THE BLOG
12/11/2008 11:21 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Second Annual "Women and Major Magazines Cover Stories Monitor"

The good news is that women collectively achieved high numbers of executive positions to warrant major magazines producing annual "Power" issues in 2007. Forbes published its fourth annual "100 Most Powerful Women in the World." Fortune celebrated its tenth annual "50 Most Powerful Women" in Business. Newsweek published its third annual "Women and Leadership" Special Report.

Women were the full photo subject on 22 covers, earned 65 full photo cover story bylines and eight full photo cover credits, of the total 203 issues in 2007 of Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek and Time. In 2006, women had 70 full photo cover story bylines in the total 200 issues and eight full photo cover credits.

Magazine Issues Subject Byline Photo Credit
Business Week 50 3 13 2
Forbes 26 2 10 0
Fortune 25 2 8 3
Newsweek 50 9 21 1
Time 52 6 13 2
2007 Total 203 22 65 8

The images of girls and women in the media informs and reflects the perception and reality of girls and women in society at large. Hence, I determined to review all 203 covers of the five major newsweekly and business magazines in my second annual 2007 "Women and Major Magazines Cover Stories Monitor."

Additionally, as a journalist, my goal was to recognize the women writers, editors and photographers responsible for these cover stories. I wanted to show how women have progressed in the profession. In 1970, sex discrimination lawsuits were filed by 46 Newsweek and 147 Time Inc. women editorial staff members. At that time, women college graduates were restricted to secretarial and research positions and were not considered for editorial and management promotions.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton topped the 2007 magazines covers list, appearing on Fortune, Time and three Newsweek covers.

The survey criteria was: Full photo cover subject of a real woman; women bylines for full photo cover stories and women full photo cover credits. Fact-checking my research data required the magazines to audit their publications and I thank them for their cooperation.

As an advocate and media monitor, I study the image of girls and women. I daily chronicle and report the status, trends and milestones for women in my "Women in History and Making History Today -- 365-Days-A-Year Database." The motivational messages in my writings and national speaking platform: "A Woman's Place in the 21st Century" are "Celebrate Women Every Day!" and "Women Support Women!"

One of the top headline news stories of 2007 was the firestorm fallout from Don Imus' criticism of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights women's basketball team. Newsweek split the April 23 cover with photos of the team: "The Women of Rutgers: Portrait of A New Generation" and Don Imus: "The Rise and Fall of A Radio Titan." Time featured Imus on the "Who Can Say What?" cover. The top news story in sports and the media did not merit a Sports Illustrated cover. Aditi Kinkhabwala, a SI.com columnist, wrote an inside story: "The Righteous Scarlet Knights: Rising above the slur -- and a media circus -- the Rutgers women show themselves to be a class act."

Three issues of Business Week featured women on the cover. "What The Market Is Telling Us" pictured CNN reporter Susan Lisovicz on the NYSE trading floor (March 12). Jennifer S. Altman was the cover photographer. "The Poverty Business" (May 21) showed Roxanne Tsosie, a 28-year-old Navajo unmarried mother of four. The story told how she needed a car for her $15,000 a year job as a home-health-care aide. She didn't realize that the $150 payment was due twice a month, not once. Sara Stathas was the cover photographer.

The first Business Week "Power 100" of Sports featured Katie Bayne, SVP, Coca-Cola, NA, on one of four successive covers. Honored on the list were: Bayne, #67; tennis player Maria Sharapova, #73; Heidi Ueberroth, President, global marketing, NBA, #94, who was profiled; Lesa France-Kennedy, President, International Speedway; and Donna Orender, President, WNBA, #100.

Jena McGregor, Emily Thornton, Michelle Conlin, Aili McConnon, Diane Brady, Mara Der Hovanesian and Lindsey Gerdes wrote cover stories.

Two women merited full photo cover stories in Forbes. Meg Whitman, then Ebay CEO, was on "The Best Bosses for the Buck" (May 21) cover story by Erika Brown. The fourth annual "World's 100 Most Powerful Women" (September 17) featured Anne Lauvergeon, Chief of France's Areva nuclear conglomerate. In 2006, a male CEO appeared on the "World's 100 Most Powerful Women" issue cover.

