The BROADSHEET Newsletter Autumn 2009

Carol Clark Elected to National Board

Our own NMPW President, Carol Clark, held a place of honor at the National Conference in San Antonio, Texas this month, as she was officially instated as Secretary of the NFPW.  You can watch a video of the of all the new officers being installed at the NFPW website, here.

Congratulations Carol!

New Chairpeople Named at August Meeting

It’s autumn, and change is in the air. It was announced at the August Board meeting that Sari Krosinsky will take over as Zia Award Chairperson, and Nora Heineman-Fleck will take on the position of New Media Chair. Congratulations and good luck to Sari and Nora! We’re still looking for a Publicity Chairperson and a Secretary – so please consider helping out and contact Carol Clark for more details about these positions.

NMPW History to be Published in 2010

NMPW Historian Denise Tessier and Treasurer Sandy Schauer spoke of their intention to publish a book chronicling our organization’s history.  After years of hard work, the book is complete and ready to go to press after one final edit by the team, who propose self-publishing with Booksurge. After some lively discussion on the various merits of some different self-publishing companies, and on alternatives for financing the project, the Board offered their unanimous approval and encouragement for the project, and agreed to work out the details as they become germane.

Other Board News

From the August 2009 NMPW Treasurer’s Report:

Profit from the April conference is $2,233.22 which was made possible with the donations of Los Alamos National Bank ($5,000 — thank you, Carol) and NM Beef Council ($1,000 — thank you, Sharon). Half of this ($1,116.61) goes to the Northern NM Chapter as sponsoring organization.

NMPW paid one-half registration for ten people to attend the NFPW conference in Texas;  three more had their full registration paid through the NFPW Education Fund. Good showing in San Antonio!

My Two Cents

Contributed by Karen Lehmann

New Mexico Press Women Board Considers Name Change

How about “New Mexico Media Professionals”?  No, wait  – um: “New Mexico Media Network”?

At the latest NMPW Board meeting there was a good deal of discussion not only of the past (thanks to our able historians), but of the future.  How do we best find our organization’s way forward? In what ways have we responded to the changing nature of journalism and communication in the new century, and what might be next for us? Is our new reality reflected fully in our organization’s name? Do we hold on to that name in order to reflect and honor our origins? Or do we change it to facilitate our future? Is it exclusionary? Is it justified? Do we really mean it?

New Mexico Press Women was organized in 1950 as an affiliate of the national organization. On our website and other promotional material we state our mission as an “organization of professional journalists and communicators that promotes the highest ethical standards while looking to the future in professional development, networking and protecting First Amendment rights”. NMPW was born in the days when it could be really tough to find a woman in the newsroom, and those women whose job titles included the word “editor” or “publisher” were even harder to find. It would be half a century before the extent of electronic communication via the Internet would prove to be a profound challenge to the viability of the traditional printed daily newspaper; as well as drastically changing the way we share information. Nowadays, many newspapers are making drastic cuts or even closing their doors, while others convert their publications to the internet. Journalists blog, tweet and flickr instead of turning in typed (or even word-processed) copy or developing photos in the darkroom. That’s right, there are even new verbs that have developed to express the mechanics of spreading the news in the digital age and, yes – there’s a blog to keep track of them.

This excerpt from Michael Massing’s article in the 9/24 edition of the “New York Review of Books”* both acknowledges the news industry’s woes and points us toward a hopeful new path:

“The American news business today finds itself trapped in a grim paradox. Financially, its prospects have never seemed bleaker. By some measures, the first quarter of 2009 was the worst ever for newspapers, with sales plunging $2.6 billion. Last year, circulation dropped on average by 4.6 percent on weekdays and 4.8 percent on Sundays. Earlier this year, Detroit’s two daily papers reduced home delivery to three days a week, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ended its print edition, and the Rocky Mountain News shut down altogether. This summer, The Boston Globe, which is losing more than $50 million a year, survived only by giving in to the draconian cutbacks demanded by its owner, the New York Times Company, while the Times itself, weighed down by the Globe, had to take out a $250 million loan from Carlos Slim Helú, Mexico’s richest man, at a junk-bond-level interest rate of 14 percent a year.

Yet amid all this gloom, statistics from the Internet suggest that interest in news has rarely been greater. According to one survey, Internet users in 2008 spent fifty-three minutes a week reading newspapers online, up from forty-one minutes in 2007. And the traffic at the top fifty news Web sites increased by 27 percent. While this growth cut across all age groups, the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism found, “it was fueled in particular by young people.” The MTV generation, known for its indifference to news, has given way to the Obama generation, which craves it, and for an industry long reconciled to the idea of its customers dying off, the reengagement of America’s young offers a rare ray of hope.”

Mr. Massing doesn’t mention the change in the balance of women and men in the workplace over the past half-century, but there is now, in the U.S.,  greater equality for women and men in the communications business than there ever has been before. This professional evolution may also play an important part in our discussions about the potential for change in the way we describe, or name, our organization. As communicators, it’s a given that we cherish the power of words.  As an organization, we began at least partly as a result of institutional exclusion. Now, men are actively engaged and play leadership roles in our organization – yet there is no place for them in the naming of that organization.  Have the excluded become exclusive in our own turn, in name if not in deed? Can we  pay due respect to the origins of the New Mexico Press Women, while also recognizing that the naming of a thing is important –  and may no longer reflect the reality of what we do, who we are and how we’d like to position our organization for the future?

