Category Archives: Women

Top Women’s Newspaper Journalists of Past and Present

helenthomas

In honor of Women’s History Month, last week I took on the daunting task of listing some top women television journalists that deserve our support. I would like to continue to honor this month by attempting to list top political newspaper journalists, columnists and editors who deserve the same kind of respect, support and place in history. And for a final tribute next week, I will tackle my list of top twenty liberal women political bloggers.

Women are now expected voices during political dialogue – speaking their minds and taking names, so to speak. But how did we get here? After all, we have only had the right to vote since 1920 (a mere 90 years ago) and finally had our first shot at a woman President only in the past year. Wouldn’t you know it, women have been affecting the political scene long before we were voting and have been fighting for their spot on the soapbox in the male dominated field of journalism ever since. Did you know that the International Federation of Journalists reported that only of 38% of working journalists are women?

So as a woman blogger, political junkie and proud feminist, I would like to tip my laptop to the following women of note:

  • Marguerite Higgins was the first woman to win a Pulitzer prize for international reporting in 1951.
  • Ethel Payne covered the civil rights movement and became the first African American commentator employed by a major news network (CBS) in 1972.
  • Ida M. Tarbell was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame for her historical investigative reporting about the Standard Oil company at the turn of the century.
  • Margaret Fuller was the first writer for the New York Tribune in the mid 1800s and was also the first female foreign and war correspondent.
  • Nellie Bly is famous for her undercover work as a journalist who faked her insanity so that she could report on the inner workings of a mental institution in the late 1800’s.
  • Katherine Graham was a Pulitzer prize winning author and managing editor of the Washington Post during the explosive early 70s when the Post unearthed the truth about Nixon.
  • Nancy Hicks Maynard was the first African American female reporter for the New York Times and former owner of the Oakland Tribune.
  • Ellen Goodman is a Pulitzer prize winning columnist who has focused her career on bringing attention to the women’s movement while writing a nationally recognized syndicated column.
  • Anna Quindlen is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist who, in 1990, became the third woman in history to write a regular column for the New York Times Op-Ed page.
  • Helen Thomas was the first female member and president of the While House Correspondents Association and has been in the white house press corps since JFK, sitting front and center of every white house press conference. (See image above.)
  • Arianna Huffington was named as one of Time’s worlds 100 most influential people and  is the co founder of the Huffington Post.
  • Margaret Carlson was the first female columnist at Time magazine and is now a columnist at Bloomberg News.

IN 1937, the National Federation of Press Women was founded. For a list of accomplished women journalists found in their Hall of Fame, please visit their site.

With such amazing journalists and inspiring women preparing the ground for future female writers, it is no surprise that such a fabulous crop of political bloggers have sprung forth today, enlightening, demanding and questioning the political arena at large. So who are my favorites? You’ll have to wait until next week when I will finally reveal my top twenty favorite political bloggers. Until then, happy Women’s History Month!

Cross Posted at Type A Moms.

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Filed under Bloggers, Communication, Educating myself, Feminist tendancies, Giving respect, Inspiring people, Politics, Raising Awareness, Reccomendations, Women

The Today Show Defines the Digital Mom, Part Two

todayshowIt should come as no surprise that I was glued to my television this morning. The Digital Moms series on the Today Show has me sucked in. After being somewhat disappointed by yesterday’s show and the impression it gave viewers, I was ready for something better today. In fact, I was excited because I knew some of the women featured this time. Well, ok, so I actually met Wendy aka eMom at Seaworld but only knew Melissa aka @Consumer Queen and Amber aka @JerseyMomma from twitter. Amber was actually backstage brainstorming with producers during the segment. But STILL. I was behind them, and I had a feeling they’d come through.