The "World's Richest People" (March 26) was edited by Luisa Kroll and Allison Fass. The Forbes "Celebrity 100" (July 2) cover included model Gisele Bundchen, actress Nicole Kidman and chef Rachael Ray; edited by Lea Goldman and Kiri Blakeley.

Elizabeth MacDonald and Chana R. Schoenberger wrote "The Top 10" report in "The World's Most Powerful Women." They noted, "As more women now run corporations, non profits and entire countries, getting on our annual list has never been more challenging." Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Germany, topped the list of 66 business executives and 34 government leaders. Less than 16 percent of the more than 10,000 top corporate officers in the 500 largest U.S. corporations are female.

Susan Adams and Elizabeth Corcoran also wrote cover stories.

Patricia Sellers, Editor-at-Large, pioneered the Fortune "50 Most Powerful Women" issue in 1997. A team including women editors, writers, reporters and designers produced the tenth annual tribute to the 50 top women in the upper echelons of corporate power. The October 15 cover story featured "The New Buddy Act: At Last! One generation of women leaders is grooming the next." Five sequential covers recognized dynamic duos, led by Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy, #2, and President Ursula Burns, #11. Fashionista CEO Angela Ahrendts, #18, International, and CFO Stacey Cartwright of Burberry; Wellpoint CEO Angela Braly, #4, and Dijuna Lewis, president; IHOP CEO Julia Stewart, #49, and chief marketing officer Carolyn O'Keefe; Reynolds American CEO Susan Ivey, #24, and CFO Dianne Neal.

Six women have been on the U.S. list for all ten years: Oprah Winfrey, Chairman, Harpo; Shelly Lazarus, Chairman & CEO, Ogilvy Worldwide; Andrea Jung, Chairman & CEO, Avon; Ann Moore, Chairman & CEO, Time Inc.; Judy McGrath, Chairman & CEO, MTV; and Cathleen Black, president, Hearst Magazines. A companion story, "Women on Boards (Not!)" noted that "Women make up only one out of six corporate directors." Only 16 percent of the S&P 500 companies' board members are women. A large number of corporate giants still have no women board directors.

The "Power 25" cover story (December 10) recognized one woman: Indra Nooyi, Chairman & CEO, PepsiCo, #22. She was #1 on the Fortune "50 Most Powerful Women" list.

Carol Loomis, Fortune's award-winning Senior Editor-at-Large, has written profiles of business luminaries for more than 50 years and numerous cover stories. She profiled Michael Bloomberg (April 16). Nina Easton, Washington bureau chief, wrote "Business Loves Hillary!" (July 9). Stephanie N. Mehta, Anne Fisher, Susan Casey and Nadira A. Hira also wrote cover stories.

Robyn Twomey photographed the Fortune "100 Best Companies" (January 22) and "Most Admired Companies" (March 19) cover stories. Sarah A. Friedman photographed Carl Icahn for the June 11 cover.

Arianna Huffington, Cofounder and Editor-in-Chief; the Huffington Post; Shirley Franklin, Mayor of Atlanta; and Rachael Ray, TV host and cookbook author; were featured on Newsweek's "Women and Power" cover (October 15). The third annual "Women and Leadership" package was co-edited by Barbara Kantrowitz, Contributing Editor, who wrote the lead essay. Alexis Gelber, Director of Special Projects, led a team including five women to produce the Special Report. Eleven women were profiled; plus a prescient article on women governors Sarah Palin and Janet Napolitano; essay by Maria Shriver; and "Lessons" from eleven additional women leaders.

"Understanding Menopause" (January 15) was written by Barbara Kantrowitz and Pat Wingert, who have worked together more than 20 years on hundreds of stories, including dozens of covers. When Wingert's first son was born prematurely, they wrote a cover story. "We realized that many of the most important stories we would do would be inspired by our own lives as women, wives, and mothers," Wingert explained.

