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The Fleet Street Girls: The women who broke down the doors of the gentleman's club [9781409187820]

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The Fleet Street Girls is the inspiring story of the female journalists who broke down barriers in the 1970s as women arrived on Fleet Street for the first time.

When Julie Welch called in her first ever football report at the Observer, an entire room of men fell silent. Heart in her mouth, Julie waited for the voice on the other end of the line to declare it passable. She'd done it. She was the first ever female football reporter.

In The Fleet Street Girls, Julie looks back at the steps that led to that moment, from the National Union of Journalists nearly calling a strike when she dared to write an article as a mere secretary (despite allowing men who weren't journalists to write for the same pages), and many other battles in-between.

Julie also shines a light on the other pioneering women who were climbing the ranks against all odds, from Lynn Barber (of An Education fame) to Wendy Henry, the first woman to edit a Fleet Street newspaper, and many more, as well as several of the secretaries whom the men overlooked but who actually knew everything. Pioneers one and all.

The Fleet Street Girls will be a fascinating story of the hopes and despairs, triumphs and setbacks of a group of women in the glitzy heyday of journalism, where they could be interviewing Elton John one moment and partying in the pubs unofficially assigned to each newspaper the next. At a time when Fleet Street was the biggest, cosiest all-male club you can imagine, and the interests of half the human race were consigned to 'The Women's Page' in the paper, we follow Julie and the women around her as that tide finally started to change.
AUTHOR: Julie Welch grew up in Loughton, Essex. In 1973, she became an award-winning sports reporter for the Observer and the first woman in Fleet Street to cover football. Her journalism, on a variety of topics, has featured in many national newspapers and she appears regularly on radio. Currently she is a contributor to the Guardian and the Daily Express.
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Julie Welch
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