So I poured a really reeeeeally big bowl of Cheerios for my thrilled two year old, and saddled up in front of the TV with my laptop – a twitter window open and ready to go. While I waited, Amber and Wendy sent tweets from the green room and the Digital Moms responded with all sorts of support. Melissa’s portion of the show had been filmed from her her home so she anxiously waited for the piece to start right along with us. Trusting that these woman knew what they were doing, and having read Wendy’s tweets from the day before, I had a good feeling about this segment.

And then it came on. See for yourself.

Right away a cheer went up across twitter as Melissa (Consumer Queen) showed viewers that all of the products she reviews have come as a result of “a lot of hard work”. She reiterated the importance of her perspective to consumers and the narrator followed up by noting that Melissa is “influencing corporate America” and listed some of the big corporations that have asked for Melissa’s review.

Phew! Yes. Finally. Thank you. It seems this segment would be taking the impact of Digital Moms seriously.

Next the Today Show mentioned the example of the Motrin Ad. Someone on twitter posted “OMG they’re talking about the Motrin Ad!!!” Yes, any digital moms who were on twitter last fall will remember the Motrin Ad well. In November, Motrin released a new ad campaign with some pretty condescending phrasing about baby wearing – women everywhere were insulted. No, really, it was bad. Twitter and blogs alike exploded. Horrified. Outraged. What were they thinking? I am fairly sure it took about 48 hours of this sort of uproar from Digital Moms before Motrin pulled the entire ad campaign. For a summary, ready Crunchy Domestic Goddess’s post about it here. It’s only one example of many who blogged their opinion about the Motrin Ad campaign. And guess what? The company heard these women loud and clear. Why? Because these women are affecting the the success (or not) of a product simply by responding professionally with strong, heartfelt, honest writing.

Once the intro piece was over, Ann began her interview with Wendy and Terri Walter – an advertising Executive from Razorfish Media. They did a fabulous job. I appreciated that immediate focus was given to women as important influencers, not just as women looking for a bunch of free stuff. They underscored how much heart and soul goes into their work. Digital Moms care about what they are doing and take it very seriously. The relationships that bloggers build with readers was emphasized as extraordinarily valuable and full disclosure with readers was the only way to maintain such a relationship. I could not have agreed more when Terri stated that pressure is then put on the product to stand up to real consideration since these women will speak their minds in their review.

And finally Wendy made sure to say that digital moms are “making a difference and changing lives out there”. She disagreed when Ann asked her if this was all just a passing trend. “It’s just the beginning”, marketing has changed thanks to word of mouth and “consumers expect to have a voice, there’s no going back.”

And that’s exactly it. There is no going back. Products are finding success or not based on these women’s opinions. A fancy ad campaign with all the bells and whistles is just not enough anymore. Consumers are always skeptical. They want to hear real opinions from real people. They want to see someone kick the tires and tell them the honest to God truth. And that’s where we come in.

So I’ll say it again.

I am Digital Mom, here me post.

(Ok, no. That just sounds cheesy the second time around…)

Nevertheless, my panties are in less of a bunch today. I am feeling more optimistic about this series now. And I do realize that any focus on what digital moms do is a good thing. You women rocked out today. I’ll certainly be posting some more on this as the week goes on. Cheers.

**UPDATE**

I just DMed Amber aka @jerseymomma to ask if another segment was on this morning (3/11) since I never saw one. She let me know that it seems the series was only Monday (3/9) and Tuesday (3/10). But she did say that the producers were very excited about this topic and she is hopeful they will do more in the future.

So that’s it for now I guess. To sum it all up, digital moms seemed defined by the Today Show as very social mom bloggers who get free stuff and influence corporations if we work really really hard at what we do.

Hmmmm. I think there’s room for more on this topic, don’t you?

Until next time…

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Filed under Blog love, Bloggers, Giving respect, Reccomendations, Reviews, Women, Working moms

The Today Show Defines the Digital Mom, Part One.

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So while changing a funky diaper this morning, I happened to have on the Today Show. I usually get about a half hour with Meredith and Matt before I am onto other things in my day. And it was probably going to be switched off right after that diaper change had I not heard the intro to a series about “Digital Moms”.

