Women of Media and Their Influence on Social Structure

Women of Media and Their Influence on Social Structure
Their influence on the social structure
Race, Gender and Class in Media
USF St Petersburg
Anna Liisa Covell
June 24, 2010

Women of Media and Their Influence on Social Structure

The Roaring 20’s marked the beginning of a movement for social change with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Women were finally given the opportunity to vote after nearly two decades of protests through the Women’s Suffrage Movement – a movement that universally swept the globe (Exploring Constitutional Conflicts). In 1928, a group of Women Jurists in Frances formed a non-governmental organization (NGO) to protect women from discrimination and human rights abuse (Women’s Rights Law). That same year, the suffrage movement prevailed in Britain to make men and women equal (Scholastic).

American media began to recognize the contribution women made to society in the 1920’s by offering career advancements. But the transition was slow to include females in any primary roles of media. There were only a few positions of authority open to women in the early years of radio. As time progressed, women began tapping on the glass ceiling. The 1960’s was the springboard for women’s empowerment in the job market which included the media. Modern day women are still focusing on society’s responsibility for equal access in media roles (Donna Allen).

The founder of NBC radio was the first to allow a woman into a position of authority. David Sarnoff promoted Bertha Brainard to program manager of NBC Radio Network in 1928. Sarnoff gave Brainard free reign to fill the airwaves with quality programming – programming that included shows like the Rudy Vallee Hour and The Goldbergs, the first family sitcom on radio. She also introduced the Metropolitan Opera to her radio listeners which is still on the airwaves today. Brainard focused her attention on quality programming with women’s interests in mind (The Paley Center).

Brainard followed her instincts throughout her career to sign quality talent. Using her knowledge as a former theater critic, she produced programming that appealed to women – programming like the Rudy Vallee Hour. Her keen instinct for attracting the female listening audience was her signature trademark – one she proudly wrote about in the New York Times (The Paley Center).

As chairwoman of NBC’s programming board in 1937, Brainard commanded one of the highest salaries in radio. Her success didn’t come without criticism (The Paley Center). Major newspapers ran stories about her life style that emphasized the manner of her dress, the color of her hair, and her petite figure. Her descriptive features were publicized in a New York Times story titled “Woman Builds High Place in Organizing Air Programs” in 1939. The story also included personal information about her penthouse living arrangement with her sister in New York (Women in Communication).

Brainard’s instincts paid off in her radio career. She understood that women did not care for the mechanical aspects of radio, but were attracted to the media when they began to enjoy the programming offered by Brainard (The Paley Center). She left NBC in 1946 to get married and died later that year after suffering a fatal heart attack (Women in Communication).

In the years following WWII, the media was completely dominated by males. In the 1950’s, news stories were framed though the eyes of men. Women were discriminated in the workplace and in the educational realm of society. They didn’t have the ability to own independent news media outlets to convey their message. They were stereotyped as homemakers – homemakers who didn’t have an independent source to air their perspectives in the public arena. Hegemony existed with male-only media outlet ownership. (Donna Allen).

Everything began to change in the 1960’s when television came into the American home. The Civil Rights Movement was a significant factor for equal rights – equal rights for women and minorities. Male hegemony of mass communication began to be challenged by women. President John F. Kennedy’s appointment of the Commission on the Status of Women in 1963 was instrumental to highlight the discrimination women faced in the media (Donna Allen).

Women marched forward even faster with the advent of the birth control pill. Gender roles began to balance out. The revolutionary years of the 1960’s saw women picketing bare-breasted. They burned their bras in public to smash their stereotyped image (Sanford). It was a generation in conflict. The women’s movement took center stage right beside the civil rights movement. Women finally had the choice to determine the course of their life, without being saddled with unwanted pregnancies to inhibit their careers (Gibbs).

The ownership of media outlets began to change in the 1970’s when women challenged the licenses of male-only broadcast stations with the FCC. Equality was demanded though the women’s Media Accountability Movement – a movement that established independent outlets for women to underscore stereotyping and sex discrimination through their own mass media (Donna Allen).

