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Paying Her Dues: The Early Career of Pioneering Broadcaster Pauline Frederick
Unformatted Document Text:  3 Paying Her Dues: The Early Career of Pioneering Broadcaster Pauline Frederick wanted to focus on news and news reporting, and not on make-up, hair styles and clothing that would look good on camera. As Talese wrote, “She resents, in short, that it is not enough for a lady television commentator to be an astute reporter, or even a brilliant one; she must also seem wholesome to the home audience, should have sex appeal, and must never, never seem the far side of forty.” This quiet resistance to the glamour aspect of broadcasting and a focus on content would last throughout her forty-year career. By the time of her death in 1990 at age 84, Frederick was a known name to anyone in broadcast journalism, and a veteran of three networks – NBC, ABC and PBS. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious George Foster Peabody, the Paul White Award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association, she was named to the Hall of Fame by the journalists’ society Sigma Delta Chi, and was granted nearly two dozen honorary college degrees. Over the years, this “spinster” – who finally did get married when she was in her late 50s – was named twice in the Gallup Poll as one of the country’s most admired women. But the road to Frederick’s professional success was a rocky one. Certainly she paid her dues – she was forty years old before she was hired fulltime at a media outlet – but as the lone woman in a roomful of men, she succeeded not solely by talent, but by knowing how to navigate successfully in a male-dominated world and

Authors: Greenwald, Marilyn.
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3   
Paying Her Dues: The Early Career of Pioneering 
Broadcaster Pauline Frederick               
wanted to focus on news and news reporting, and not on make-up, 
hair styles and clothing that would look good on camera. As Talese 
wrote,
 
“She resents, in short, that it is not enough for a lady 
television commentator to be an astute reporter, or even a 
brilliant one; she must also seem wholesome to the home audience, 
should have sex appeal, and must never, never seem the far side of 
forty.”
 
 This quiet resistance to the glamour aspect of broadcasting 
and a focus on content would last throughout her forty-year career.
   By the time of her death in 1990 at age 84, Frederick was a 
known name to anyone in broadcast journalism, and a veteran of 
three networks – NBC, ABC and PBS. She was the recipient of 
numerous awards, including the prestigious George Foster Peabody, 
the Paul White Award from the Radio and Television News Directors 
Association, she was named to the Hall of Fame by the journalists’ 
society Sigma Delta Chi, and was granted nearly two dozen honorary 
college degrees. Over the years, this “spinster” – who finally did 
get married when she was in her late 50s – was named twice in the 
Gallup Poll as one of the country’s most admired women.
    But the road to Frederick’s professional success was a rocky 
one. Certainly she paid her dues – she was forty years old before 
she was hired fulltime at a media outlet – but as the lone woman in 
a roomful of men, she succeeded not solely by talent, but by 
knowing how to navigate successfully in a male-dominated world and 


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