Wait a second. That’s me!

C’s “Pull Up” got pulled up right quick, I hastily ushered him over to his favorite chalk board and ran back to turn up the volume. And this is what I watched.

Initially I was excited. Yes, here’s focus being given to moms and all that they can do from home and online! So cool!

Um… hold on. Did the Today Show really portray what a “digital mom” is truly all about?

I know its only the first part of the series but so far, I am a little disappointed. Here are my thoughts.

First of all, every woman should in fact follow Laura Fortner’s advice. Yes, use the Internet anyway you need to. If that means finding support groups while you wrestle life as a parent, do it. By all means. Its WAY  cheaper than therapy. I’ve got great online friends who have supported me through good and bad. I get it. Women SHOULD connect this way.

And I most certainly use twitter and facebook socially (as well as to promote what I do). In this bloggy world, you have to make personal connections with people if anyone is to take you seriously. That’s the irony about blogging. While it seems rather anti-social to work alone at a computer – it is actually interactive, personal work. But twitter and facebook are certainly not the be all and end all for me. I take no issue if that’s all some moms use the Internet for, just as long as twitter and facebook aren’t what “digital moms” are defined by.

However, the Today Show seemed to portray the digital mom as a social Internet butterfly flitting from one social network to another, hardly offering anything of much value, prioritizing their iphones and laptops over time with their children.

From where I sit in with dirty diaper in hand, the Today Show doesn’t get it yet.  Seriously. They have only just scratched the deeply faceted surface of a very complex system. Women online today are kicking some virtual ass and taking names. While nursing babies on three hours of sleep or running children to little league, they are reaching out in ways that affect important change. They are standing up for what women deserve, interviewing future presidents and representing mothers at the Democratic National Convention. They write, they rally, they fight, they work hard, they make us laugh ( a lot ), they give, they think, they educate, they share, and they even make money doing it. All while being moms. From home. With a laptop in front of them and toys scattered at their feet.

And here’s the funny thing. Businesses and PR companies actually get what digital moms are all about. (Think back to that all expenses paid trip to NYC I just went on.) Why do they get it? Because mothers are the ones spending the money and digital moms are the ones writing about where they spend it. And digital moms are not some untrained variety of advertisers, happy to plug any product for free stuff. These moms tell it how it is, the good, the bad and the ugly. Consumers are drawn to these women’s perspectives because they write well, they write from the heart and lots of people follow what they have to say.

But I do have to say this. The Today Show isn’t the only one scrambling to get it. As my friend Mary pointed out to me today, you have to be in it, to get it. And that is so true. I can’t tell you how many times my friends eyes glaze over when I talk about blogging. And I take no offense at all. Because writing and connecting and working online isn’t everyone’s bag. We all do our own thing, its all good.

But if you are a news source, wouldn’t you try a little harder to get it and not just piece together a cute story about what seems to be a new cyber hobby for bored moms?

So anyway, its only the start of a series. Maybe I have my panties in a bunch way too soon. I could be jumping the gun, this could be really great for all digital moms. Still, I did send a message to @todayshow on Twitter today asking them to consider attending the Blogher conference in Chicago. If they still don’t get it by the end of this series, that conference will set them straight. BlogHer represents the diversity, the smarts and the know how of real digital moms today. And it’s something to be reckoned with.

Well, I’ve had my say. I promise to stay tuned into the series. (Wendy aka @eMom will be on tomorrow. I was lucky enough to meet her at Seaworld. Go Wendy!) I will certainly post later in the week with my perspective once again. “Oh great”, I hear you groan.

Ah well.

I am digital mom, hear me post.

Peace out.

