Press Women conference features keynote speaker Donaldson

Sam Donaldson
Sam Donaldson will be the keynote speaker at the New Mexico Pres Women state conference in Las Cruces and Mesilla April 22.
The Las Cruces Press Women will host “Media Literacy in a Post-Truth Society,” the New Mexico Press Women 2017 Annual Conference Saturday, April 22. Quality panel discussions will provide a space to discuss the future of the press and storytelling in an uncertain environment. Topics and speakers include:

• Reporting in a Changing Landscape: Working borderland reporters in television, print, and radio discuss the current atmosphere, challenges, media literacy and what it’s like to do their jobs in this time and place. Panelists include Lauren Villagran, border correspondent for the Albuquerque Journal; Jamie Warren, reporter for KVIA-TV; Samantha Lewis, reporter for KFOX-TV/KDBC-TV; Patrick Hayes, reporter for KTSM-TV; Simon Thompson, multimedia journalist for KRWG-TV/KRWG-FM.

• La Manda Fronteriza — Standing Firm On The Border — Frontera Truth Telling: Noted author and screenwriter Denise Chávez will moderate this panel of writers, historians, educators, community activists, and a former librarian, will look at the impact of truth telling on the U.S./México Border and its ramifications for our greater community.

• Environmental reporter Laura Paskus will moderate a panel that includes scientists and writers talking about how to report on science, including climate change, in the “alternative facts” era. Discussions will include building relationships with scientists and trust with the public, how to communicate scientific uncertainty in a way that’s both accurate and understandable, knowing how to distinguish peer-reviewed science from opinions, and understanding what resources are out there for journalists interested in science reporting.

• Sam Donaldson, renowned reporter and news anchor for ABC News (1967 – 2013), will be the keynote speaker at the awards banquet Saturday evening. Donaldson was a White House correspondent for 13 years and a panelist and co-anchor of the network’s Sunday program This Week.

A showing of short films at New Mexico State University with Ilana Lapid will be held on Friday evening, April 21, and is included in the conference registration. Also on Saturday, the Zia Award finalists will read from their books at the Zia Award Luncheon, and the conference concludes with the New Mexico Press Women Communications Contest Awards Banquet.

Conference cost for members is $85 ($95 for nonmembers), with an optional walking tour of Mesilla, available for just $12. Also, new this year is a student rate for $25 (but does not include the Zia Award lunch or the Awards Banquet.) A discount for rooms is available at the Ramada of Las Cruces: $75 for a single king bed or split a double queen for $85. To reserve a room, call 526-4411 and request a room under “New Mexico Press Women.”

Register for the conference at For more information about New Mexico Press Women, go to their website at The Las Cruces Press Women, the local chapter, hosts events throughout the year. See their schedule at