Thursday, March 15, 2007

ABC's Lynn Sherr keynotes MTSU 'Women and Media' event this month

Press release in this afternoon from MTSU:


‘Women and Media’ is focus of March 26 panel

(MURFREESBORO)—ABC News “20/20” correspondent Lynn Sherr is the keynote speaker for a Women’s History Month event at MTSU Monday, March 26, on “Women and Media: Are Women’s Voices Heard in Mainstream Journalism?”

The Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies is sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public. All talks will be held in the State Farm Room of MTSU’S Business and Aerospace Building.“Women and Media” kicks off at 2:20 p.m. with a panel that addresses the main topic.

The panelists are Laurie Goodstein, national religion correspondent at the New York Times; Cindy Dampier, freelance journalist and former People magazine bureau chief; Rita Henley Jensen, founder and editor-in-chief of Women’s eNews; Cynthia Williams, anchor/reporter at WSMV-TV in Nashville; and Jennifer Brooks, reporter at The Tennessean. Beverly Keel, director of the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence, will moderate the panel.

"This will certainly be a memorable day for our students, faculty and guests," said Keel, who also is a mass communication professor at MTSU. "I am eager to hear what these national journalism leaders in the fields of broadcast, print and Internet have to say. They will provide fascinating insights about their personal experiences and their professional opinions about the state of women in journalism today."

Sherr will deliver the keynote address, “Women, Politics and the Media,” at 6 p.m. She has traveled the world as a correspondent for 20/20 and reported on presidential elections, NASA shuttle launches and HMO fraud. She won George Foster Peabody Awards for her coverage of the millennium in Bombay and her report on an alternative treatment for anorexia and bulimia. She also won American Women in Radio and Television Commendation Awards for her report on anorexia and for the ABC primetime special she co-hosted, “Susan B. Anthony Slept Here.”

She has also received awards for stories on presidential elections, Ireland’s abortion amendment, tattooed cosmetics, the abortion pill, breast-cancer victims and sexual harassment.

Sherr is the author of several books, including “Outside the Box,” “Tall Blondes” and “Failure is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words.” She has bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College, where she now serves as a trustee.

Goodstein joined the Times in 1997 after working at The Washington Post for eight years. She has covered religion and politics, the challenge of increasing religious diversity in communities and schools, clergy sexual abuse, government funding of "faith-based" charities, and the conflicts over gay marriage, abortion and stem cell research. Among the honors she has received are the 2004 first place award for Best In-Depth Reporting on Religion from the American Academy of Religion and the Templeton Religion Reporter of the Year and the Supple Religion Writing Award, which she won in 1995 and 1996. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she won a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship.

Dampier is a freelance journalist who spent 17 years at People magazine. She spent 10 years as the Chicago bureau chief and was the youngest bureau chief in the magazine’s history. She oversaw the magazine’s coverage in 14 states and part of Canada and worked on stories involving Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, John F. Kennedy Jr. and Renee Zellweger. She was raised in Sebring, Fla., and has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Miami.

Jensen founded Women’s eNews, an award-winning independent daily news service covering issues of concern to women. The New York Daily News named her one of the 100 most influential women in New York. A former senior writer for the National Law Journal and a columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, she has more than 20 years of experience in journalism and journalism education. Her awards include the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Alumni Award, the Hunter College Presidential Grant for Innovative Uses of Technology in Teaching, the Alicia Patterson fellowship and the Lloyd P. Burns Public Service prize. Jensen is also a survivor of domestic violence and a former welfare mother who earned degrees from Ohio State University and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Williams has anchored, reported and produced series pieces for sweeps at WSMV-TV in Nashville. She is also the accomplished author of a series of four children's books that focus on a fictional inner-city neighborhood. The main character is "Enid," a young, adventurous girl who triumphs by using her leadership skills to improve her troubled community. Williams is a native of Mobile, Ala., and a graduate of the University of South Alabama.

Brooks is a reporter for The Tennessean who has also worked as a White House and congressional correspondent for various Washington news outlets, including United Press International and Gannett News Service. Over the course of a 15-year journalism career, she has covered stories ranging from the presidential impeachment and trial to the Olympics and Hurricane Katrina. Born in Muncie, Ind., she grew up in Zanesville, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in political science.