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Filed under Blog love, Bloggers, Communication, Mothers, Twitter, Women, Working moms

Top Women Television Journalists We Should Support

While it may come as no surprise to you, I still think I need to fess up: I am a news and politics junkie. And in honor of Women’s History Month, I would like to share with you my favorite women pundits, correspondents, news anchors, bloggers and political writers. Women news sources are still in the minority so this is my simple way of supporting every woman out there reporting on what will certainly become history some day.

Now how could I ever sum up the women I support in one concise post? Exactly, it’s utterly impossible. So this will be a three part post – and even then I am quite sure I’ll be skimping on you. Nevertheless, I’m going to give it a shot. This week, I will share with you my picks for the best women television news sources that you need to turn on and follow. Sure, do it for the future of women’s journalism, do it for women’s solidarity but really just do it because they are accomplished professionals making an important impact on mainstream media.

Until the early 1960’s, news reporting was strictly a man’s gig. So first things first – let’s give a shout out to some of first women who reported the political goings on in Washington. Nancy Dickerson was in fact the first woman television reporter. She opened the doors for such news greats as Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Ann Compton, Lesley Stahl and more recently, Katie Couric. The stories I’ve read about how difficult it was for these women to break into journalism makes the hairs on my neck stand up. They deserve respect and credit for the ceiling they have all cracked together.

maddow

Today, there are a number of television pundits and correspondents who have established themselves as top news contributors. But who tops my list? None other than the amazing and brilliant Rachel Maddow. If you don’t watch her MSNBC show at 9pm every weeknight (or follow her on twitter), you are missing something impressive. Ann Marie Coxis often a guest on her show and I have become a fan of hers also.

Another good perspective comes from Campbell Brown and her show “No Bias, No Bull” is my “go to” when I am not watching Keith Olbermann (and while he’s a “he” and therefore does not fit the bill for this post, I am a loyal viewer of his also). And by the way, Alison Stewart(previously of MTV fame and Emmy award winner) does a fabulous job filling in for Maddow and Olbermann – I hope to see more of this amazing news contributor in the future.

Gwen Ifill is the Moderator and Managing Editor on PBS’ Washington Week. Along with the stiff shirts of the McLaughlin Group, my father watches her regularly. I am a big fan myself and think she handled the vice presidential circus debate with grace and professionalism.

And while I stare at my monitor most afternoons, I usually have MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell quietly on in the background. She’s smart and does a fantastic job asking the right kinds of questions. And then Norah O’Donnellis the MSNBC chief washington correspondent and also hosts the 3pm hour of MSNBC.

While not your traditional political pundits, I have to mention the women on The View. They have made a significant impression on this country with their ideals and fiery political debates. Say what you will about The View being an actual news source, Whoopi Goldeberg and Joy Behar have my utmost respect.

And finally, Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, deserves every bit of recognition she has received including the Peabody Award, two Emmy Awards and has been named the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). She speaks three languages and fearlessly positions herself at the epicenter of war, chaos and international instability on a daily basis. There is no question that she has earned my deepest admiration.

The only way we will see more women reporting and commenting on important news stories is if we support the women currently doing just that. Take note of who sits around the table during Meet the Press or gather in the White House Press conference room. Is our women’s perspective represented? Let’s hope it will be the case more frequently in the future.

Feel free to comment about some of your favorite women journalists below. And stay tuned for next week’s second post in this series about my picks for favorite women political newspaper journalists and writers that deserve their place in history.

Cross posted at Type A Moms.

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Filed under Educating myself, Feminist tendancies, Giving respect, Inspiring people, Parenting, Politics, Reccomendations, TV, Women

I Look Like Morningside Mom and I Smell Like One Too

1stbday1

I remember exactly where I was a year ago today. Brow sweaty and tense with insecurity, I was hunched over my old (now passed on) “shitty shitty bang bang ” PC. While I glared at that massive, yellowed monitor, my mind was overwhelmed with writing that simply needed out. I remember rethinking, questioning and toiling over that first blog post. (Groan.) Word by word, out it came. And then the transition moment arrived: I clicked publish. And it was done. My Morningside Mom weblog was born.

