By Jeannine Baker
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Extra resources for Australian Women War Reporters: Boer War to Vietnam
You’ll have to go as soon as trouble threatens’. ’ I thought. But as he was a man and an Australian, I did not think it worth while arguing the matter with him. 60 Mack’s pluck and ingenuity is undeniable, and her presence in Antwerp in October 1914 is indisputable, but several elements of her account are unclear and hard to corroborate. By Wednesday 7 October, when it became certain that the Germans were preparing a bombardment of Antwerp, most of the war correspondents fled. Mack, Fox and Lucien Arthur Jones of the Daily Chronicle took shelter in the cellar of the Wagner Hotel.
But although this periodical appeared to offer women journalists a less strictly defined role, the expectation that stories should be approached from the ‘woman’s angle’ indicates that stereotyping of both women journalists and their readers persisted. As the primary employer of Australian women journalists, the Weekly was also the news organisation most supportive of women as reporters of war. The magazine’s wartime editor, Alice Jackson, who we meet shortly, in 1941 became the first Australian woman officially accredited as a war correspondent by the Australian Army.
34 In the early months of the war, the gaps created by male journalists enlisting in the services were offset by reductions in the size of newspapers and the replacement of local content by overseas war news. By 1941, however, most newspapers were operating on bedrock staff levels. 35 That month saw the release of new manpower regulations under which journalism was no longer classified as a reserved occupation. The Director General of Manpower, Wallace C Wurth, advised the AJA federal executive that the recruitment of women or older men would help spare younger male journalists for national service.
Australian Women War Reporters: Boer War to Vietnam by Jeannine Baker