You've likely heard about the "boys on the bus," subject of an iconic book about covering the 1972 presidential election. Flash forward to 2016, and it's time to meet a group Politico dubs the "women in the van." That would be the 18 female reporters representing national media outlets who are covering Hillary Clinton's campaign, an unprecedented number. The story, by female writer Hadas Gold, chalks it up to "a combination of more women doing political reporting in general, and many more being drawn to Clinton's potentially historic candidacy." And it's led to "an unusual atmosphere," writes Gold, "with a female candidate sparring with a nearly all-female corps of reporters."
The female-centric press corps has not resulted in more positive coverage, say both the campaign and outside observers. But Amy Chozick of the New York Times provides an illustration of the dynamic, recalling a moment when Clinton spotted her at one particularly chaotic news conference being crowded by two photographers. “At one point Clinton says, 'Oh we’ll go to her, she’s totally scrunched down there,’” Chozick says. “Maybe that was a moment of sympathizing, looking out and seeing how uncomfortable and filled in we were. ... It seemed sort of maternal." Click for the full story, which notes some of the journalists think Clinton picks female reporters for her sit-down interviews in a calculated attempt to appeal to women voters.