The Fran Lewine Interview Project

JAWS began the Fran Lewine Interview Project to record the stories of women who made a mark in journalism.

These videos, recorded at the annual JAWS Conference and Mentoring Project, are produced in honor of Fran Lewine, one of the founding members of the Journalism & Women Symposium. Fran was a leader among women journalists in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, protesting discrimination against women in jobs and assignments. She was president of The Women’s National Press Club at a time when some major journalistic organizations excluded women or limited their participation. The efforts of Lewine and other reporters eventually led to such groups as the National Press Club and the Gridiron Club opening their membership to women. She was a White House correspondent for The Associated Press during the administrations of six presidents, from Eisenhower to Carter. After leaving the AP, she worked for Jimmy Carter’s administration as the deputy director of public affairs for the Transportation Department. In 1981, she joined CNN as a field producer and assignment editor.

JAWS member Nina Zacuto produced and edited the inaugural 2011 interview, highlighting the career of JAWS member Peg Simpson. Simpson, a veteran journalist, was interviewed by Edie Lederer, UN Chief Correspondent for the AP, during JAWS camp Sept. 23, 2011. Highlights of Peggy Simpson’s career include many years with the Associated Press, including being onsite at the time of the Oswald shooting in Dallas. She was a plaintiff in the successful lawsuit against the AP, which alleged salary discrimination on the basis of gender.

The 2012 interview will be with Jean Gaddy Wilson, who played a lead role in creating four national organizations: the Council of Presidents for newspaper editorial executives; the National Women in Media Collection, housed in MU’s Western Historical Manuscript Collection; Journalism and Women’s Symposium; and the International Women’s Media Federation. Additionally, her study, “Taking Stock: Women in the Media in the 21st Century,” became a landmark that measured the employment of women across print and broadcast media.

Special thanks to Nina for all her hard work on this.

Fran Lewine

Untitled from Becky Day on Vimeo.