The fictional sob sisters: narrative construction of women journalists in popular literature

Date
2016-01-01
Authors
Batschelet, Kelsey
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Tracy Lucht
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Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
Abstract

This study examines the construction of women journalist protagonists in six novels published since 2000 by analyzing the themes and concepts authors use to create the characters, including the cultures of the fictional newsroom, character identities and professional success. The findings indicate that fictional women journalists are held to the same standards as their non-fictional counterparts, and authors construct semi-positive, relatable characters. The resulting characters work in newsrooms that reflect non-fictional realities, including a lack of gender diversity in authority positions and male-dominated spaces. The findings show that while most of the portraits of women journalists in the selected fiction are positive, they are often marginalized and confined to reporting on women's issues - continuing the legacy of the original sob sisters.

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