The Press: Women Wave Makers

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Female journalists last week made waves in politics, courtrooms and White House society:


Ever since she broke the ban on press coverage by crashing the wedding reception of Julie Nixon and David Eisenhower in 1968, Washington Post Reporter-Columnist Judith Martin, 32, has been on bad terms with the White House. Just how bad became apparent last week when she was barred from covering Tricia Nixon's White House wedding next month. "The First Family," sniffed Mrs. Nixon's staff director, Connie Stuart, "does not feel comfortable with Judith Martin."

A Wellesley graduate with an acerb tongue and typewriter, Judy has been tough on Tricia in the past, once observing of her little-girl look: "A 24-year-old woman dressed like an ice cream cone can give even neatness and cleanliness a bad name."

Post executives appealed to the White House, got nowhere, and defiantly decided that instead of assigning six reporters to cover the wedding as originally planned, there would be only one: Judy Martin. "I'll get as near as I can and cover as well as I can," says Judy, who has been promised help from friends inside to "keep me informed."


Ronald Reagan has been telling his California constituents that "taxes should hurt." Now, one of the more intriguing and potentially damaging political stories of the year is that he paid no state income tax at all in 1970 (because of business reverses). Disclosure came through a most unlikely channel: a gossipy item broadcast on the student radio station at Sacramento State College by a 29-year-old widowed mother of three who is studying journalism there and was on the air only to fill a course requirement.

Rose King apparently exercised no particular journalistic skill in getting the story, and professes surprise at the storm that blew up following her broadcast over KERS-FM. "I really didn't think anybody was listening," she says with a chuckle. "I didn't see the tax return myself, but the story was all over campus. I heard it from several sources, and I was convinced they were reliable."

A Democratic worker, Rose insists she would have used the item regardless of Reagan's political affiliation. Her scoop has brought Rose several feelers for newspaper jobs when she graduates from Sacramento State next year, but it has also put her on the spot. Under

California law, disclosure of tax information is a crime punishable by six months in jail and a $500 fine. "I won't tell you anything about where I got my information," she told a tax investigator. "That is my privilege as a journalist." In her refusal, she relies on another state law protecting reporters from being forced to reveal their sources.


Like many campus newspapers, the Stanford Daily has found that covering radical violence and student demonstrations is a thankless trip through no man's land. One Daily photographer was threatened by radicals for taking their pictures; two days later he was Maced by police. Recently, Palo Alto police, armed with a warrant, searched the Daily's files in a fruitless hunt for pictures of the protesters.

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