene Sanders (1931-2015) was a news correspondent and anchor who worked for ABC and
CBS News. She was the first female anchor of an evening news broadcast on a
major network.

She
started working a low-level job in television in 1955, but progressed through
the ranks until she became the first woman to report on the Vietnam War from the
field, and later the first female vice president of ABC News. She produced
documentaries for CBS news, especially on women’s movements, and won three Emmys
for this work.

Helen Vlachos (1911-1995) was a Greek journalist who was
awarded the title of World Press Freedom Hero by the International Press Institute.
She is remembered for her anti-dictatorship activism.

She worked for Kathimerini,
a newspaper founded by her father, and was very critical of the government in
her regular column. After the coup of 1967, she chose to close down her
publications rather than hand them over to the military junta to use as
propaganda tools. She was placed under house arrest for her criticism of the
regime and escaped to London, where she was granted political asylum. Today, a
prize in her name is awarded to Greek journalists.

Ellen Willis (1941-2006) was an essayist, journalist and
critic known for her feminist activism that stretched over decades. A 2014
collection of her essays entitled The Essential Ellen Willis won the
National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.

She was one of the
first popular music critics working for the New Yorker, as well as a
founder of the feminist group Redstockings in 1969, and wrote numerous essays
on feminism, abortion rights or identity politics, among others. One of these
essays was the origin of the term ‘pro-sex feminism’.

Mary Margaret McBride (1899-1976, pictured above with Eleanor Roosevelt) was an early radio host.
She was called “The First Lady of Radio”, and her daily audience was
between six and eight million listeners.

She started her women’s-advice show in 1934,
using the persona of “Martha Deane”, and aired daily until 1940. The
show was later picked up by networks such as CBS and NBC, and featured a large
number of famous guests. Along with her partner Stella Karn, she was a pioneer
not only in the world of broadcasting and media, but also for giving visibility
to lesbian and bisexual journalists.

Jessica
Mitford
(1917-1996) was a journalist and civil rights activist of British origin.
She wrote extensively about the plight of African Americans and was actively
involved in the fight for equal rights.

Born in England, she became an American citizen after she settled in
California, where she worked as executive secretary for the local Civil Rights
Congress. Her investigative journalism led to the publication of books such as The American Way of Death or Kind and Usual Punishment: The Prison
Business
, which uncovered the abuse going on in some aspects of American society.

Kira Salak (b. 1971) is an
adventurer and writer. She is a frequent contributor to National Geographic magazine and has written extensively about her
travels through Papua New Guinea and Mali.

She first started travelling at the age of 24, when she became the first
American woman to cross the country of Papua New Guinea. She has been described
as a ‘real-life Lara Croft’ for her adventure-filled travels, of which she has
written books and numerous articles.

Era Bell Thompson (1905-1986) was an
author and editor who was an influential figure in African-American studies.
She was an editor for Ebony magazine
for almost 40 years.

After studying journalism at the
University of North Dakota and Northwestern University, she joined Ebony as an associate editor, and helped
shape the magazine’s vision throughout the decades. She published the book Africa, Land of My Fathers, in 1954,
detailing her experience of visiting 18 African countries.

Rebecca Solnit (b. 1961) is a
journalist and activist, involved in a variety of causes, from environmental
issues to human rights campaigns. She is a regular contributor to Harper’s Magazine, where she writes the
Easy Chair column, the first woman to do so since its beginning in 1851.

She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship
and a National Book Critics Circle Award, among other recognitions. She has
written books on a variety of topics, from politics to art, history and
feminist issues.

Evelyn Irons (1900-2000) was a
Scottish journalist who acted as a war correspondent during World War II. She
was the first woman to be decorated with the French Croix de Guerre for this
service.

She was initially hired with the beauty
page of the Daily Mail, but chose to
report on the war as soon as it broke out. Despite objections regarding the
presence of female reporters on the battlefield, she was one of the first
journalists to reach liberated Paris, and the first female journalist to reach
Hitler’s Eagle Nest. In 1935, she became the first woman to be awarded the
Stanhope Gold Medal by the Royal Humane Society.