Women pushed for media accountability. The Media Accountability System (M*A*S) was formed by women in the United States for oversight of media resources – resources needed to highlight the diverse interests in the country. M*A*S distrusted the hegemonic mass media dominated by males. Women argued that men had been hostile in their description of females in all media forms – forms that included unflattering feminine descriptions in school books, history, art and music. Women fought against these male media outlets for their personal dignity. They resented being depicted as having an inferior intelligence to their male-counterpart (Donna Allen).

Women picketed major media organizations by conducting sit-ins as a form of protest against discrimination. They barged into stockholder meetings to demand equal air-time for women in broadcasting. CBS was one of their targets. The gender-specific practices of hegemonic male media outlets were met with lawsuits filed by women demanding accountability in hiring. (Donna Allen).

In 1972, the FCC released a report that outlined prior discriminatory practices against women and minorities. The report was based on an Equal Employment Opportunity inquiry to the commission. The FCC’s determination made it possible for women to gain a foothold in the media with new rules regarding equal opportunity in hiring practices (FCC). Later that year in Chicago, Jane Pauley was asked to join the staff of WMAQ-TV (DePauw University).

Pauley described her start in broadcasting as being in the right place at the right time. Three years after she began her broadcast career in Chicago, she was invited to co-host the Today Show – the first female co-host for NBC. As a pioneer in broadcast media, Pauley interviewed the first female astronaut, the first female Indy 500 driver, and the first woman on the presidential nominating ticket – candidate Geraldine Ferraro (DePauw University).

The broadcast image of women in the media began to change. Female broadcasters portrayed the image of working women – women who were able to hold down jobs and still be housewives and mothers. Pauley came to work while she was pregnant with twins and made it look easy for her viewing audience. Previously, women’s pregnancies had been prohibited from being broadcast on television. Just by acting naturally, Pauley was able to show her audience a woman’s perspective on life (DePauw University). The male-only media was being infiltrated by a realistic depiction of women which gave a more balanced image of society.

The M*A*S served to protect and promote the rights of women. Their committee determined the importance of having a public platform to air gender-related issues critical to promote democracy within society. Women had the right to know about issues – especially issues that directly affected them. The M*A*S even brought domestic violence out of the shadows.

Health-related problems associated with the female body were a major focus of M*A*S to equalize the hegemonic male media. The disturbing statistics of death and injury from the use of a contraceptive device known as Dalkan Shield opened women’s eyes. Women had needed the media to alert them of health risks related to this device. But the male-dominated media only mentioned the deadly device in the business section. Women were not told about the trauma caused by using the Dalkan Shield until it was too late (Donna Allen).

The age of women broadcasters became a factor in 1989 when Pauley was replaced by the much younger Deborah Norville. The NBC audience quickly made their opinion known about the replacement of Pauley. NBC’s Today show’s ratings dropped – dropped, that is, until they hired Katie Couric in 1991 to replace Norville (Soylent Communications). This age-related replacement of Pauley was rated as one of television’s 25 biggest blunders (Futon Critic).

As the co-host of the Today show, Couric’s public image mirrored her family life. Her pregnancy in 1995 became a topic of discussion. When her husband died of colon cancer in 1998, the viewers mourned with her. Couric urged her viewers to get themselves checked while she underwent an on-air colonoscopy (Soylent Communications).

In 2006, Couric broke through the glass ceiling to become the nightly anchor on CBS News to replace Bob Schieffer. She is the first female in media history to go solo as a prime-time anchor without having a man sit at her side (Soylent Communications). She commands one of the highest salaries for a broadcast anchor which is estimated at $15 million-a-year (Business Insider).

Over the last 82 years, women have fought to ensure a more equal representation of society through journalism. The advancement of equality in America’s society was a slow process that began with the Women’s Suffrage Movement (Exploring Constitutional Conflicts). The Women’s Movement of the 1960’s esculated equal rights to the forefront of society (Donna Allen).

