NSNC Prez Writes About Female Op-Ed Columnists

By: Dave Astor The National Society of Newspaper Columnists' May/June newsletter will include a piece on the relatively small number of female Op-Ed writers and the possible reasons why.

NSNC President Suzette Martinez Standring wrote the newsletter column, which begins: "We haven't come a long way, baby." She went on to cite last month's comment by United Feature Syndicate columnist Tad Bartimus that she (Bartimus) writes about the same things male Op-Ed columnists write about, but does so in a different way.

"In column writing, if we do the same things 'but do it differently,' are women penalized on the Op-Ed page for not mirroring our male colleagues?" wrote Standring, a self-syndicated columnist. "If so, it suggests the gatekeepers undervalue the style by which half the population communicates. Female columnists come to the table and sexism continues to be served up. Food for thought."

Standring cited E&P statistics indicating that eight major syndicates have increased their ranks of female op-ed columnists only slightly between 1999 and this year (from 23.7% to 24.4%). Meanwhile, Standring reported that 277 of 578 NSNC members (47.9%) are women.


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