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Feminist Consciousness and the Production of a Contemporary Women's Section
Unformatted Document Text:  Tracking number: ICA-12-11416 16 features department, allows Mertz to construct Savvy in an informal manner and without staff meetings. In fact, Mary Bergin, the features department editor, has quit holding staff meetings as well. Bergin explained, “We did [meet] for a while. Right now we’re in a mode where we’re not. I can’t even tell you why, but it seems ridiculous because we’re so small. We already know what we’re doing.” As for how much Bergin monitors Mertz, she simply does not. Mertz not only forgoes staff meetings, she often abstains from assigning stories. She said her reporters each have their ideas of what they want to work on and she welcomes the story diversity. So while Mertz ultimately shapes Savvy, she relies heavily on her reporters’ ideas and perspectives. Mertz explained, “For the most part, our writers come up with their own ideas, or [Bergin] gives them ideas, or I give them ideas. It kind of takes care of itself.” Thinking feminist Upon meeting Savvy’s editor, I was struck by the clear feminist consciousness evident in both her work and her educational background even though it was neither always apparent nor without contradictions. The first day that I entered into the newsroom I found Mertz in the middle of a telephone interview with one of the authors of “Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future.” She was writing a feature on the authors who were coming to Madison for a reading. The Capital Times hired Mertz less than two years ago to take over its women’s section. Bergin, the features editor who was in charge of interviewing candidates for the position, says it is not a coincidence that Mertz holds a women’s studies degree along with her journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She explained, “there were other finalists [for the

Authors: Harp, Dustin.
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Tracking number: ICA-12-11416
16
features department, allows Mertz to construct Savvy in an informal manner and without
staff meetings. In fact, Mary Bergin, the features department editor, has quit holding staff
meetings as well. Bergin explained, “We did [meet] for a while. Right now we’re in a
mode where we’re not. I can’t even tell you why, but it seems ridiculous because we’re
so small. We already know what we’re doing.” As for how much Bergin monitors Mertz,
she simply does not. Mertz not only forgoes staff meetings, she often abstains from
assigning stories. She said her reporters each have their ideas of what they want to work
on and she welcomes the story diversity. So while Mertz ultimately shapes Savvy, she
relies heavily on her reporters’ ideas and perspectives. Mertz explained, “For the most
part, our writers come up with their own ideas, or [Bergin] gives them ideas, or I give
them ideas. It kind of takes care of itself.”
Thinking feminist
Upon meeting Savvy’s editor, I was struck by the clear feminist consciousness
evident in both her work and her educational background even though it was neither
always apparent nor without contradictions. The first day that I entered into the
newsroom I found Mertz in the middle of a telephone interview with one of the authors of
“Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future.” She was writing a feature on the
authors who were coming to Madison for a reading. The Capital Times hired Mertz less
than two years ago to take over its women’s section. Bergin, the features editor who was
in charge of interviewing candidates for the position, says it is not a coincidence that
Mertz holds a women’s studies degree along with her journalism degree from the
University of Wisconsin – Madison. She explained, “there were other finalists [for the


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