It was a girl, awkward and new. Posts stumbled over themselves, too long, too weird, falling flat on their face. She tried to grasp HTML and SEO concepts, but they slipped through her tiny fingers, infuriating her. But little by little, my girl got stronger. Every post became a little more confident. She even found her voice along the way and does a fairly decent job at using her words nicely. She is growing up.

And now look at her. Publishing posts without even a thought, actually entertaining folks in feed readers and jet-setting off to NYC with really nice people.

And one year old!

I am so proud. No I am. I never expected much from this whole thing. Simply a place to put my thoughts when all I did was “mommy” all day. Of course, I am more than a “mommy”. I love my children but a year ago today I felt it was high time I honored myself by speaking my mind a little more often. After all, before I was a mother I was a woman, a thinker, a leader, a wife, a sister, a kid, a women’s college grad, a political junkie, a hard worker, a talker and a friend. And this blog has allowed me to be all of these things once again while I “mommy” within the four walls of my home.

So Happy Birthday little one. You have so much more growing to do but what a change in one year.

Oh and both my blog and my readers should expect a birthday gift from me soon. An almost“grown up” blog deserves to actually look the part. I am working on updating and giving my girl a new look.

Stay posted – we’ll be able to tear the paper off this sucker and see what we got very soon.

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Filed under Birthdays, Blog love, Growing up, Parenting, Women, Working moms

Win Your Own Bit of Fabulous: a Vivienne Tam HP Wireless Mouse

vt-double-happiness

As I’ve mentioned before, my entire NYC Vivienne Tam experience with HP allowed this uber practical, coupon clipping, “never splurges on self” mommy to enjoy the luxury of a few beautiful things. It wasn’t something for my children or my family – it was just for me. Honestly folks, it’s unheard of around the parts. I am still so appreciative.

And now I want to share a small part of this experience with you. HP has graciously given me three Vivienne Tam HP Wireless mice to giveaway here on Morningside Mom. (Did you know they aren’t even available for purchase in the U.S.?) I am thrilled to be able to share a little bit of beautiful with you all.

vtmouse

How do you enter? Simply leave a comment below explaining how everyday working, parenting, budgeting women can take care of themselves when they so often forget to. I will pick three inspiring comments and announce the winners on Friday, March 6th.

And one last bit of trivia about Vivienne Tam before I sign off. The enter key on the VT HP mini has a chinese symbol on it. Do you know what it means? It means “Double Happiness”. And now doesn’t that just make so much sense? I hope this giveaway brings a small bit of happiness to three of you.

Good luck!

**UPDATE – WE HAVE THREE WINNERS!**

Congrats to our three winners: Cami, Chandra and Carol! They wrote inspiring comments and I encourage you all to read them. In fact, I would encourage you to take a moment to read every comment here – what fantastic advice for women to follow. Thank you to everyone who participated, it means so much that you took the time to share this wisdom.

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Filed under Blog love, Contests, Gifts, HP, Mothers, Parenting, Stuff I have, Techie Stuff, Women, Working moms

Vivienne Tam: Giving Thanks and Feeling Worthy

vtstoreme

Do you know that feeling when you watch reality shows like “Extreme Home Makeover” and you see amazing things happen for people and you say out loud “that sort of stuff never happens to me”? Or how about the reality show “What Not to Wear”. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wear really nice clothes instead of jelly smeared jeans? I know these sorts of shows well. I watch, I smile and I think “not in a million years”.

Well, during my time in NYC, I kind of had an “Extreme Home Makeover / What Not to wear” moment. A real one. I think it would have made a great reality show actually. And it all has to do with Vivienne Tam.

