In this role, McDowell advocated for temperate language. She organized a Pure Language League that was responsible for eliminating blasphemy and profanity from the newspaper. During her 28 year tenure at the Times, McDowell also wrote for many church periodicals and lectured on religious topics. She even ran her own radio program of religious news.
Additionally, McDowell was active in the New York City Women’s Press Club. She assumed a leadership role in establishing high standards for her peers and encouraged young women to consider reporting and editing both challenging and rewarding endeavors. McDowell was also active in the League of American PEN Women, New Jersey Women’s Press Club, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. McDowell’s National Federation of Press women membership card testifies to her long, active career.