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Mary Weston

Mary Ann Weston

Associate Professor Emerita

Mary Ann Weston retired in 2005 after 18 years at Medill and is now associate professor emerita. Though no longer on the full-time faculty, she is continuing her research interests on diversity and the news, topics on which she has written and spoken widely. At Medill she taught a wide range of courses, beginning with reporting and writing courses and concentrating more recently on History and Issues of Journalism and Reporting Across Race and Culture. In 1998 she received a Northwestern Alumnae Association grant to develop the race and culture reporting course and offered it first in 1999. Her book on portrayals of Native Americans in the twentieth century press titled Native Americans in the News was published in 1996 by Greenwood Press.

Weston co-edited and co-authored U.S. News Coverage of Racial Minorities 1934-1996: A Sourcebook, published in 1997 by Greenwood Press. Her chapter on coverage of Arab Americans before and after Sept. 11, 2001 is included in Media in an American Crisis published in 2005 by University Press of America. Other research and publication has focused on newspaper portrayals of Arab Americans, on twentieth century Chicago journalism, on portrayals of women in newspaper editorials, on newspaper comic strips and on the journalism of Jane Grey Swisshelm. Publications to which she has contributed include the Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Dictionary of American Biography, Dictionary of Literary Biography, Journalism History, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly and Newspaper Research Journal. In 1997 and 2003 she was the faculty member in charge of the Global Journalism program. From 1998 to 2001 she was an associate dean of Medill.

As a newspaper reporter and freelance writer, Weston reported for newspapers in England and for the Detroit Free Press, among others. She was a member of the Detroit Free Press staff that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1967 riots there. Taking a detour from journalism, she worked for several years as assistant curator of the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston. 

Education

Weston received a BSJ from Medill in 1962 and an MSJ in 1963.

Areas of Research

My research and professional activities have centered on many aspects of diversity and the news. A major focus has been portrayals of Native Americans in the press. I've spoken on that topic at Harvard, UCLA and at seminars sponsored by the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. I've also done research on portrayals of Arab Americans, on twentieth century Chicago journalism, on portrayals of women in newspaper editorials, on newspaper comic strips and on the journalism of Jane Grey Swisshelm. My book on portrayals of Native Americans in the twentieth century press titled Native Americans in the News was published in 1996 by Greenwood Press. I co-edited and co-authored U.S. News Coverage of Racial Minorities 1934-1996: A Sourcebook, published in 1997 by Greenwood Press. My chapter on coverage of Arab Americans before and after Sept. 11, 2001 is included in Media in an American Crisis published in 2005 by University Press of America.

My research and writing have been published in the Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Dictionary of American Biography, Dictionary of Literary Biography, Journalism History, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, Newspaper Research Journal and Nieman Reports. In 1998 I received a Northwestern Alumnae Association grant to develop the course "Reporting Across Race and Culture," which was first offered in spring, 1999. In 1997 and 2003 I was the faculty member in charge of Medill's Global Journalism program and taught a journalism course at the American University of Paris in 1997.

Authored Works

Books and Chapters

  • "Post 9/11 Arab American Coverage Avoids Stereotypes" chapter in Media in an American Crisis: Studies of September 11, 2001, Elinor Kelley Grusin and Sandra H. Utt, editors (University Press of America, 2005)
  • U.S. News Coverage of Racial Minorities: A Sourcebook, 1934-1996 (Greenwood Press, 1997) co-editor with Beverly Ann Deepe Keever and Carolyn Martindale; co-author with John Coward of Native Americans chapter.
  • Native Americans in the News: Images of American Indians in the Twentieth Century Press (Greenwood Press, 1996).

Articles, Monographs and Book Reviews

  • "Attitudes and Mindsets Hinder Journalists in Their Coverage" published in Nieman Reports Special Issue on Covering Indian Country (Vol. 59 No. 3 Fall 2005)
  • "Front-Page Women Journalists, 1920-1950 by Kathleen A. Cairns" book review in Journalism History 29:3 (Fall 2003)
  • "News Coverage of Arab Americans before and after September 11, 2001" published in Newspaper Research Journal Special Issue on Coverage of 9/11 (vol. 24:1, Winter 2003)
  • "One Culture, Two Frameworks: U.S. Media Coverage of Arabs at Home and Abroad" published in Journal of Islamic Law and Culture (vol. 7:1, Spring/Summer 2002) co-authored with Prof. Marda Dunsky
  • History and Issues of Journalism syllabus published in Syllabus Reader: Journalism, Mass Communication and Communication History, compiled by AJHA Education Committee, 2000
  • "The Newspaper Indian by John M. Coward" book review in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Summer 1999
  • "Chester Gould," biographical article in Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998)
  • "WCFL: Chicago's Voice of Labor 1926-78 by Nathan Godfried" book review in Journalism History, Spring 1998
  • "Diversity in the Media: An Annotated Bibliography" (co-author with B. Keever and C. Martindale) The Diversity Factor, Spring 1997
  • "Edgar Ansel Mowrer" biographical article in Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement Ten 1976-1980 (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1995)
  • "Marshall Field III, Marshall Field IV, Marshall Field V" biographical article in Dictionary of Literary Biography, 1993
  • "Native Americans in the News: Symbol, Stereotype or Substance?" Human Relations Foundation of Chicago publication, 1992
  • "Sensationalism and the New York Press by John D. Stevens" book review in Newspaper Research Journal, Spring, 1991
  • "The Daily Illustrated Times: Chicago's Tabloid Newspaper" Journalism History , Autumn-Winter, 1989 (published 1996)
  • "For Native Americans, the Beginning of the End," op-ed article, Chicago Tribune, November 23, 1988

