Death (or Life?) of American Journalism Lecture

NMPW member Tom Johnson discusses “Death (or Life?) of American Journalism” on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 1-3 PM in a Zoom meeting in cooperation with the Santa Fe-based RENESAN Institute for Lifelong Learning.

There were 71,000 journalists in America in 2008. By 2018 that number had dropped to 38,000. There were 50 major media corporations in America in 1983. Today there are five. New research shows that more than 2,000 newspapers have closed since 2004. About 1,300 US communities have lost local news coverage. Levels of trust for American journalism have fallen sharply and been replaced by screeds from the political left and right narrow-casting media. Yet Americans still need the data harvested and reported by trusted, dedicated journalists to make individual and collective decisions pertaining to economics, politics, cultural mores, entertainment, and sports. Can new intellectual, financial, procedural, and legal sources be found to deliver information necessary to maintain a functioning, dynamic democracy? NMPW member Tom Johnson has prepared video material especially and solely for part of this lecture. In addition, ample time will be available for responses to student’s questions.

Tom is Professor of Journalism (Emeritus) at San Francisco State University and the founder and co-director of the Institute for Analytic Journalism in Santa Fe. He is on the board of directors of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and Santa Fe’s Council on International Relations. Over a 40-year career in journalism, Johnson taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Boston University’s College of Communication and lectured and conducted workshops in England, Poland, South Africa, and Latin America.

Click here to register for the event. Tuition for the course is $15.00.

An LCPW Conversation with J. C. ‘Jen’ Cervantes

Dear LCPW members and friends, please join us on Tuesday, November 10 at 6 p.m. for “An LCPW Conversation with J. C. ‘Jen’ Cervantes.” Jen is a New York Times best-selling children’s author of the Storm Runner series, a Mayan mythology trilogy for middle-grade readers.

Cervantes’s career has exploded since publishing her first children’s book, Tortilla Sun, in 2010. It won the New Mexico Press Women 2011 Zia Book Award and a New Mexico Book Award. She was invited to join the Rick Riordan Presents imprint, which is part of Disney-Hyperion Publishing Worldwide.

Jen’s next book was The Storm Runner, which follows Zane Obisbo, a middle schooler with a physical disability who discovers he has a connection to Mayan gods and the dormant volcano near his New Mexico home. The story is filled with magical creatures and characters who are all part of a fast-paced, action-packed adventure to prevent a war between the Mayan gods.

After making the New York Times and other best-seller lists such as Barnes and Noble Best Young Reader Books of 2018, The Storm Runner soon became a trilogy. Cervantes announced this year that The Storm Runner has been optioned as a television series by Apple. Up next, Cervantes has penned a young adult romance called Flirting with Fate.

The LCPW Conversation with Jen Cervantes will explore her journey from writing her first novel to being a full-time author of children’s books in the Latinx genre, the writing life, giving back to the community, and mentoring new authors through Las Musas.
The Zoom Conversation is free but registration is required.

“Give It a Name: Mental Health and the Writing Life”: A Las Cruces Press Women Conversation with Author Paul Pedroza

Join the Las Cruces Press Women for a conversation with author Paul Pedroza on “Give it a name: Mental health and the writing life” on Thursday, 15 Oct 2020 at 6 p.m.
The writing life is one of solitude and struggle, and for some writers who deal with mental illness, it can seem insurmountable. Author Paul Pedroza will discuss how identifying and naming mental health concerns informs authors’ work and opens avenues to successfully navigating the challenging paths towards publication and participating in literary culture. From cultivating a consistent writing practice through marketing and publicity, Paul will share his experiences with coping while working.

Paul Pedroza was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He received his M.F.A. in Fiction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His story collection, The Dead Will Rise and Save Us, is available from Veliz Books. He has completed his first novel, and he is currently working on a second and on a collection of essays.

His work has appeared in Rattle, MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine, Palabra, BorderSenses, Confluencia, Inquiring Mind Buddhist Magazine, and in the following anthologies: Our Lost Border (Arte Público Press, 2013), New Border Voices (TAMU Press, 2014), and Mezcla 2 (Tumblewords, 2013).

