Reason and Radicalism: The History of Donna Allen and Women’s Activism in Media

This dissertation is a study of Donna Allen, the founder of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press and Media Report to Women, a feminist newsletter on women’s efforts to influence the mass media. Allen lived from 1920 to 1999. My intent is to assess Allen’s influence in the women’s movement as it related to media…


Chapter 1 Introduction: Donna Allen – Activist,Educator, Thinker
Allen’s Importance
Study Parameters
Women and Media
Personal Interest
Allen as a Person
Chapter 2 Literature Review
Primary Source Material
Secondary Sources
Chapter 3 The Making of an Activist
The Wilds of Upper Michigan
Combining Activism and Journalism
Wife and Mother, the War Years, and Activism
Paid Labor, the Move Eastward, and the Cold War
Media and Information
Chapter 4 Early Activism in Washington
Women Strike for Peace
Allen’s Role in WSP
More Peace Activities
Rethinking the Media
Understanding “Media”
Frustrated with the Status Quo
Personal Charisma
The Black Six
Separation and Divorce
Chapter 5 The Women’s Institute for Freedom Of the Press
Filling a Need
Feminist Media
Global Focus
The Index-Directory of Women’s Media
Long Hours and Hard Work
Help from Interns
Some Institute Projects
The WIFP Conferences – Number One
The Second Conference
The Third Conference
The Historic Fourth Conference
An International News Network
The Final WIFP Conferences
Money Woes
Plans Cemented
Chapter 6 Media Report to Women
The Themes and Structure of Media Report
Media Report Editorials
Women’s Reaction to Media Report
Reporting on Women’s Action
The New York Times Lawsuit
Documenting the Efforts of Women
Broadcast Challenges
Taking on the FCC
Public Broadcasting
The NBC Lawsuit
Working with NOW
Protesting Language
Women’s Roles Grow in Television
Generating Research
Changes in the 1980s
Looking Ahead with Optimism
Chapter 7 Allen and Technology
Striking a Nerve at MORE – a Pivotal Point
A False Start
International Women’s Year
The National Women’s Agenda
The Women’s Satellite Services Project – A Setback
Success at Last
On to Nairobi
Chapter 8 “Standard-Bearer of Feminism”
Later Life
At the Head Table
Women Transforming Communication
Recognition for Inspiring Others
A Death that Reverberated
Chapter 9 Conclusion: Contributor to History
A Woman of Vision
Allen’s Theoretical Framework
The Mosquito in the Cupboard
Selected Bibliography

Author: Walker, Danna L

Source: University of Maryland

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