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Journalism’s Gender Bias

Rosalind Russell (right) was cast as a female reporter in the 1940 screwball comedy His Girl Friday. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 2, 2017) – A group of distinguished local reporters will be on campus Friday night to discuss the challenges facing women in the news industry.

The event, hosted by the New York State Writers Institute, is a pre-film discussion prior to the screening of Howard Hank’s 1940 screwball comedy His Girl Friday. It will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Page Hall on UAlbany’s Downtown Campus. The film screening follows at 8 p.m.

The journalists include:

  • Lydia Kulbida, is a prominent Capital Region broadcast journalist who co-anchors on Albany’s News10 ABC and FOX23 News, with Elisa Streeter, John Gray and chief meteorologist Steve Caporizzo.
  • Rosemary Armao, is a member of “The Roundtable” on WAMC – Northeast Public Radio. Armao is also the director of the journalism program at UAlbany. She is a former Executive Director of Investigative Reporters and Editors and former President of the Journalism and Women Symposium.
  • Marion Roach Smith, is the author of four mass-market books. She’s a former staffer at The New York Times, commentator on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and talk show host on Sirius Satellite Radio. She currently teaches writing online and serves as a member of the “Friends of The New York State Writers Institute.”
  • Casey Seiler, is the Times Union state editor and columnist, and previously served as the paper’s entertainment editor.

“I’m pleased that my former Times Union colleague Casey Seiler has convened this panel of distinguished journalists,” said Paul Grondahl, director of New York State Writers Institute. “This group of media veterans will explore issues confronting women in the field that will complement themes raised by this classic screwball comedy.”

His Girl Friday centers around a newspaper editor who uses every trick he can think of to stop his top reporter – and ex-wife – from quitting journalism and hopping on a train to Albany to marry another man. It was ranked No. 19 in the American Film Institute’s list of all-time best American comedies.

Directed by Howard Hanks, His Girl Friday was adapted from a Broadway play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur titled The Front Page. The only major change from the play to the film was Hanks’ decision to cast the top reporter as a woman.

A new high-definition digital restoration of the movie will be shown at Friday’s event.

For more information, contact the New York State Writers Institute online at www.writers.edu/inst or call at 518-442-5620.

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