Paris Hilton and Britney Spears appeared on "The Girls Gone Wild Effect" cover (February 12) on out-of-control celebrities and their impact on young girls, by Kathleen Deveny with Raina Kelley. Specialist Marissa Strock, 21, was on the "Failing Our Wounded" (March 5) cover, co-written by Sarah Childress. Strock lost both legs after her Humvee hit an IED in Iraq. Her two American colleagues on board died. She discussed her experience as a patient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared on three covers: with her husband (May 28), solo (September 17) and with Sen. Barack Obama on the year-end cover.

Sharon Begley, Mary Carmichael, Eve Conant, Lisa Miller, Holly Bailey, Jessica Ramirez and Suzanne Smalley also wrote cover stories. Misty Keasler photographed a mother and son for the "Caregiving & Alzheimers" cover (June 18).

Six Time cover stories focused on women: Condoleeza Rice (February 12), Pocahontas (May 7), Mother Teresa (September 3), Presidential candidates' spouses (September 24); Breast Cancer (October 15) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (November 19).

Four women were included on the Time "100 Most Influential People in The World" cover:
Tyra Banks, Nancy Pelosi, Cate Blanchett and Queen Elizabeth II. Twenty nine women were on the 100 list. "Leaders and Revolutionaries" included Sen. Hillary Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II, Sonia Gandhi, Tzipi Livni, Angela Merkel, Nancy Pelosi and Condoleezza Rice. "Heroes and Pioneers" included Tyra Banks (for her TZone foundation to empower young women and deal with body image), Elizabeth Edwards (cancer advocate), Drew Gilpin Faust (28th and first woman president of Harvard in its 371-year history), Judith Mackay, Oprah Winfrey and Zeng Jinyan. "Scientists and Thinkers" included Elizabeth Blackburn, Lisa Randall and Dr. Nora Volkow. "Artists and Entertainers" included Cate Blanchett, America Ferrera, Tina Fey, Kate Moss, Anna Netrebko, Rosie O'Donnell, Shonda Rhimes, Nora Roberts and Kara Walker. "Builders and Titans" included Rhonda Byrne, Clara Furse, Ho Ching, and Indra Nooyi. Plus, "Power Givers" included Melinda Gates, Angelina Jolie (donates one-third of her income to charity), Catherine T. MacArthur, Margaret Slocum Sage, Rania al-Abdullah, Queen of Jordan, and Pam Omidyar.

Women were credited with 13 Time full photo cover stories bylines. Nancy Gibbs, Editor-at-Large, has written more than 100 cover stories, including eight "Person of the Year" essays. She wrote six covers in 2007 and profiled J.K. Rowling, who was a runner-up for Time's 2007 Person of the Year. Karen Tumulty, National Political Correspondent, has written or co-written three dozen cover stories, including five in 2007. Elaine Shannon, Washington correspondent, co-wrote the Condoleeza Rice feature. Kathleen Kingsbury wrote "Why Breast Cancer is Spreading Around the World" (October 15). Sharon Begley wrote "The Brain" (January 29). Jyoti Thottam, Senior Editor, oversaw the 14-page package on "Global Warming" (April 9) and Janet Michaud designed the package.

Dana Lixenberg photographed "The Abortion Campaign You Never Hear About" cover (February 26). Samantha Appleton photographed the "Immigration" cover (June 18).

Who is missing from this picture? Where are the women photojournalists?

Women were credited with only eight full photo covers of the 203 total issues for the above magazines in 2007 and only eight of the total 200 issues in 2006. The first issue of Life magazine on November 23, 1936, featured a dramatic cover photo of the Fort Peck Dam in Montana by Margaret Bourke White, an industrial photographer and photojournalist. That photo image has become an icon of the 1930's and public works under President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. Where are today's women photojournalists?

The year 2008 was considered to be transformational for women in politics and the broader perception of women in the media and society. My next report will tell those cover stories.
Most importantly, I invite the public to join me in monitoring future magazine covers and content, to continuously analyze the image of girls and women in the media and society.