In Their Own Words: Voices of the National Women and Media Collection

In 2022, the National Women and Media Collection is celebrating its 35th anniversary at the State Historical Society of Missouri. This invaluable collection includes records of media organizations and professional and personal papers of notable women who worked as reporters, editors, publishers, press spokespersons, and other positions in the print, broadcast, and online media industries.

Watch as three of the women featured in this collection talk about the changing roles for women in the media industry; trends for the future; and how they were able to navigate careers in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

A PDF of the resources mentioned for women working in media is available at

Learn more about women and media and access the collections with SHSMO's free National Women and Media Research Guide.


Betsey Bruce

Betsey Bruce spent 46 years covering St. Louis area news. She served as the longest-serving television journalist in St. Louis and was the first woman assigned to daily hard news TV reporting in the area when KMOX-TV (now KMOV) hired her in 1971. Bruce became part of the team that pioneered “live” reports with portable video cameras and microwave technology. Later in her career, Bruce hosted the station’s public affairs programs, where she interviewed local and national figures, including Gloria Steinem and Phyllis Schlafly on the Equal Rights Amendment, as well as David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan. In 1989, she joined KTVI-TV and covered major stories, including the civil unrest in Ferguson prompted by the shooting of teenager Michael Brown. In 1994, Bruce received the Women in Communication national Clarion Award for an investigative journalism series on the St. Louis County Special School District.

Sheila Gibbons

Sheila Gibbons is a communications executive with extensive experience in journalism and public relations. She served as the former director of public affairs and spokesperson for Gannett Co., publisher of USA Today and community newspapers and other media enterprises. She was also features editor of Gannett New Media and the editor of a special-market magazine for American military families. Gibbons is the longtime editor of Media Report to Women, a quarterly publication devoted to news, research and commentary about the relationship between women and media. She is co-author of Taking Their Place: A Documentary History of Women and Journalism and Exploring Mass Media for a Changing World. At Communication Research Associates, she has provided editorial services and strategic communication planning and support to corporate and nonprofit organizations and academic institutions.

Andrea Stone

Andrea Stone began her four-decade career in journalism in the Bronx, working on her high school and college newspapers and then freelancing for trade magazines and newspapers in New York, Florida, and Illinois, including Newsweek and Chicago Sun-Times. Stone moved to Washington, D.C. in 1984 as an editorial assistant and reporter for Gannett News Service and then spent 24 years at USA Today where she covered business, national news, the Pentagon, presidential and congressional politics and foreign affairs. In 2009, she became Washington bureau chief for AOL News and, in 2011, The Huffington Post hired Stone as senior national correspondent in politics. In 2013, she launched the website of Al Jazeera America as a senior online executive producer. Stone’s career culminated as director of career services for the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New York.

Elizabeth Engel

Elizabeth Engel is a senior archivist for the State Historical Society of Missouri and manages the National Women in Media Collection. Engel was instrumental in helping to put together the current exhibit, In Their Own Words: Celebrating the National Women and Media Collection, which is on display through Dec. 23, 2022, in the Wenneker Family Gallery, second floor, State Historical Society of Missouri in Columbia. Engel, an Iowa native and a University of Iowa graduate, holds a master's degree in library and information science. Her undergraduate work was in English at Iowa State University. She has been with the State Historical Society since 2006 and currently heads the Columbia Research Center’s accessioning program, working with donors to acquire manuscript collections.


Beth Pike is the assistant director of communications and education outreach for the State Historical Society of Missouri. Before joining the State Historical Society in 2019, Pike spent 28 years as a freelance television producer for national news and entertainment networks covering major stories in the Midwest. She has produced and co-directed three feature-length PBS documentaries and worked on a variety of programs for the multimedia company she co-founded, Orr Street Productions. Pike served as an adjunct faculty editor at her alma mater, the Missouri School of Journalism, leading students abroad in five countries to work on journalism assignments. In 2020 - 2021, she coordinated media, promotion and planning of more than 300 events and programs for the Missouri bicentennial.

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