Women in media have fought hard to win concessions – concessions to make media outlets recognize the needs of everyone in society. They have fought for equal access with media because democracy demands on it. Women have found their voice to speak for themselves. With this new voice they have focused on society’s responsibility – a responsibility to understand that society is fluid and to always recognize the needs of women and minorities for equality (Donna Allen).

Business Insider. Katier Couric’s Salary; http://www.businessinsider.com/cbs-president-silences-rumors-of-courics-salary-cut-2010-2. 03 Feb. 2010.

DePauw University. Pioneer Broadcast Journalist Jane Pauley; http://www.depauw.edu/news/?id=23392. 17 April 2009.

Donna Allen, PH.D. Media Accountability. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/12/AR2007041201007.html, 1990.
Exploring Constitutional Conflicts. http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/nineteentham.htm.

FCC. FCC 36 F.C.C.2d 515; http://www.uiowa.edu/~cyberlaw/FCCOps/1972/36F2_515.htm. 28 July 1972.

Futon Critic. 25 Biggest TV Blunders; http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?date=03/02/10&id=20100302tvguide01. 02 March 2010.

Gibbs, Nancy. Time magazine: Love, Sex, Freedom and the Paradox of the Pill. 3 May 2010.

Sanford. Sanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy; http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-approaches/. 31 October 2004.

Scholastic. http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/suffrage/history.htm.

Soylent Communications. NNDB Tracking the World; http://www.nndb.com/people/487/000025412/. 2010.

The Paley Center. Bertha Brainard, Radio Executive; http://www.shemadeit.org/meet/biography.aspx?m=17.

Women in Communication. Bertha Brainard: Breaking Broadcast Boundaries; http://www.nywici.org/features/blogs/aloud/women%E2%80%99s-history-month-profile-%E2%80%94-bertha-brainard-breaking-broadcast-boundaries

Women’s Rights Law. http://www.hg.org/women.html

Senate Democrats unveil $1 trillion infrastructure plan

United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Connect with Bill Nelson:

MEDIA ADVISORY: Jan. 24, 2017

Ryan Brown, communications director
Emily Rogers, press secretary
Tim Rennie, deputy press secretary
Jackie McGuinness, press assistant

Senate Democrats unveil $1 trillion infrastructure plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and other top Senate Democrats today unveiled a major $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan aimed at creating millions of new jobs while repairing the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

Democrats say the plan to invest $1 trillion in transportation and other infrastructure projects over 10 years would create more than 15 million new jobs and provide funding to repair roads and bridges, expand bus and rail systems, modernize ports and rebuild public schools.

“Florida is growing at a rate of nearly 1,000 people per day,” Nelson said. “You can imagine the toll that’s taking on our state’s infrastructure. This is our chance to make some much-needed repairs and create millions of new jobs in the process.”

Nelson, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee and a key sponsor of the proposal, says that if approved, the plan would likely fund several important projects in Florida.

Specifically, Nelson says the plan includes $180 billion to improve and expand bus and rail systems, which could be used to restore Amtrak service along Florida’s Gulf Coast and extend Sunrail service in Orlando. It also includes $10 billion to modernize ports and waterways, which could be used to speed up repairs being made to the Herbert Hoover Dike and deepen the ports in Jacksonville and Ft. Lauderdale to accommodate the new mega ships coming through the expanded Panama Canal, and $210 billion to fix crumbling roads and bridges.

The plan also provides, among other things, $30 billion for airport improvements, $10 billion to construct new Veterans Affairs facilities and $75 billion to modernize public schools.

Here’s a link to more information on the plan: https://www.billnelson.senate.gov/sites/default/files/Infrastructure_Plan.pdf

My 2-cents on electing Donald J. Trump

1013333_1117812524930579_1424452756332426209_nYou know, or maybe you don’t know, the majority of people who supported Donald J. Trump are not ignorant, racist, homophobe bigots Hell bent on destroying America.

But, I won’t try to speak for everyone on the Trump Train.  I’ll only speak for myself.

