In 1970, the big three television networks of ABC, CBS and NBC took notice of the feminist movement. The stories on TV news ranged from a patronizing dismissal of feminists to balanced reports on child care needs and employment discrimination.
“Television news both hurt and helped the feminist movement,” says Bonnie J. Dow, author of Watching Women’s Liberation, 1970.
In the book Dow uses case studies of key media events to delve into the reasons that 1970 was a pivotal year for feminism on the network news. Feminist activists gained broadcast attention as the networks were eager for the story. Some activists were more successful utilizing the media attention than others. Dow chronicles the conditions that precipitated feminism’s new visibility and analyzes the verbal and visual strategies of broadcast news discourses that tried to make sense of the movement.