Tag Archives: Cokie Roberts

Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR Book Review

The founder of anything, specifically when you are a member of a group who has been disenfranchised is more than the creation itself. It is breaking boundaries and making it easier for future generations to follow in your footsteps.

Cokie Roberts, Susan Stamberg, Nina Totenberg, and Linda Wertheimer were all born into an era in which the expectations of women were limited. They could have followed the prescribed path of marriage and motherhood. Instead, they took what was then the less traveled path and became journalists. Their combined story is told in the new book, Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR. Written by Lisa Napoli, it was published earlier this year.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the career doors were starting to bust open for women. At the same time, the concept of radio was also changing. In April of 1971, NPR aired its first broadcast. As with many new businesses, they had open jobs to fill and were not as picky about who they hired as more established enterprises. As the years passed, these women became formidable and respected, changing the game and giving new voice to those who in the past had been silenced.

Though it is a little slow to start, when it takes off, it really takes off. It is a fascinating read, What I found interesting, is that this book is not just the individual stories of these women. It is the story of how women in general have come a long way in only half a century.

As a fan of NPR and avid listener of my local station, WNYC, it is a good read that is well worth your time.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, History

Why I am Not Surprised About You Know Who’s Response to Cokie Roberts’s Passing?

When someone dies, the proper response is to share one’s condolences and be sympathetic to the family of the newly deceased. It is not about the person giving the condolences, it is about the person receiving the condolences.

Legendary journalist Cokie Roberts passed away this week. She was 75. Ms. Roberts was a journalist among journalists. She broke down barriers for female journalists and was the face of the news for millions of Americans.

An appropriate response to her passing is something like the statement released by former President Obama:

“Michelle and I are sad to hear about the passing of Cokie Roberts. She was a trailblazing figure; a role model to young women at a time when the profession was still dominated by men; a constant over forty years of a shifting media landscape and changing world, informing voters about the issues of our time and mentoring young journalists every step of the way. She will be missed – and we send our condolences to her family.”

Instead, the man whom we unfortunately call President, released the following statement:

“She never treated me nicely. But I would like to wish her family well. She was a professional, and I respect professionals. I respect you guys a lot, you people a lot. She was a real professional. Never treated me well, but I certainly respect her as a professional.”

Not everything is about him. Sometimes, we have to yield the spotlight to someone else. But he does not understand that. Nor does he understand or respect that the press is an integral part of a democratic country.

Just another reason to vote him out of office next fall.

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Filed under Feminism, National News