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Yet the company has at least offered a veil of rationale—that restructuring is necessary for long-term viability, that by cutting 10 jobs now they are saving 50 jobs later. By contrast, MNG barely even pretends to be interested in the sustainability of journalism; it is transparently interested in profits first and foremost. The sale likely would spell doom for hundreds and hundreds of journalists at Gannett-owned newspapers, and the most vulnerable would likely be those older, better-paid veterans such as Leys.


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There was a time when a year-old would be in the prime of his journalism career; that time has passed. Leys is one of the longest-tenured reporters at the Register and appreciates the implications of the MNG offer. But for a newspaperman at the Des Moines Register , there are more stories to write than ever, fewer colleagues than ever to help shoulder the load and an industry shriveling up around him. And now, there is a vulture circling its carcass.


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I get to work a job I love. The white grids slapped across the canvass delineate three sets of plans, one for each of the beasts the Register must constantly feed. Every weekday morning here they sit, a dozen or so Register editors, doing the daunting work of putting together a newspaper. They download new story assignments. They share updates on existing ones. They debate which articles are ready to run, how long they should be and where they should be placed.

The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness

They try like hell to fill in as many blue boxes as possible. And yet, this morning—a Thursday in late March—is different from the rest. For the first time since the midterm elections the previous November, not a single Democratic presidential contender will be in Iowa this weekend. Carol Hunter can breathe a sigh of relief.

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Ordinarily, this lack of on-the-trail coverage would leave a yawning hole in all three planning departments—digital, daily and Sunday. To run any major metro daily is to attempt a balancing act: generating more stories for both print and the web, with fewer reporters and fewer resources, all while attempting to maintain quality in reporting, editing and production. But the Register , thanks to the circus-like environment created by the caucuses, requires a special breed of ringmaster.

There was no glass ceiling to shatter in Des Moines. On any given day, there could be a 10,strong Sanders rally and a major corporate makeover downtown. If the answer is no—which is far more frequent—the reporter takes the campaign assignment and pushes his or her normal daily beat to the back burner. This is the central dilemma facing the Register. There are only so many resources; to keep the Iowa Poll alive, the Register partnered with Bloomberg in and is teaming up with CNN and Mediacom in The prioritization of politics makes sense from a corporate perspective: Gannett wants each local property to deliver something relevant to its national readership of the USA Today Network, and naturally sees campaign reporting as the priority from Iowa.

But the Register also serves a substantial number of Iowans who care nothing for turn-of-the-screw caucus coverage, whose loyalty to the publication owes to generations of commitment to issues like agriculture and energy. Serving both of these masters—the click-happy corporate honchos in suburban Washington and the core readership in central Iowa—would be difficult enough with a robust staff. But Hunter does not have a robust staff.

The Friday Cover

Sipping a Diet Mountain Dew in her glass-walled office, Hunter looks out over an ultramodern newsroom that has conspicuous amounts of white space. The Register moved into this headquarters, on the fifth floor of the downtown square, in It was also in that old newsroom where the red flags became apparent: dropping circulation, diminishing ad revenues, decreasing daily sales.

According to the Des Moines Cityview , the Register suffered a circulation drop of nearly 50, and a Sunday drop of 90, between and , thanks in some part to the shuttering of its bureaus around the state. The paper closed its Washington bureau permanently. Today, after several subsequent rounds of layoffs, the Register has 60 authorized positions. But the continued drops in print consumption and personnel leave little room for celebration. According to the Alliance for Audited Media, in the fourth quarter of , Sunday circulation for the Register was 91, Its daily circulation was just 59, There has been no discussion of cutting back on print production, officials with both Gannett and the Register say.

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Some of this depends on good journalism—and some of it depends on good luck. It was an ordinary Tuesday in July , the nascent presidential race barely yawning to life, when Donald Trump declared war on the Des Moines Register. Three days earlier in Ames, Iowa, the GOP newcomer—just a month into his candidacy—had sparked a five-alarm political blaze by mocking Senator John McCain for having been captured in Vietnam. Ricocheting across social media, the editorial made instant national news.

And so did what came next. Sensing this, Trump escalated the feud, denying the paper credentials to cover his event a few days later. He requested an audience with her. While national reporters parachuting into Dubuque or Boone have all the perks—big expense accounts, cable news hits, invitations to screenings in New York and black-tie dinners in Washington—rarely can they compete with the access given to the local journalists making half the salary with a fraction of the Twitter followers.

His favorite anecdote dates back to , when the state party chairman tried explaining to a national correspondent why the campaigns paid so much attention to Yepsen. And Jennifer Jacobs, the chief politics reporter for the and cycles, now covers the White House for Bloomberg and regularly breaks news on the Trump beat. Today, these proverbial big shoes are being filled by Brianne Pfannenstiel, a 30 - year-old Kansas native who took over as chief politics reporter last June. It was a rapid ascent: At this point four years ago, she was struggling just to wrap her head around the scope of the caucuses.

Pfannenstiel got used to the circus. After her initial assignment, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, flamed out that fall, she was transferred to the Trump beat.

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The excitement of covering the unlikely GOP front-runner, for some reporters, might have been dampened by the ban on gaining press access to his events. But Pfannenstiel was undeterred. She began registering for Trump rallies as a member of the public, waiting in lines for two or three hours to gain general admission. Trump aides knew that she entered events via general admission and wrote about them from the cheap seats.

Not only did they turn a blind eye, but one campaign official actually sneaked Pfannenstiel into a rally when he saw the line was too long for her to make it inside. In this sense, Pfannenstiel shares a common bond with her Register ancestors, the privilege of representing the largest media platform in the state and offering candidates a direct line to its readers. And yet, almost everything else has changed: the nationalized state of campaigning, the tribalized consumption of information, the monetized disruption of media. Project Gutenberg offers 59, free ebooks to download.

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The Federalist Papers

Kirkland, Winifred Margaretta, Foreword: the ego in the essay -- The joys of being a woman -- A man in the house -- Old-clothes sensations -- Luggage and the lady -- Detached thoughts on boarding -- The lady alone at night -- In sickness and in health -- An educational fantasy -- My clothes -- The tendency to testify -- Letters and letter-writers -- The tyranny of talent -- The woman who writes -- Picnic pictures -- The farm feminine -- A little girl and her grandmother -- The wayfaring woman -- The road that talked -- My mother's gardeners -- My little town -- Genus Clericum -- Some difficulties in doing without eternity.

American essays -- 20th century. Read this book online: HTML. EPUB with images. EPUB no images.