Records of Women in Media

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of administrative records; papers relating to media activities eg campaign for a woman newsreader and for more women in the communications industry; campaign against advertising vaginal deodorants; campaigns against sex discrimination and stereotyping in all forms of media; papers relating to the Anti-Discrimination Bill / Sex Discrimination Act; seminars and conferences (eg 'The Packaging of Women', 'A New World for Women'); information files and other campaigns eg on abortion; audio visual material; objects; printed material

Abbreviations used in archive:

ACTT - Association of Cinematography, Television and allied Technicians

ADBAG - Anti-Discrimination Bill Action Group

AFFIRM - Alliance for Fair Images and Representation in the Media

AIJPS - Association of Women and Home Page Journalists

AMPPE - World Association of Women Journalists

ASA - Advertising Standards Authority

EOC - Equal Opportunities Commission

EPOC - Equal Pay and Opportunity Campaign

FLAG - Feminist Legislation Action Group

IBA - Independent Broadcasting Authority

IFTC - International Film and Television Council

NOW - National Organisation of Women (United States of America)

WAG - Women's Action Group

WBFL - Women's Broadcasting and Film Lobby

WIM - Women in Media

WRC - The Women's Rights Campaign

Administrative / Biographical History

Women in Media was established in 1970. The group was composed of women who worked in all branches of the media (journalism, broadcasting, book publishing, advertising, film, theatre, public relations) who wished to use their professional skills to improve the position of women working in the media, as well as the images of how women are portrayed in the media. Its ongoing campaign for an anti-discrimination bill led it to establish the Women's Rights Campaign which put forward Dr Una Kroll as a women's rights candidate for Parliament. When the Government subsequently agreed to introduce a Sex Discrimination Bill, it lobbied actively to amend and strengthen it. Women in Media also functioned as a feminist pressure group campaigning on issues such as equal opportunities, tax inequalities, abortion and the representation of women in Parliament. The group held seminars on issues of discrimination and stereotyping throughout the 1970s on themes, such as 'The Packaging of Women' regarding images in advertising, and produced materials including a video entitled 'Super-Soft Quick-Mix After-Eight Women' and 'Female Stereotypes in Television Advertising'. It was also actively involved in lobbying Parliament and the Equal Opportunities Commission, which had been established by the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, to achieve its aims. In 1977 it published a book, 'Is This Your Life: Images of women in the media', edited by Josephine King and Mary Stott, which later became a course book in many of the new women's studies courses. In 1979 Women in Media held a seminar on women's writing in order to attract more members from the book publishing industry which resulted in the founding of a special independent group to support women in the profession, Women in Publishing. Women in Media remained active into the early 1980s. By this time, Women in Media had won three major battles: the Sex Discrimination Act had become law in 1975; the Equal Pay Act had gone to the statute books; the Treasury had agreed that women should be taxed in their own right (for most purposes). These had been clear-cut goals, but once achieved Women in Media's purpose became more vague, and during the late 1970s and early 1980s the group began a transition into a group offering training and networking opportunities to younger women. In the mid-1980s, it was absorbed into the then-active media group of the Fawcett Society.

Arrangement

The original archive consisted of the personal papers of individual members who deposited their unsorted papers as one deposit. An order was imposed upon this archive reflecting the functions of the group. The archive has been arranged into 9 groups:

6WIM/A - Administration

6WIM/B - Media-related activities

6WIM/C - Anti-Discrimination Bill Action Group (ADBAG) / Feminist Legislation Action Group (FLAG)

6WIM/D - Seminars / conferences / events

6WIM/E - Other campaigns

6WIM/F - Information files

6WIM/G - Audio visual materials

6WIM/O - Objects

6WIM/P - Printed material

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

Accession 1989/06 it is thought that Mary Scott collated these papers, they were deposited by the BBC; Accesssion 1990/NoAccNo2 Additional papers from the Fawcett Society; Accessions 1996/09 and 1999/33 Deposited by the group's archivist.

Acc 1996/09 came to the Library with 6WIM and 7HEF

Other Finding Aids

The Women's Library Catalogue

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Paper, VHS video and Betamax video, audio cassette tape.

Appraisal Information

During the sorting and arranging of these papers duplicate material was removed (6 A boxes)

Custodial History

The records of Women in Media were held in the homes of various members of the organisation and deposited with The Women's Library as one deposit of unsorted personal papers.

Related Material

The Women's Library also holds the Papers of Charlotte Mary Stott (7CMS), Papers of Tamar Karet (7TAK), Papers of Helen Franks (7HEF) and Papers of Virginia Novarra (7VNO) who were prominent members of Women in Media, as well as the Records of Women in Publishing (6WIP), Records of Women's Media Action Group (5WMA); Records of Women's Rights Campaign (5WRC).

Geographical Names