As you know by now, I spent 4 amazing days in New York City for fashion week thanks to the folks at Buzz Corps, HP and Vivienne Tam. The entire experience in itself was “reality show” worthy in that this sort of stuff *SO* does not happen to me. I spent every day thanking everyone around me. I thanked drivers (oh wait I hugged him too), door holders, hotel folks, waiters, even random people I passed on the streets for slightly stepping out of my way. I was so damn grateful to be there. Every crack and crevice I happened upon heard my gratitude, loud and clear.

But then something even more amazing happened to all the bloggers on this trip. “What? MORE?!” I hear you mumble. Yes, more. We were given a gift.

We started out mid morning in our shuttle not exactly knowing where we were headed. When we pulled up to Vivienne Tam’s boutique, it was familiar to us after having been there the night before for her show. So we stepped out of the bus and walked in, curious. The entire space had changed into a “store” with racks of her dresses lined up, mannequins dressed, shoes and bags on display. We all wandered around, happy to see the goods in daylight for better pictures and also excited to see more of her line. We snapped pics, picked out favorites, held them up to each other, laughed at the possibilities and moved along.

And then Alan Wang, the Vivienne Tam boutique manager and all around very nice man, got our attention. He stood at the front of the store and thanked us for being here this week. He told us how much Vivienne Tam truly appreciates our support and that she recognizes the important work we do. And as a symbol of her gratitude, she would like to give us a gift. Each of us were welcome to pick out one dress. To keep.

Blank stares. It dawns on us. Mouths drop. Rushed whispering. Quiet squeals. And then me, “Can I hug you right now?”

I am not sure what he said next (although I remember that he diplomatically ignored my invitation for a hug, smart man), but it had begun to sink in. Kind of. We could pick a dress in that room to take home. To wear. To have. To feel fabulous in.

And we were off. Some spending time carefully considering. Others leaping on the handbags and shoes (understandably). And then there was me who grabbed one dress and dashed for the dressing room. What if they changed their minds? Quick. Let me get this on and out the door before they decide this isn’t such a great idea.

I wound up with the second dress I tried on. I truly felt amazing in it. I ran around the store in it. I teared up. Three times. Shamelessly. My friend Moosh in Indy saw my Hanes her Way and that’s cool by me. This was serious business. I got an amazing dress. A Vivienne Tam dress. Glamorous pieces of clothing like this just don’t exist in my life. But now one does. (And it is laughing at everything else in my closet as I write this.)

So what happened next? Just wait. Yes, there’s more.

That night we were welcome to attend another event back at the Vivienne Tam boutique. This was the official launch of the Vivienne Tam Hp Mini. Another night on the town? What better excuse to don our fab dresses. And that we did.

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I also brought my VT HP Mini with me. I just figured it would be good to have it since that evening was all about it.

And so what happens? Vivienne Tam arrives, speaks to her guests and then offers to sign anyone’s computers. So now, under my right hand in the bottom corner of my Mini, is Vivienne Tam’s signature. She signed it for me and you know what she said to me? She said I was so beautiful in her dress.

Wow. This mom with jelly smeared jeans and a leaking sippy cup in her purse could be beautiful.

It was a moment. To be sure.

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And that’s what the dress and the computer have come to represent. Women running around managing the insanity of their lives, elbow deep in dirty boy socks and sticky pots of mac and cheese DO deserve nice things. A dress like this, a computer like this – well, they are simply special things. Little bits of fabulous that remind you that you are actually “worthy” – socks and mac n cheese aside.

So I had that “What not to Wear” moment. And staying true to the thanking theme of my week, I thanked Vivienne Tam that night. I thanked her for making me feel more beautiful and special than I had in years.

My gratitude is endless, my heart is full and my sense of beautiful is in check.

For that (just one more time) I say: Thank you.

vtandme

For more information about the HP products I review, please visit my HP Update page.

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Filed under Blog love, Bloggers, Gifts, Giving respect, HP, Identity crisis, Mothers, One of those moments, Parenting, Shopping, Stuff I have, Techie Stuff, Women