"Should women be bus drivers?": Defending a permanent position for women on the buses in ATV's regional television news, 1963-1979: Defending a permanent position for women on the buses in ATV’s regional television news, 1963-1979

Gillian Murray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

Remembered as an iconic war-worker, the struggles of the female bus worker to secure a permanent position in a male-dominated industry in the second half of the twentieth century made her an ideal character for visual journalism and for ATV’s regional news to illustrate a range of social questions raised by (married) women’s employment. The contested position of the female bus worker was evident in local print and broadcast media in the Midlands during the 1960s and 1970s. The regional television news programme ATV Today broadcast six items on female bus workers between 1963 and 1979. Three visual themes were apparent in these news stories, namely: the connections made between women’s physical mobility and social mobility, how the media maintained elements of novelty in framing the female bus worker, and how the synthesis of feminine and masculine tropes in the images studied changed over time. This chapter will analyze the changes in the gendered discourses used to support women working on the buses in contemporary regional news broadcasts and demonstrate that the frequency with which the television news featured women bus workers was symptomatic not only of the contested position of women in Midland bus companies, but also their effectiveness as visual subjects in framing discussions of -women’s changing place’ in popular television journalism. Straddling the -progressive era’ of the 1960s and 70s allows exploration of the social and cultural influences within this process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen and the Media: Feminism and Femininity in Britain, 1900 to the Present
Subtitle of host publicationFeminism and Femininity in Britain, 1900 to the Present
EditorsMaggie Andrews, Sallie McNamara
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter11
Pages169-183
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781135106911
ISBN (Print)9780415660365
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameResearch in Gender and History
PublisherRoutledge

Keywords

  • ATV regional television
  • women and work
  • bus drivers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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