Andrea Mitchell Says ‘There’s Still Work to Be Done’ for Women in the News Media – Deadline

Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, who accepted a lifetime achievement award from the Women’s Media Center, said that women in the news media “remained busy,” citing the situation in other countries including the United States.

“Now we have women leaders at the highest levels in our news departments and women proving their courage every day in Ukraine,” Mitchell said in her speech to the group. “But for women here and around the world, much remains unfinished business, not only in China but also in Afghanistan, where female broadcasters, judges and teachers are being pushed back into the Middle Ages by the Taliban. In Iran, where women are beaten, jailed and some killed for challenging the regime, according to human rights activists. Certainly none of us who came of age in the 1960s thought that a right the Supreme Court held for almost half a century could ever be taken away.” She was referring to the court’s decision last summer, Roe v .wade to tip.

Mitchell also spoke about first joining NBC News in 1978, working with her friend and mentor Judy Woodruff, who is about to step down as PBS NewsHour anchor. Mitchell’s rivals in the White House included CBS News’ Lesley Stahl and NPR and ABC News’ Cokie Roberts.

“We were a group of sisters who competed for exclusive awards but grieved on the campaign plane or Air Force One through husbands, kids, boyfriends, aging parents and a host of other challenges at home,” she said.

Of bosses during this period, she said, “There were always predators, but most were just paternalistic.”

She recalled that when she was NBC’s energy correspondent covering the Three Mile Island near meltdown in 1979, the bureau chief rotated the male correspondents to cover it “to avoid exposing anyone to too much radiation, before we knew the extent of the accident.”

She said she was increasingly frustrated that she was the only one not allowed to cover the story that was on her beat, and she eventually confronted the bureau chief to ask him why.

“He said because I was of schooling age,” she said. “I thanked him for his concern, but assured him that men’s testicles are just as vulnerable to radiation as women’s ovaries.”

“He sent me the next day and I stayed for months,” she said.

Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs and Chief Washington Correspondent and Moderator Andrea Mitchell reports on MSNBC, also received its Founders Award from the International Center for Journalists last week.

Also honored were Robin Roberts, Mariana Ardila Trujillo, Loretta J. Ross, Salamishah Tillet, Loreen Arbus and Maria Martinez.


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