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Feminist Consciousness and the Production of a Contemporary Women's Section
Unformatted Document Text:  Tracking number: ICA-12-11416 19 mean ‘younger’ like 18 to 24, but women in their 20s and early 30s, based largely on her own instincts, which I think are really good. Mertz’s initial notions of diversity during our conversations were also limited to gender and age. She explained: “I think it’s interesting that there’s an age dynamic in our section. Having someone in their 40s and having someone who’s younger and having a man, we all have different ideas about what can go into the section.” While Mertz pointed out that she is not interested in topics related to the 40-something age group, like menopause, she is “really interested in activism and seeing younger women who are starting their own business.” It was only when prompted to think about identity differences in the newsroom beyond these limited terms that Mertz explained the lack of ethnic diversity in Savvy as “a reflection of life in Madison.” She went on with a complex and contradictory answer: I try not to overkill the whole diversity thing in Savvy or anywhere in the paper because I feel you want to be representative of the population and you don’t want to be condescending to the population. If I were American Indian, I might be offended that people were trying so hard to win me over. I don’t have anything to prove, and I don’t think any of us do. When a story’s there, it’s there, and there’s no need to force it. I do wish that there was more diversity because I think that we miss out on a lot of story ideas that way. We do have a communities reporter who is actually titled ethnic, or diversity, reporter – something like that – but we have someone who just focuses on neighborhoods and ethnic communities. She’s been

Authors: Harp, Dustin.
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Tracking number: ICA-12-11416
19
mean ‘younger’ like 18 to 24, but women in their 20s and early 30s, based largely
on her own instincts, which I think are really good.
Mertz’s initial notions of diversity during our conversations were also limited to gender
and age. She explained: “I think it’s interesting that there’s an age dynamic in our
section. Having someone in their 40s and having someone who’s younger and having a
man, we all have different ideas about what can go into the section.” While Mertz pointed
out that she is not interested in topics related to the 40-something age group, like
menopause, she is “really interested in activism and seeing younger women who are
starting their own business.” It was only when prompted to think about identity
differences in the newsroom beyond these limited terms that Mertz explained the lack of
ethnic diversity in Savvy as “a reflection of life in Madison.” She went on with a
complex and contradictory answer:
I try not to overkill the whole diversity thing in Savvy or anywhere in the paper
because I feel you want to be representative of the population and you don’t want
to be condescending to the population. If I were American Indian, I might be
offended that people were trying so hard to win me over. I don’t have anything to
prove, and I don’t think any of us do. When a story’s there, it’s there, and there’s
no need to force it. I do wish that there was more diversity because I think that we
miss out on a lot of story ideas that way. We do have a communities reporter who
is actually titled ethnic, or diversity, reporter – something like that – but we have
someone who just focuses on neighborhoods and ethnic communities. She’s been


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