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required to receive a Zoom link. Register in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Sign up for “Journalism under Fire: Covering Crisis” Conference

The Santa Fe Council on International Relations (CIR) will host its third Journalism under Fire conference this fall from November 10 – December 3. All digital for the first time, this year’s theme is Covering Crisis and will feature leading journalists, photojournalists, political cartoonists, and academics. Together, they’ll address, dissect, and illustrate how journalism is covering today’s overlapping social, public health, economic, and environmental crises – all on the heels of the U.S. elections.

There will be at least five live-stream sessions per week, beginning on November 10, with a star-studded Grand Opening Event, and concluding on December 3. Among them, our featured speakers have won 12 Pulitzer Prizes. Speakers include:

  • Nicholas Kristof (The New York Times) and Sheryl WuDunn. November 10
  • Dana Priest (The Washington Post) serving as emcee for the conference’s first week
  • Wesley Lowery (CBS News and 60 Minutes) and Astead Herndon (The New York
    Times) on Covering Social Crisis. November 12
  • Ivan Kolpakov ( and Ben Smith (The New York Times) on Covering Crisis: Resistance vs. Independence in Journalism. November 17
  • Political cartoonists Matt Wuerker (Politico) and Jack Ohman (The Sacramento
    Bee) on Satirizing Crisis, Part One. November 12.
  • Ann Telnaes (The Washington Post) and KAL (The Economist) on Satirizing Crisis, Part Two. December 1
  • Dr. Hany Farid and Dr. Alexa Koenig on Deep Fakes, Disinformation, and Elections.
    November 18 and 19
  • Dr. Courtney Radsch (Advocacy Director, Committee to Protect Journalists) and
    Patricia Campos Mello (Investigative Reporter, Brazil). December 2

Student Learning Labs will afford New Mexico students interactive access to conference
speakers. This year, CIR will launch News Literacy Modules for classroom use, each offering a dynamic view on major journalism principles and issues.

Once again, we will partner with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the
American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), with partial support provided by the
New Mexico Humanities Council. Ultimately, the conference will help each of us – as
individuals, societies, nations, and as a connected global community – better understand  and respond to the crises shaping our turbulent, ever-changing world.

For more information on Journalism under Fire, including sponsorship opportunities, please email CIR’s Executive Director Sandy Campbell or call her at 505-316-1361, or visit

2021 Zia Book Award

The Zia Book Awards and Scholarships will be presented at noon on Saturday, March 13. The event is free and open to the public. The link for the Zoom awards session is given below:

Zia Book Awards and Scholarship Presentation Event:
Join Zoom Meeting:
If you need them: Meeting ID: 869 0337 4596, Passcode: 533656


Women writers living in New Mexico are invited to submit books for consideration for the Zia Book Award, given each year by NMPW at the annual spring conference. Each year the award rotates to one of three categories: children’s literature, nonfiction, and fiction. To accommodate this schedule, a book published in the last three years is eligible. The 2021 award is open to nonfiction books published in 2018, 2019, or 2020.

Finalists will be invited to attend the award ceremony on Mar. 13, 2021, in Albuquerque (or online if necessary) and speak about their books. Finalists will receive either the Award or an Honorable Mention. To be eligible for the Award, the author must attend the ceremony.

The entry fee is as follows:

If sent by Dec. 31, 2020:
• $25 for NMPW members
• $30 for nonmembers

If sent after Dec. 31, 2020:
• $35 for NMPW members
• $50 for nonmembers

Entries must be postmarked no later than Jan. 11, 2021. An acknowledgement letter will be emailed upon receipt of the entry.

Submissions can be made by the author or by someone else on behalf of the author, such as a publisher. Membership in New Mexico Press Women is not required, but the writer must be a woman who lives in or has a strong connection to New Mexico. The book may be published anywhere.

To submit for consideration for the Zia Book Award, send two copies of the book along with a brief cover letter including complete contact information, the author’s biography (including her connection to New Mexico), and a description of the book to:

Patricia Conoway
Zia Book Award Chair
PO Box 54
Cerrillos NM 87010

The entry fee may be paid by including a check payable to NMPW with the submission or paid online. Optional dues may be also paid on the same page.

Book entries are considered a donation to the organization and are not returned. The books will be part of the silent auction held at the spring conference to raise scholarship funds.

For more information on the contest, send correspondence to the address listed above or e-mail Patricia Conoway.