Women have been present in the newspaper business since its colonial beginnings. In the early eighteenth century, women often worked alongside their husbands and brothers to publish a newspaper as a family business. In some cases, a wife became a publisher upon her husband's death, usually until a son could take over the paper. The Library of Congress' newspaper collections also represent the gradual emergence of women as reporters and columnists. By the nineteenth century, women begin to establish reporting careers in their own right.
Women in the news business are highlighted under the categories below. Links are provided to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog for noted newspapers, digital access to primary sources, subscription databases, and reference resources created by the Serial and Government Publication Division.
Presidential Wives also found self-expression as columnists:
Investigative Journalists were inspired by their experiences in the field to support reforms:
The "Sob Sisters" were known for their undercover reporting that often led to reform of public institutions:
The "Mosquito Patrol" (so called for their slender frames, rapidity of movement, and accuracy of reporting) reported on segregation and discrimination at home for the Baltimore Afro-American (Newspaper Microfilm #1182 and on-site digital access) while their male colleagues covered World War II.
Comprehensive histories of U.S. newspapers document the progress of newspaper publishing and offer a good introduction to the topic. Most major newspapers have a published history compiled by the newspaper itself or by independent historians. Individual newspaper histories may be useful starting points to finding information about women journalists—as long as the researcher knows the newspaper for which these particular journalists worked.
The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.