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Feminist Consciousness and the Production of a Contemporary Women's Section
Unformatted Document Text:  Tracking number: ICA-12-11416 11 dedicated to a local woman (“Savvy Snapshot”), another regular feature dubbed “Savvy Shopper,” a few local and national columns written by women and a calendar of events relevant to women. “Savvy Shopper” covers a broad range of related topics, including advice on how to save money, consumer issues and fashion news. The Capital Times introduced Savvy on September 7, 1995, but only after serious debate within the newsroom, according to both newsroom mythology and those editors and reporters who were present at the time. Features editor Mary Bergin explained: When the idea of having a women’s section was proposed, women in the newsroom were far from being supporters of it because we have our own stereotypes of what that means and wanted to think that we were further along than that, that there was no need to segregate news and content that way. The paper hired a researcher to conduct focus groups with local women before launching the new section. 11 According to an article published in the first edition of Savvy, the focus groups helped the paper to understand what women want in their daily newspaper. The article begins with an explanation of the purpose behind Savvy: “part of our effort to appeal to more women readers” (Maeglin, 1995). But the next sentence in the article explains the motivation behind the paper’s effort: “Women are the primary consumers in most households these days. So newspapers, like any other business, have to try harder to reach them” (1995). Clearly, the motivation to reintroduce this women’s section mirrors the purpose of introducing them in the first place – providing advertisers with today’s “primary consumers.” Clayton Frink, the paper’s publisher for the last seven

Authors: Harp, Dustin.
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Tracking number: ICA-12-11416
11
dedicated to a local woman (“Savvy Snapshot”), another regular feature dubbed “Savvy
Shopper,” a few local and national columns written by women and a calendar of events
relevant to women. “Savvy Shopper” covers a broad range of related topics, including
advice on how to save money, consumer issues and fashion news. The Capital Times
introduced Savvy on September 7, 1995, but only after serious debate within the
newsroom, according to both newsroom mythology and those editors and reporters who
were present at the time. Features editor Mary Bergin explained:
When the idea of having a women’s section was proposed, women in the
newsroom were far from being supporters of it because we have our own
stereotypes of what that means and wanted to think that we were further along
than that, that there was no need to segregate news and content that way.
The paper hired a researcher to conduct focus groups with local women before
launching the new section.
11
According to an article published in the first edition of
Savvy, the focus groups helped the paper to understand what women want in their daily
newspaper. The article begins with an explanation of the purpose behind Savvy: “part of
our effort to appeal to more women readers” (Maeglin, 1995). But the next sentence in
the article explains the motivation behind the paper’s effort: “Women are the primary
consumers in most households these days. So newspapers, like any other business, have
to try harder to reach them” (1995). Clearly, the motivation to reintroduce this women’s
section mirrors the purpose of introducing them in the first place – providing advertisers
with today’s “primary consumers.” Clayton Frink, the paper’s publisher for the last seven


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