sob sister

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sob sister

1. A writer or journalist who keeps an advice column in a newspaper to answer readers' problems or quandaries. Collins worked as a sob sister for her local newspaper for several years before moving on to a permanent position with the New York Times.
2. A writer or journalist who focuses on or specializes in overly emotional, dramatic, or sentimental articles. They hired me as a sob sister to write about the plights of those in need of charity around the city.
3. A girl or woman who is prone to overly emotional pleas, complaints, or outbursts. It's a very difficult and narrow path to tread as a woman in the business world. If you show any emotional vulnerability, you are considered a sob sister, but if you allow nothing to show through, you're seen as some stuck-up ice queen—there's just very little in the way of a middle ground. There's this sob sister in my group who just drains all my energy with her constant complaining and whining.
See also: sister, sob

sob sister

n. a weak woman who is prone to crying. I had another sob sister in the office today. Went through half a box of tissues.
See also: sister, sob

sob sister

Someone devoted to charities, or (less charitably) a do-gooder. Originally a newspaper reporter or editor, invariably a woman, whose assignment was to produce sentimental stories and interviews that would appeal to female readers. By extension, the phrase came to mean any overly emotional person, whether male or female, especially one involved in charitable and public service efforts where sad tales of the recipients would tug on their heartstrings.
See also: sister, sob
References in periodicals archive ?
Those familiar images still focus our thinking today, whether they be the energetic, opportunistic reporter who would do anything for a scoop; the cynical big-city newspaper editor committed to getting the story first, even if it means strangling his reporters to do it; the tough, sarcastic sob sister trying desperately to outdo her male competition; or the morally bankrupt, ruthless publisher who uses the power of the press for his or her own ends.
The "sob sisters" elaborately described those involved, especially Evelyn Nesbit Thaw.
The upcoming 90th anniversary of the Thaw murder trial is significant because it commemorates the birth of an era of "sob sister journalism."
Such reporting is "so mawkish and so soppy that only those who were unusually stalwart or unconsciously insensitive could keep from shedding a tear," according to Phyllis Leslie Abramson in her book, Sob Sister Journalism.
Irwin Cobb of the New York Evening World, who also covered the trial and, reacting to the emotion involved in the reporting, coined the term "sob sister journalism."
Sob sister journalism could call attention to the plight of women, and newspapers were aware of a greater market in an increase of women readers of the papers.
But don't expect the former Sunday Times editor to sashay down a staircase like one of TV's sob sisters.
The Cardiff kids' version of what would be described by the sob sisters as "the Love Story of the Century".