The history of women's media

The “The History of Women’s Media” is part of “Beyond Slingbacks & Sex Tips: The Future of Women’s Media”, a feature that originally appeared in the Future issue.


The History of Women’s Media

  • 1693 The first women’s magazine, The Ladies’ Mercury, begins publication. It run only lasts for four issues.
  • 1800 Baroness Frederika Charlotte Riedesel publishes her account of the American Revolution.
  • 1825 Anne Newport Royall interviews John Quincy Adams, becoming the first woman to interview a U.S. president.
  • 1848 Margaret Fuller becomes the first female foreign war correspondent.
  • 1850 Jane Grey Swisshelm is offered a place in the press gallery of the U.S. Senate after writing about the abolitionist movement.
  • 1885 Going by the pen name Nellie Bly, Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman becomes the first female staffer of the Pittsburgh Dispatch.
  • 1951 Marguerite Higgins becomes the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.
  • 1965 Cosmopolitan Magazine relaunches as a magazine for women. Helen Gurley Brown is its first Editor-in-Chief.
  • 1972 Ms. Magazine begins publication, seeking to turn “a movement into a magazine.”
  • 1976 Barbara Walters becomes the first news anchorwoman on network television.
  • 1978 Boylan et al v. The New York Times becomes a landmark case for female journalists. The ruling allows women promotion opportunities and equal pay.
  • 1986 The Oprah Winfrey Show begins airing in the U.S.
  • 1992 TV sitcom Murphy Brown is accused of “mocking the importance of fathers” by depicting its central character as a strong single mother.
  • 2005 A collaboration between Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan, the Women’s Media Center is founded to make women “visible and powerful” in the media.
  • 2007 Launch of, a feminist media platform owned by Gawker Media.
  • 2014 New media start-up A Women’s Thing publishes its first issue in September.