First Ladies Of Fleet Street

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To help celebrate the 100th anniversary of female suffrage in 2018, Nina Myskow explores and celebrates the contribution made by female journalists, columnists, photographers and editors to the newspaper industry over the years.

In this two-part series Nina looks at the role of women in newspapers, set against the backdrop of social and political change through the decades, and asks, how far have we come and where do we go from here?

Fleet Street has always been seen as the domain of men, whether they be newspaper magnates, editors, publishers, journalists, photographers or news boys. But for every famous man there’s at least one woman who can stand up and be counted amongst them.

The likes of Rachel Beer, editor-in-chief of The Observer and The Sunday Times; the first ‘glossy’ style magazine Queen, the brainchild of Mrs Beeton no less; and the first British daily newspaper The Daily Courant, created by Elizabeth Mallett.

Independent, strong-minded women who achieved much in this ‘man’s world,’ paving the way for future generations of women in Fleet Street.

In this week’s episode Nina looks at the editors and the photographers. Incredibly, it wasn’t until 1987 (eight years after a woman took up residence in Downing Street) when Wendy Henry took over at the News of the World, that Fleet Street got its first woman editor since 1903. The women who’ve held the top job, including Eve Pollard and Janet Street Porter discuss their experiences of being the boss.

Every picture tells a story and Nina examines how the role of women behind the lens has changed. The photographs taken by Doreen Spooner - the first woman to become a staff photographer on the Daily Mirror in the 1940s - captured images of life in Britain set against the backdrop of a changing world. Doreen discusses her career and remembers the scoop that secured her place in Fleet Street history - that photo of Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies.

  • Presenter: Nina Myskow
  • Producer: Jodie Keane for the BBC

Publicity contact: SH8

DateThursday, 6 December 2018
Time9:00 PM -
10:00 PM