August 2014: Covering tough subjects

Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWS members:

These have been a troubling few weeks for journalists and for the world. And I am grateful for JAWS members who have helped to explain and reflect on what is happening through our network, support and work. Thank you for the posts and discussion on the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown and the continued aftermath in Ferguson, Missouri and beyond. And thank you, too, for the coverage and conversation following photojournalist James Foley’s execution. In both stories, many people see their sons, their fathers, their brothers, themselves.

I am hoping we can continue these conversations about the world and the role of journalists in it on the listserv, on Twitter, on Facebook and at our Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) at the end of October.

We will be hosting a panel on social justice reporting, featuring Sandy Close, Kari Lydersen and Susan Smith Richardson. I am sure these recent events will be at the top of our minds as we try to figure out how to talk about and report on stories that matter.

I am also very much looking forward to advisory board member Dori Maynard’s Fault Lines Diversity training panel. Dori will lead us in a discussion of how to talk about diversity issues across the “fault lines” of race, class, gender, generation and geography.

As you know, Anna Holmes will be our keynote speaker at dinner on Saturday, Nov. 1. Many of you told the board in our annual survey and in private correspondence that you hoped she could come to CAMP someday. Anna will share her personal story as well as her thoughts on navigating evolving media platforms as a female journalist and entrepreneur. I have also asked her to talk with us about what “diversity” means for women journalists in 2014 and beyond.

And, as I announced last week, I am thrilled that Jill Abramson accepted our invitation to come back to CAMP this year. She will speak to us in another Q&A-style public interview. What a treat to have her at CAMP back-to-back years. I am curious to see how this year’s discussion compares to last year’s given her departure from The New York Times.

We also have a special JAWdess, Peg Simpson, leading the Legacy Luncheon this year. She will tell us stories about the JAWS women for whom the Legacy Fund is named. They helped JAWS become what it is today and helped pave the way for future women to make careers in journalism.

I hope to see many of you at CAMP.

Again, thanks to those who are covering tough subjects crucial to understanding — and, I hope, bettering — our world today. And please, let us keep having these difficult and necessary conversations.

All my best,