A book published earlier this year has earned UCF journalism professor Kimberly Voss national recognition for her work and research in identifying the under-recognized women in food journalism at a time when there were “women’s pages” in newspapers.
The Association of Food Journalists chose Voss to receive its first Carol DeMasters Service to Food Journalism Award for her book, “The Food Section: Newspaper, Women and the Culinary Community.” Voss’ book details more than 60 women journalists from the 1940s to the early 1970s and the struggles they faced in a male-dominated industry.
The book highlights writers such as Peggy Daum, who wrote for the Milwaukee Journal and was a household name for Voss, who grew up in Milwaukee. Also featured are DeMasters, another former food editor at the Milwaukee Journal, and Jane Nickerson, the first food editor at The New York Times and later the Lakeland Ledger. She was “one of the most unjustifiably ignored” food journalist, Voss said.
The book, which has been chosen as a featured selection for the 2015 UCF Book Festival, also focuses on how the food sections in newspapers were seen by male editors as containing frivolous, unintelligent articles that they rarely read, and how the women writing them used that misconception and lack of oversight to their advantage to include more progressive content.
Voss came to UCF as an assistant professor in 2008 after earning her Ph.D. in mass communications and journalism from the University of Maryland and teaching five years at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Today, she is involved with the curriculum and standards upheld by the journalism program at UCF as an associate professor and area coordinator for the program. Outside of UCF, Voss is the vice head/research chair of the history division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and a member of the publications board for the American Journalism Historians Association.
Voss said it was an honor to research the work of the women journalists she looked up to and “now had the chance to tell their story for them from a time when they couldn’t tell it themselves.”
Voss said she plans to write more books that bring light to the women of furnishing and fashion journalism.
To see Voss’ blog, Women’s Page History, click here. Her book is available at Bookmark It at the East End Market in Orlando and at Writer’s Block Bookstore in Winter Park, as well as on Amazon. She will sign books Dec. 14 at the Locally Grown Words Book Fair at East End Market.