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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 5, June 1978
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 5, June 1978 - Page 3. June 1978. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. January 25, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/567/show/559.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(June 1978). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 5, June 1978 - Page 3. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/567/show/559

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 5, June 1978 - Page 3, June 1978, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed January 25, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/567/show/559.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 5, June 1978
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date June 1978
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 3
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_541c.jpg
Transcript Illustration from Daily Breakthrough during IWY Conference (November 1977) Illustration from first issue Houston Breakthrough (January 1976) The Breakthrough Story Anita Freeman Davidson interviews Janice Blue How does one start a newspaper? How did you start Breakthrough? Back in December 1975 there was Ms. and there was a women's press movement. Papers like Off Our Backs (Washington, D.C.), Majority Report (New York City), Big Mama Rag (Denver), Pandora (Seattle), Her-Say (Ann Arbor), Sister Courage (Boston), and Plexsus (Berkeley) were filling the void in their communities by reporting on issues of the seventies that the mass media either (a) ignored (b) distorted, or (c) trivialized. These papers and Ms. magazine were our role models, as were Media Report to Women, The Texas Observer and the national journalism reviews. I, for one, lamented the passing of the Houston Journalism Review a year or two earlier. Their editors and writers were all full-time employees in the media they were writing about. They risked their jobs with stories that kept the Houston media on their toes. These stories made me realize what could be written outside the constraints of the conventional newsroom. As feminists, as activists in the media reform movement, Gabrielle Cosgriff and I found ourselves in the curious position of being dependent on the dailies and the stations to cover our news. Please come to our press conference. Or we were simply reacting to something they had already covered. Please give us equal time. Once Gabrielle got equal time to respond to a radio commentator's sexist remarks about Billie Jean King - only to have the a.m. drive-time host cut into the middle of her rebuttal with a recording of Ain't She Sweet? Gabrielle was tired of writing letters to the editor. She had just received the December 1975 issue of Texas Monthly. On the cover were three mini-clad stewardesses tearing each other up in a cat fight to the headline: "Battle in the Sky." Inside were three staid portraits of the presidents of Southwest, Braniff and Texas International Airlines with a story on their corporate battle. I called her as she was staring at that cover. That's when we decided to start Breakthrough. Gabrielle was preparing to open her own barbeque restaurant while we were working on the first issue. Starting a newspaper seemed a lot easier. There were no forms to fill out. No permits. No building codes. No inspectors. Surviving, however, turned out to be a lot harder for a Texas feminist newspaper than for a Texas barbecue house. Where did the initial money come from? I started the paper with about $10,000 from loans and my personal savings. This money went to pay salaries for a circulation manager and advertising director and production costs until it ran out six months later in June of 1976. Fortunately, people were still willing to commit their time and donate their services, so from that point on we've been strictly a volunteer operation. Also, because we are volunteer, most everyone who works on the paper has another fulltime job. Marilyn Marshall Jones is a photographer. Marianne Kostakis is editor of a medical journal. Anita Freeman Davidson and Kathleen Williamson are artists who support themselves in eight-to-five jobs. Barbara Karkabi works on the West Side Reporter. And, by the way, Gabrielle's Big Timber Barbeque is very successful. Do you regard Breakthrough as a business or a cause? The editor of Figaro, an independent weekly paper in New Orleans, called entrepreneurship "the last refuge of the troublemaking individual of the 1960's." He was kind of poking fun at all his Harvard classmates who, after all their antiwar demonstrations and sit-ins, wound up in corporate jobs. I think he was saying that society is being deprived of its most creative individuals as they are absorbed into the system. If society has absorbed its critics — the people who point out the things that need changing — then one of the things a small paper can do is be a critic. Exactly. That's a really good point. And I think that is what's happened with Breakthrough. We took on the media. Not to mention the University of Texas Board of Regents, the City Council and the right wing lobby. Going back to "is Breakthrough a business or a cause?" the answer would seem to be some of each. Well, yes, I think it is unique in that way. It would be hard to imagine anyone currently employed on a daily paper staying on that job as a volunteer. So in that sense, Breakthrough is a cause. The environment allows everybody to do after hours what they might love to do during the day. I guess what that shows is that their employers are not making use of their creative talents. Breakthrough is an outlet for them. On the business side, we need funds to direct full-time energies toward circulation and advertising. A newspaper is a business and we won't make it on idealism alone. How long was it from the first idea to the first issue? About one month. A small group of women then, as now, worked feverishly to have Volume 1, Number 1, come out in early January of 1976. Breakthrough was cur contribution to the Bicentennial year. We didn't think we could take all the hoopla about the founding fathers without having something to celebrate the news and accomplishments of contemporary women. What was that first issue like? Our lead story reported on the national NOW protest against the nomination of Justice John Paul Stevens to the Supreme Court. Our feeling was that the appointment of a Supreme Court justice was more important than the election of a United States President. After all, a Supreme Court justice is in for life. And, as then national NOW president, Karen DeCrow said in our story, "This is the [William O.] Douglas seat and you don't give it to [just] anybody." NOW was the only group to document Stevens' legal opinions on women's issues: how, for example, his ruling on the Illinois Supreme Court brought about the defeat of the ERA in that state. The protest against Stevens' nomination was a brief wire-service story buried in one of the Houston papers in mid-December. We turned it into a front page in-depth story the next month. Where did the name Breakthrough come from? Mercedes Valdivieso Callahan, now on the Rice University faculty, wrote a book called La Brecha. Its publication in Chile in 1961 pre-dated The Feminine Mystique and it had the same impact on women in her country that Betty Friedan's book had in ours. Women stopped her on the street and described their lives before and after La Brecha. The English translation please turn to page 3 Staff Paid—Does not apply Unpaid-Donna Adair, Jody Blazek, Janice Blue, Gail Brady, David Crossley, Anita Freeman Davidson, Patsy Dozier, Marilyn Marshall Jones, Barbara Karkabi, Marianne Warfield Kostakis, Virginia Meyers, Lynne Mutchler, Gary Allison Morey, Sharman Petri, Candace Richter, Janice Rubin, Kathleen Williamson Cover photograph by Marilyn Marshall Jones Second-class postage paid at Houston, Texas. Houston Breakthrough is published monthly (except for the bi-monthly issues of July- August and December-January) by the Breakthrough Publishing Company, 1708 Rosewood, Houston, TX 77004; P.O. Box 88072, Houston, TX 77004; Tel. 713/526-6686. Subscriptions are $7 per year, newsstand 75 cents per copy. This publication is on file at the International Women's History Archive in the Special Collections Library, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60201. HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH JUNE 1978