Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Nan Robertson—author of a book about how terribly the paper treated its female employees—died this week at the age of 83.
Robertson's book, The Girls in the Balcony, centered on a workplace discrimination suit filed against the NYT in 1974 by several female employees. We knew the paper was bad, but it's always bracing to hear just how bad it was, not so long ago:
In 1955, Ms. Robertson joined The Times, where she was assigned, as women often were then, to the women's news department. Her early articles for the paper - hundreds of them - were about fashion, shopping and interior decorating...
In 1963, Ms. Robertson began a decade as a reporter in the Washington bureau of The Times, where, as she said in an interview many years later, her de facto job description was to cover the "first lady, her children and their dogs." Her years in Washington would furnish her with the title for "The Girls in the Balcony," a reference to the cramped second-story space in the National Press Club to which female journalists were then relegated.
Crazy! Robertson also wrote a book about recovering from alcoholism via AA, and won a Pulitzer for her writing on her own experience with Toxic Shock syndrome, which almost killed her. You can pick up her book at Amazon, for a pittance.