I’m kind of partial to the “New Mexico Media Network” moniker. What can I say? I’m a fan of symmetry.  What do you think? Let me know, at karen@phrasesincorporated.com.

*excerpt from “The New York Review of Books” Volume 56, Number 14, September 24, 2009

A New Horizon for the News by Michael Massing

Chapter News

North Chapter

There’s no meeting planned for September; but we’ve got a humdinger coming up in October. In an event that will be jointly sponsored by the North Chapter and Santa Fe Community College, Anne Hillerman and her husband Don will talk about her book Tony Hillerman’s Landscape: On the Road with Chee and Leaphorn – to be published in November 2009. Don’t miss this event, the second Saturday in October.

On December 5th you’ll find us in Santa Fe (location to be determined). Our speaker will be Lois Manno, the author of Visions Underground: Carlsbad Caverns through the Artist’s Eye. Ms. Manno has been working in the arts for over 30 years. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and has spent many years working as a graphic designer, professional illustrator and fine artist. Lois has illustrated over a dozen books for various publishers, and is a published author herself. After a few years of wandering various western states, she settled permanently in New Mexico, which has been her home for 20 years. There she raised her two daughters and became deeply involved in the sport of caving, working regularly as a volunteer at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Las Cruces Chapter
According to their blog, the Las Cruces  Press Women chapter has a meeting planned for September 24 at 5:30 p.m. at Doña Ana Community College. Abby Osborne will give a presentation on graphic design.

November brings a writing workshop given by Susan Tweit , and look for the Holiday Potluck on December 10 at 5:30 p.m

For more information, please contact Cheryl Fallstead (cfallstead@hotmail.com) or lcpresswomen@gmail.com.

Albuquerque Chapter

Greg Fouratt, the newly named U. S. Attorney for New Mexico, spoke at the Monday luncheon on September 14th.

D.D. Wolohan, who edits the bimonthly magazine of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, is the Albuquerque chapter’s new Vice President. D.D. has been involved with APW and NMPW in the past (nearly 30 years ago, now!) and is happy to once again be more active in the organization.

Rivkela Brodsky, a staff writer at the Albuquerque Journal, has been named the chapter’s new Secretary.

Although there’s been some talk of a venue change for the Albuquerque folks, the chapter plans to continue meeting at the MCM Elegante through December 2009.

Please contact Dan Mayfield (dmayfield@abqjournal.com) for more information on the Albuquerque chapter.

Member News

To share your news, e-mail it to karen@phrasesincorporated.com by the 15th of the month.

Sharon Neiderman will facilitate a writing workshop at the Mandala Center in October. The workshop is titled Writing from Personal Experience: Memoir, Journal, Family History and More and it runs Wednesday – Sunday, October 21 – 25. Participants will mine their personal experience as a source of inspiration and understanding, and record a legacy during this intensive retreat-workshop. They’ll find opportunities to explore memory and ways of expressing the remembered eras and moments of their lives, all in the meditative space of The Mandala Center. Sharon has made her living as a writer for 15 years. She’s the author of six non-fiction books and has published thousands of articles in regional and national publications. Her debut novel, Return to Abo, published by the University of New Mexico Press, was a finalist for the 2006 Willa Literary Award in Contemporary Fiction. In September, 2008, Sharon’s latest book, New Mexico: An Explorer’s Guide First Edition was published by Countryman Press. For more information, visit Sharon’s website.

Lisa Lenard-Cook’s upcoming writing workshop is called:

after practice:
piecing together your scattered writings (& life) in four easy lessons

There’s only one slot left for this popular workshop, to be held in Corrales the weekend of October 17. Limited to eight participants, it runs both Saturday and Sunday from 9 am – 4 pm. $250 includes lunch both days. Contact Lisa at lisalenardcook@gmail.com for more details.

5 thoughts on “The BROADSHEET Newsletter Autumn 2009

  1. I remember this discussion several years ago, and the word “media” sparked controversy because of a particular national radio talk personality who used the word “media” most pejoratively. I find it interesting that this is no longer of concern. Does he no longer speak ill of “media” or have we gone beyond innuendo? I’ll vote for either new name, given that “Press” doesn’t apply to electronic, TV or radio; and that we “women” now include men.

  2. The ‘women’ part of the name IS anachronistic, and doesn’t represent the full membership. I prefer NM Media Professionals over NM Media Network, but the looseness of ‘media’ jars, as any old bod can throw up a blog and call themselves ‘media’. Traditional/established media practices and solid reporting are already so undermined by writer mills and social media. Old fashioned as it is, I like the word Press in the name – it implies some standards, both for the journalists and for PR professionals working with journos. More in keeping with the umbrella organization, what about New Mexico Press Federation?

  3. I found NFPW conference of great value. Lots of ideas. Lots of encouragement. Lots of new friends. If you’ve never been, think Chicago. I plan to be there if at all possible.

  4. Regarding a name change. Times have changed. Women are well represented in the media — although I suspect they’re still not paid the same a men. The media is changing … rapidly. But journalism will thrive in the new environment. I’m all in favor of NM Media Professionals.

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