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Feminist Consciousness and the Production of a Contemporary Women's Section
Unformatted Document Text:  Tracking number: ICA-12-11416 9 worker in relation to women’s news sections and contemporary feminism. This case study used non-participant observation and interviews to answer three questions about the production of women’s pages: How do publishers, editors and reporters conceptualize and construct contemporary women’s sections? Do creators of contemporary women’s sections think about feminist ideologies in the production of them and, if so, how? Finally, if they consider feminist ideologies, how do these interact with other newsroom influences? Method During four days, I observed and interviewed the publisher and key editors and reporters at The Capital Times, an afternoon daily in Madison, Wisconsin. 8 I observed the features department, where the women’s section – Savvy – is produced, to learn how decisions about the women’s pages were made, from story assignments and development to design and pagination. Respondent interviews with a series of open-ended and spontaneous follow-up questions were used to gain information about the history of, attitudes about and perceptions related to Savvy. Additional information was gathered during informal conversation that took place while observing the newsroom. 9 Either understood as a political movement or identity feminism is complicated. While the current women’s movement and feminism are complex with many goals and tenets, I turned to fundamental ideologies underlying feminist thought to define the concept and discern it within newsroom discourse. Ryan (1992) explains that regardless of the feminism under question and the many “differences in defining exactly what constitutes women’s equality, the fundamental desire for improvement in women’s conditions

Authors: Harp, Dustin.
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Tracking number: ICA-12-11416
9
worker in relation to women’s news sections and contemporary feminism. This case
study used non-participant observation and interviews to answer three questions about the
production of women’s pages: How do publishers, editors and reporters conceptualize
and construct contemporary women’s sections? Do creators of contemporary women’s
sections think about feminist ideologies in the production of them and, if so, how?
Finally, if they consider feminist ideologies, how do these interact with other newsroom
influences?
Method
During four days, I observed and interviewed the publisher and key editors and
reporters at The Capital Times, an afternoon daily in Madison, Wisconsin.
8
I observed the
features department, where the women’s section – Savvy – is produced, to learn how
decisions about the women’s pages were made, from story assignments and development
to design and pagination. Respondent interviews with a series of open-ended and
spontaneous follow-up questions were used to gain information about the history of,
attitudes about and perceptions related to Savvy. Additional information was gathered
during informal conversation that took place while observing the newsroom.
9
Either
understood as a political movement or identity feminism is complicated. While the
current women’s movement and feminism are complex with many goals and tenets, I
turned to fundamental ideologies underlying feminist thought to define the concept and
discern it within newsroom discourse. Ryan (1992) explains that regardless of the
feminism under question and the many “differences in defining exactly what constitutes
women’s equality, the fundamental desire for improvement in women’s conditions


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