Friday, October 2, 2009

Enjoying JAWS: Women & Journalism Symposium at Snowbird

I'm at 8,000 feet at Snowbird in Utah, attending the Journalism & Women Symposium

Up at 4, Pete taxied me to the airport at 5, and I was airborne by 6:30, doing homework at 35,000 feet.

This group is an impressive assemblage of long-serving strong women journalists. They are gathered to consider the future of the craft they devoted themselves to, and women's role in its future. Lots of young journalists got fellowships to come.

One of my favorite things today was listening to Becky Wade read Maya Angelou's appreciation for the Texas journalist Molly Ivins shortly after she died in 2007. Molly Ivins Shook the Walls with her Clarion Call appeared in the Washington Post on Feb. 2, 2007, just days after Ivins had passed. It's worth the click through to read. I can hear Angelou's strong voice as I read it.

Becky Wade, by the way, was one of the three women journalists who sued the New York Times in the 1970s over its treatment of women journalists. Pulitzer Prize winner Nan Robertson told the story in The Girls in the Balcony: Women, Men and the New York Times.

It was a long day of travel, more as the conference unfolds.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Holidays: My Mom came to visit

Just wanted to share this image of my Mom. Taken on the Coastal Trail at 8 a.m. Dec. 27, out walking the dog Clare. My Mom is 86, lives in San Diego. We walked every day out on that trail, sometimes for two hours at a time, watching dawn arrive on the way home. And it was c-o-l-d the whole time she was here. She's great.

Making my dog stay up too late

It's 3:27 a.m. on my last day of holiday vacation. Come Monday morning, I'll be out at the bus stop at 7:12 a.m. in temps predicted to be minus 2. I've got a good coat, good boots, an iPhone, a newspaper, the New Yorker to read on the bus. But it will be daunting. So...I think I am staying up late and deliciously anticipating sleeping in on Sunday. Last chance. And my good dog stays up best she can. This isn't the first time I've caught her napping, either.

Job changes for me

It's in the minuses up here -- really cold and for days on end. Here's a shot out of my bedroom window to the birch tree in my front yard. The snow on top of the branches makes me think of reverse shadows.

On Oct. 17, I ended a 26-year career at the Anchorage Daily News. But I haven't given up on journalism. I just felt like I wasn't making a significant contribution at a time when the newspaper could ill afford anything short of miraculous. So I side-stepped to a job over at the University of Alaska, Anchorage adding video and audio podcasts for their web site. And so I am back in the business of learning more new technology and practicing it. I work with great people, and the university offers a lot of cool benefits. I miss a newsroom, but one must do what one must do.

So far, I've edited a pretty short video of the chancellor addressing a committee, and an audio podcast of an economist discussing Alaska's status with respect to the crash in the US. I am also writing a story for a magazine about 6 students who are the first in their families to go to college. I'm loving the interviews and the people behind this story.

I'll be back with more thoughts on adding (trying to add) Twitter and Facebook to my life. I find I start them, but don't sustain them. I'm so slow at this, I get frustrated. Tomorrow I am gonna practice doing an audio slideshow with my dog and my voice....I have to start somewhere.

Speaking of starting, I'd like to start a master's studying business models for newspapers. OK, news organizations. We've got to find a way to finance high-quality local journalism. I hardly feel like the genius who'll figure this out, but at least I'd like to go out trying. It seems daunting. But, the only place to start is at the beginning. Here's a photo of a lump of clay I keep on my desk for the times (many) when I feel overwhelmed about where to start.

Doggie tug-of-war in the backyward

Clare (black dog) and her good buddy Rudy (white dog) having a doggie battle in the backyard. Clare doesn't usually win anymore. On walks, she starts a tug-of-war, but when she can't win, she feigns disinterest. Here, she wins. She is 9 and Rudy is about 3, and he outweighs her by far. They stay over at each others' houses when their humans travel. We take Rudy for lots of dog walks in Kincaid Park. Clare is bossy, and Rudy is totally cool about it all.