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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



This thesis focused specifically on the expanding role women played in news gathering and news presentation in South Dakota newspapers in the Spring of 1990. This freeze-frame view of women in news management presents a starting point from which to measure progress in years to come. In studying the role female editors played in the Spring of 1990, the author developed a profile of South Dakota newspaper managing editors - both female and male - during the same time period. The profile includes information about editors' ages, education, years in journalism, salaries, intentions to remain in journalism, news talents editors deemed most important, marital status, length of work week, primary responsibilities, job discrimination and brief summaries of individual experiences. ln order to determine who was managing the news in South Dakota, the author studied the makeup of South Dakota's 47 largest newspaper staffs, both daily and weekly. The study also answers the following questions: 1. How big are the staffs of South Dakota's largest newspapers and how many of the newsroom staffers are men and how many are women? 2. Are journalism graduates climbing the newspaper ladder from beat reporters to city editors to managing editors? 3. Are their salaries following suit? 4. Are they foregoing marriage and family for their careers? 5. Are they ultimately satisfied with their career choices or are they planning to switch to better paying jobs? 6. Would the editors advise young men and women to enter journalism today? 7. Despite increasing numbers of women journalists, are women being discriminated against in competition for jobs and salaries? 8. What factors influence salaries these editors are paid? 9. Just how valuable is a college degree? Change is news; that is what makes it news. But those who frame and form the news change as rapidly as the news itself. Editors come and go, they get promoted, they quit to find better paying or more attractive careers, they are fired, they quit in frustration and become teachers or enter other fields and occupations. The author's intention was to take a snippet of time - a freeze-frame of Spring 1990 - and look at who was managing the news in South Dakota. To reinforce the changing nature of news and its management, since these questionnaires were returned, three of the single female managing editors were married, two of the female editors left South Dakota for editing jobs elsewhere, one male editor was promoted within the newspaper group and three daily newspapers were sold to other groups (Brookings, Huron and Rapid City). The study shows the lifestyle of managing editors in South Dakota. It reflects salaries, the long hours editors spend on the job each week and how those hours affect their families - if they have families. The author wanted to discover whether the rewards of the profession, touted throughout college, were being realized by the managing editors. Was a new generation moving into the managing editor position and what were its credentials? To better understand how women reporters and editors fit into the broad picture of journalism painted nationally in the 1990s but narrowly in South Dakota in the Spring of 1990, it is helpful to look at history. Women have been involved in news since colonial times and their roles have expanded as America's hunger for information grew.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Women journalists -- South Dakota
Women in journalism -- South Dakota
Journalism -- South Dakota
Journalism -- Editing



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University