After eight long years of economic  woes in our country, it was time for a change in leadership, a real change from the status quo of entrenched politicians who have driven our country into the ditch while becoming millionaires in office.

People of middle class have suffered greatly since 2007. Many elderly people have helped their families survive by spending their retirement funds to prop up members who have fallen on hard times.

Small business owners have struggled to keep their doors open in the recessionary economy,  brought about by greedy bankers, politicians and realtors who hid behind Dodd-Frank banking legislation.

As a life-long Republican, I have questioned many of our elected officials, past and present. for their self-serving attitudes to empower themselves by stepping on the rights of those they been elected to serve. It’s a breath of fresh air knowing our next President is not one of the corrupt Washington establishment.

As a woman who has seen many years on this planet, I gagged at the thought of having Hillary Clinton as our President for the next four years.  I find her to be one of the most corrupt, self-serving politicians who doesn’t give a damn about anything but herself and her own personal power.

Would I like to see a female President in my lifetime?  You bet I would, but I want one who is elected on merit of accomplishments and civil service to the people of this country.  You see, I come from the 1960’s Civil Rights Era of Equal Rights, not special rights for your gender, skin color, your religion, or whatever crutch you want to use to get ahead in life.

I scrapped my way to the top of the food chain, in my little corner of the world, as a state certified electrical contractor who just happens to hold a Masters of Arts degree. I abhor any woman who would expose their genitals, literally or figuratively, to step on someone else’s rights in the world.  This goes for people of color, white, black, yellow or whatever.  I stand with the great Republican, Martin Luther King, about not judging people by the color of their skin, but by judging them solely on the content of their character.

So, for those of you who are disappointed that your candidate did not get elected, please take a deep breath and think of those around you that don’t agree with your point of view.  We do not appreciate the negative connotations of hatred and bigotry you’re trying to lay on our door step.

Kindly step back and hear the words of Donald J. Trump.  He pledged to be the President for all the people in our country.

Political trickery right under your nose

Rep. Blaise Ingoglia

Do you ever have the feeling the people of Hernando County and the state of Florida are being duped by political trickery?  Well, you should.

Right here in our very own backyard a political shell game is taking place right under your nose.  And, very few people are aware the con game that is taking place by the head of the local Republican party.

Now you say to yourself this just can’t be so because Blaise Ingoglia has been so nice to us.  Stand back and ask yourself a simple question. What has Ingoglia done to enrich your life as loyal Republican?

Has he reduced your taxes?  No, he hasn’t.

Has he reduced economic burdens? No, not quite.

Has he reduced the size of government? Bingo, if you answered no again.

What Ingoglia has done is to enrich his own career at the expense of those gullible enough to believe his con game. The big sales pitch came with workshops run by yours truly, Blaise Ingoglia promoting his Government Gone Wild forums, forums that were aimed at waste, fraud and abuse as a hook.

Hoards of people crowded around Ingoglia hoping for some type of magic elixir to cure their disgust for politicians.  What we got was a flimflam man who is hell-bent on his own personal political power, not public trust.

A majority vote rose Ingoglia to status of chairman of Hernando County Republican Executive Committee which he used as a stepping stone to catapult himself into the Florida Legislature, as our representative in 2014.

Shortly after winning election to Florida Legislature, Ingoglia maneuvered himself into position to be elected as chairman of Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), much to the chagrin of Florida Senate and Governor Scott, so much so that they pulled all funding from Ingoglia’s grasp at the RPOF.

Daniel A. Smith, a University of Florida political science professor, said splintered funding could hamper Ingoglia’s ability to raise funds for the General Election because of rules with Florida Legislature.

Not much has changed in a year with Governor Scott and Florida Senate. There is no firm decision if or when funding from Governor Scott or Florida Senate will resume even though they are making “nice” with RPOF Chairman Ingoglia, at least for appearance sake.

So, where does that leave us heading into the election cycle? It leaves doubts Ingoglia can actually pull rabbits out of his hat to get Republicans elected in November.

