Margot Kidder died Monday. She was most famous for her raspy voiced, tough, yet effervescent portrayal of Lois Lane in the 1980s “Superman” movies.
I entered the newspaper business as the Comic Book Movie genre exploded. It was easy to point out that Peter Parker and Clark Kent spent their days in newspaper offices. I often grimaced watching movies and TV shows that featured journalists trying to give the character gravitas by saying they were a “Pulitzer Prize-winner.” It was often clear that the writers didn’t even know what earns someone a Pulitzer and that there are hundreds of other impressive awards out there. This most bothered me with portrayals of Lois Lane. She’s often a solid portrayal of what a newspaper writer is like: dogged, confident, thorough, etc.
Lane’s character has transformed over the years. From a two-dimensional plot device as a damsel in distress and love interest, she became a fully fleshed out character.
One of the best parts of my journalism career was working among dozens of excellent journalists who were dedicated to their craft and community. They were real life Lois Lanes.
Some, like Joan, Amy and Buffy were my bosses. They taught me valuable lessons I use not only journalism but in day-to-day life. I worked with photographers like Emily, Kate and Chris, who brought wisdom, whit and tenacity to any story you worked on them with, alongside great photographs. Reporters like Sarah, Ashley, Charlotte, Patrice, Angie, Caitlin, Courtney and Emily could find the best and most fascinating stories, filled with accurate facts and compelling narratives. And there were editors like Sarah, who knew every grammar rule, Wanda, who made sure your stories were thorough, and Leo, who Bethany, provided guidance. Coworkers like Stacia, Teresa, Laura and Cristy and Patti who made you think more deeply about your job and enjoy coming to work.
If more readers knew how fantastic these women were, they’d realize how lucked they are to be reading the work those women produce.