Peer-Reviewed and Invited Research Papers

  • "Portrayals of Native Americans and African Americans in the Journalism of Jane Grey Swisshelm: Heretical or Conventional?" paper presented at Symposium on the Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression in the 19th Century, November, 2004
  • "But What Are We To Learn From If Not The Past?" paper presented at Blue Ribbon Invited Paper Session on Enriching the Race, Ethnicity and Media Class by Adding Historical Context, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) Convention, New Orleans, August, 1999
  • "Termination of the Menominees," paper presented to conference on Print Culture in a Diverse America sponsored by State Historical Society of Wisconsin and University of Wisconsin, Madison, December, 1994
  • "Mainstream Press Portrayals of Native Americans in the 'Indian New Deal,'" refereed research paper presented to the Minorities and Communication Division, AEJMC, Atlanta, August, 1994
  • "Braves on the Warpath," refereed research paper presented to 21st Annual AEJMC Midwest Journalism History Conference, Columbia, Missouri, April, 1994
  • "Images of Native Americans in the Twentieth Century News Media," working paper presented at Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research conference on Media, Race and Governance, Evanston, February, 1994
  • "'A Square Deal for the Pueblos'? The 1920s Press Covers an Indian Controversy," refereed research paper judged best faculty paper submitted to the Minorities and Communication Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) convention, Kansas City, 1993
  • "Pagans or Paragons? Imagery and Ideology in the Portrayals of Native Americans in the Prestige Press," refereed research paper presented at American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA) convention, Salt Lake City, 1993
  • "Native Americans in the News: Symbol, Stereotype or Substance?" study of portrayal of Native Americans in the mainstream press, a faculty winner of the "Significant Silences Invisible Faces" refereed competition sponsored by the Commission on the Status of Women of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC), Montreal, 1992
  • "FDR, Finnegan and the Times: A Study of Editorial Opinion," research in progress paper presented at American Journalism Historians Association convention, Lawrence, Kansas, 1992
  • "Mixed Messages: Editorial Views of Women in Two Chicago Newspapers," refereed research paper presented at Regional Conference of Journalism and Mass Communications Historians, Evanston, Illinois, 1990
  • "Chicago's Tabloid Times: Jazz Journalism in the Windy City," refereed research paper presented at American Journalism Historians Association convention, Atlanta, Georgia, 1989

Awards And Honors

  • Alumnae of Northwestern University grant for development of course "Reporting Across Race and Culture," 1998. Course was added to the regular curriculum 2001
  • AEJMC-Gannett Teaching Fellow, Indiana University, 1988

Invited Public Presentations and Interviews

  • Speaker, symposium on Covering Indian Country sponsored by Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, March 8, 2005
  • Presenter, Neil Shine Ethics Lecture, Michigan State University, April 14, 2004
  • Keynote speaker, "Symposium on American Indian Issues in the California Press," UCLA School of Law, February 21, 2003
  • Speaker, Symposium on "Coverage of American Indian Issues in the New England Press: Towards Creating Understanding," Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, October 13-14, 2002
  • Panelist, "Police Records of Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930: Power, Poverty and Politics" (discussed newspaper coverage of homicides), American Society of Criminology Conference, Chicago, November 16, 2002
  • Panelist, "News Coverage of Racial Minorities," AEJMC, Washington, D.C., 1995.
  • Forum on Race and the Media, co-sponsored by the Human Relations Foundation of Chicago and the Chicago Temple, First United Methodist Church, January, 13, 1994.
  • "How the Media Has Covered Native Americans," invited presentation at Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS), September, 1993.
  • "Issues of Race and the Media" forum sponsored by the Human Relations Foundation of Chicago, presentation of research on newspaper coverage of Native Americans, August, 1992.
  • "Papers Neglect Native Americans," article about research in Chicago Reporter, May, 1992.