Our Love-Hate Relationship With 9 Fictional Lady Journalists

Women journalists on television and in movies almost always fit into a few common tropes. One is called the “sob sister” in which the female journalist, instead of fairly and objectively reporting the news, goes for the emotional appeal of a story, ’cause only women have feelingzzz. We see this in Carrie Bradshaw’s column about dating, romance and sex, in Sex and The City. The most popular is the heartless bitch. Popular culture loves this one because it’s a way of backhandedly complimenting women devoted to their careers. It’s like, oh, yeah she is successful but she is mean!

She maybe a good journalist, like Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, but she is cold, unapproachable and miserable to be around. You don’t want to work with a lady like that! Then there’s the woman who can’t have it all, she’s obsessed with her career but neglects every other aspect of her life. Perhaps, even worst of all there is the most common trope that lady reporters MUST mix sex and work in order to “get the scoop” or just to prove that women are too emotional to be professional. This kind of thing undermines the character’s, and women’s, success by implying it wasn’t achieved by work so much as shaking her sweater puppies for the man with the “real power.”

With all of this said, I still love most of these characters. There really aren’t many female journalists to look up to and growing up I had the major yearning to be a career writer. I had no choice but to try and find bits of myself in women like this. There’s nothing wrong with having flawed female characters but women using sex to get what they want or being “too emotional” is a trope that’s overdone and needs to die. While many of these characters are slightly problematic, there are many reasons to admire them. Like most reporters have to be, they are smart, ambitious, often in control and celebrated in their fields. Thus, we have my love-hate relationship. I guess that’s what makes these women interesting to watch. After all, it is entertainment.

Your Pretty Little Liars Cheat Sheet: Season 4, Episode 4
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