Quick Comment: Do we ignore women's issues?

November 25, 1998

Elsewhere on this page is a cartoon that originally appeared in "Working Mother" magazine in August 1992 as part of a campaign to get women to demand better coverage of their issues (and themselves) in the press. We reprint it today to draw attention to an issue we need our readers to comment on.

On Oct. 31, we ran a letter from Judy Lyons Wolf, co-chair of Women at The Table, a group promoting the political candidacies of women. In her letter, Wolf took the paper to task for not endorsing any of the three women running for county commissioner. The letter said, in part:

"Women and The Table, a bipartisan group, was founded two years ago because of the attitudes your endorsements so starkly represent. The record in Washington County for the inclusion of anyone but men has been dismal."

The Herald-Mail looked at the issue of how women are represented in its news pages in 1992 and 1994 with the help of Jean Gaddy Wilson, a veteran journalist who runs a consulting firm called New Directions for News that helps newspapers do a better job of listening to their readers.


Because of that experience, even though we feel that The Herald-Mail's editorial page has not been biased against women or ignored their issues, we realize that we can't assume we know how readers feel on this issue.

The only way to find out is to ask, so we pose these questions:

"Is The Herald-Mail's editorial page biased against women? Could we do a better job of covering women's issues on this page, and if so, how?"

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, we'd like to provide readers with plenty of time to reply, so we'll make the deadline on this feature Dec. 2, with replies to be published on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

We'd like replies to be 100 words or less, so that we can get in as many views as possible on that day, but longer letters on the same topic (in the 250-word range) are welcome and will be published as soon as space is available.

Send your replies to:

Quick Comment, c/o Editorial Page Editor, The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, Md. 21741.

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