chapter  7
15 Pages

The 'first wave' of women's alternative journalism

Here we offer an overview of women's 'alternative' journalism, defined loosely as the news organizations operating outside the mainstream, and certainly outside the conception of news as a profit-earning business, and as substantially directed and produced by women. The story of underground and radical papers devoted to various causes that happened to involve substantial contributions by women writers and editors is much larger, and so is not included here. The story of what 'counts' here as alternative women's journalism begins with the path-breaking newspapers and magazines established and produced by American and British women on behalf of moral reform, female mill workers and the Abolition movement, all three quickly sketched here. This chapter describes news organs advocating other reforms to benefit women, including health and dress reforms, birth control and especially women's suffrage. The experimentation and innovation in journalism of the twentieth century is discussed in the next chapter.