The Struggle Of Women In Journalism Is Real

The Struggle Of Women In Journalism Is Real

How can women create a voice in a male-dominated field?

This week, the mutilated body of Swedish journalist Kim Wall was found in waters near Copenhagen, after her disappearance two weeks ago. Wall had been covering a Danish inventor on his latest excursion in his newly built submarine, a case that no one would have expected to be dangerous; but even as her death has yet to be fully investigated, as more and more details come to light they all seem to point to the inventor as the culprit. This has led to nasty notes on comment sections of articles on the case blaming Wall for going alone, questioning her intelligence and even calling into question the legitimacy and safety of female reporters.

There are unfortunately some points that can be made to this. Freelancers are often used to cover stories that editors don't want to send their staff to cover, such as dangerous topics in war zones. They are not given the support that a regular staffer would be given, such as security personnel and guaranteed housing. Women freelancers tend to stay quiet about dangers in order to be taken seriously and "not have their gender counted as a liability"-and to compete with the rest of the pack. However, the other side of the argument is that although 70% of people in MFA programs for journalism identify as female, only 35% of newsrooms on average are female. This switches when looking at freelance positions, where 70% of the freelancing community identifies as female.

Another aspect is content. Often, freelancing women are pushed into the "pink ghettos", publications that focus on "women's issues" like parenting, beauty, fashion and cooking. While there is nothing wrong with women wanting to write about these topics, because otherwise, it is doubtful those topics would be covered, it does make it difficult to break out of those limited subjects.

So with all of that against women, why would they want to go into journalism? What, amid the threats against female journalists lives, the lack of steady positions and the risks of freelancing, makes the numbers of women in MFA programs so high?

Women have been key to journalism since the early days of American news and media. We have been strong and unwavering from our stories since the days of Nellie Bly, an investigative reporter who spent time in an asylum to expose the corruption and life inside the madhouse, and Jane Grey Swisshelm, one of the first women to cover American politics. The facts may seem bleak, but giving up only stifles the chance for women to be heard, and for topics to be covered in the mainstream rather than being pushed to the sides. The risks can seem like too much to handle, especially when we see lives being put on the line. But the industry doesn't change unless there is a push for more, and I urge all female journalists or women interested in the industry to keep pushing and paving the path to equality, no matter what role we take in the struggle.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

Popular Right Now

10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.


1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten

Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

If You Fill Every Minute Of Your Schedule With Work, You'll Feel Discouraged, Not Accomplished

Our feelings have more power than we think.


When we start doing work, we set out with the point of trying to get it done. I personally set time brackets in which I do a certain amount of work. In this, I assume how much time something will take me and work as efficiently as I can to finish in the allotted time bracket.

However, once in a while, the work takes me much longer than anticipated and I become frustrated. I cannot get the questions right or there is just too much work to make sense of. All I want to do is give up and eat ice cream and even if I do this, I feel anxious about the fact that my work is not done. I feel stressed and that doing any type of work is of no use because I can't do it anyway. How can I get out of this funk? Sometimes I think I never will. Or is it that I don't want to?

All of us have had a moment of hopelessness about school, friends, or just life in general. I think that the best way to get out of it is to step back from the environment. When I am stuck on an Aleks problem (chemistry online homework) and want to scream at the computer, I just leave my desk and go for a walk. Trying to clear your mind of all the frustration and stress that is building up is necessary to see things from a fresh point of view.

We often are blinded by the frustration we feel and that disables our ability to take a breath and just work calmly. Feeling the overwhelming emotions makes us lose track of all the good things we have and if we allow it to, it will consume us for much longer than we imagined. Take breaks with your work and leave time for yourself. If you fill every minute of your schedule with work, of course, you will feel discouraged. You will be burned out. Every time you notice yourself becoming angry, do something to calm yourself down. Our anger has the power to destroy us, but only if we let it.

Related Content

Facebook Comments