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University of Wisconsin–Madison

2019: What #MeToo Means for Gender, Power & Ethical Journalism

Free and open to the public

Register at the door

Keynote conversation with Kara Swisher

Kara Swisher is the editor-at-large of Recode, host of the Recode Decode podcast and co-executive producer of the Code Conference. She also has a special series on MSNBC called “Revolution” on the impact of technology on work, society and more, and is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.

Swisher co-founded former Recode and Code owner Revere Digital and, before that, co-produced and co-hosted The Wall Street Journal’s “D: All Things Digital,” with Walt Mossberg. It was the major high-tech conference with interviewees such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and many other leading players in the tech and media industries.

Previously, Swisher worked as a reporter at the Washington Post and as an editor at the City Paper of Washington, D.C. She received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and her graduate degree at Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

Swisher is also the author of “ How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web,” published by Times Business Books in July 1998. The sequel, “There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for a Digital Future,” was published in the fall of 2003 by Crown Business Books.



8:50 AM: OPEning remarks

9 am: keynote conversation with Kara Swisher

The View from Silicon Valley: Gender, Journalism & