The Stories Behind the Story- with Connie Godwin and Margie Elsberg
Creative Lives Lecture Series, IV
Tuesday, December 9
Cost: $15 Members; $20 Nonmembers
The final installment of RiverArts’ Fall “Creative Lives Lecture Series” will be held Tuesday, December 9, at 5 p.m. Connie Godwin and Margie Elsberg, one an English major, the other a Journalism major, started their careers right out of college as “copyboys” (newsroom gophers) a long, long time ago, one at the Washington Post and the other at the former Washington Daily News.
When her FBI Agent husband was transferred to Anchorage, Connie traveled north and became an editor for Alaska’s then-largest newspaper, The Anchorage Times. Later, she returned to D.C. for a 20-year stint as press secretary to Alaska’s senior Senator, Ted Stevens. Meanwhile, Margie remained in Washington, became a reporter and newspaper city editor, and later a TV news producer and assignment manager.
Margie now works as a media consultant and Connie volunteers for a number of agencies when they need a wordsmith. Together, over the past decade, they’ve team-taught a series of WCALL classes called “How News is Made.” The class started out when Americans read one newspaper a day and watched a morning and evening news show on NBC, CBS or ABC, but over the years that all changed. They went on to explore the 24/7 news cycle, political polarization of cable news, power of digital technology, Internet access to virtually every news source in the world via computers, smart phones and IPads, and the significant impact of bloggers, aggregators and social media.
At RiverArts, Connie and Margie will talk about their experiences as newsies—about people they interviewed, places they went, stories they reported and, in a few cases, stories they and their compatriots chose not to write. You’ll hear how Connie made national headlines when, as a student journalist, she discovered that her college’s admissions policies were based on racial prejudices; and you’ll hear why Margie’s newsroom chose not to publish documents about secret US-Soviet talks, after inmates found the papers in furniture that the State Department had sent—by mistake—to a Washington, DC, prison.
“Is journalism creative?” these two will ask, and they confess that they’re not at all sure, so audience members will have to decide for themselves.