One thing is for sure though, Ingoglia hasn’t forgotten about his quest to enrich his personal political power. Just under the wire last Friday, Blaise Ingoglia boldly signed his name on as a candidate at the Supervisor of Election’s office for State Committeeman for Republican Party for Hernando County.

As you scratch you head in disbelief, Ingoglia will be running for State Committeeman position against Roy Martin who has long been associated with Wellington Republican Club.  Tom Hogan, Sr. chose not to run for re-election to the post after almost 50 years of holding the seat.

So if you’re counting, this will be the fourth position Ingoglia hopes to attain on his personal quest for political power.  He seems to be banking on the gullible public he has duped so many times in the past.

Ingoglia’s lust for political power and control can be summed up as megalomania, an unnatural wish for power and control or the belief he is more important and powerful than the electorate.

Would it be too much to ask for Ingoglia to do just one political job well?  He has a mediocre track record with his current jobs as Hernando Republican Executive Committee Chairman, representative for Florida Legislature and chairman of Republican Party of Florida.  Now he wants one more job to add to his resume.

It looks like Ingoglia’s Government Gone Wild seminars of belching smaller government and lower taxes where nothing more than hook to bait the gullible, much like carnival barker selling his wares.


Rep.Nugent’s latest situation report from Washington

rich.nugentNews from Representative Nugent
Dear Friends,

Over the past five years I have received countless letters from constituents expressing a general distaste for the Internal Revenue Service. And let me tell you, I share in the frustration. Although another tax day has come and gone, the IRS is always lurking.

Let’s recap some highlights (rather, lowlights) briefly.  I think we all remember when the IRS deliberately targeted and audited groups based on their political beliefs. How about when they distributed nearly $50 million in fraudulent tax returns? Just last year, hundreds of IRS employees were found to have neglected the agency’s own guidelines when filing their own taxes. What’s worse, a handful of IRS employees failed to even file their taxes in the first place! To top it all off, the IRS recently issued millions in bonuses to its employees.

Give me a break.

The American people shouldn’t be afraid of their government.  The government should be focused on serving the people.  When bureaucratic agencies continue to abuse taxpayer dollars (and their power), it’s no wonder that we the people distrust an agency like the IRS.

In light of all this, I am happy to report that your United States House of Representatives went to bat for you this week.  Among other things, we passed a bill prohibiting the IRS from rehiring employees who have been fired for misconduct (probably shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place).  We voted to eliminate the agency’s internal slush fund that was being filled by taxpayer user fees.  We blocked the IRS from issuing employee bonuses.  We’ve also passed legislation creating real incentives for the IRS to turn around its horrendous customer service record. Finally, if the Senate passes our bills and the President signs them, the IRS will be forbidden from hiring any new employee until it can certify that no IRS employees are delinquent on their own taxes.

While all of these measures are helpful, I’d really prefer to just get rid of the IRS in its entirety. I am one of the dedicated sponsors of a bill to do just that. The FairTax (which I think many of you already know) is an idea that I have been championing since the day I stepped into Congress. Frankly, I think it’s about time for our country to see taxation in a more sensible, just and transparent way.

As policymakers, our aim should be to make paying taxes as painless as possible, the burden as low as possible, and the efficiency as great as possible.  The tax code we’re operating under now achieves none of those goals.  Instead, it supports an agency vulnerable to bad actors, abuse and mismanagement. It’s time we scrapped the current code and started over with something better.  The FairTax is that solution.

Taxes ensure a strong national defense and a robust infrastructure system along with the well-being of Social Security and Medicare programs. Taxes are a civic duty and the reality of a safe and secure country.  As Benjamin Franklin once quipped, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” But the latter should not have to feel like the former.

Usually at this point I would ask to hear your thoughts about how you feel about the IRS – but, let’s be honest, it’s an agency that has little fanfare. Even though we may disagree from time to time, I think we can all stand in a shared disdain for the Tax Man.

And to that end, if you are having trouble with the IRS or any other federal entity, feel free to reach out to my office. We are here to help.

Rich Nugent
Member of Congress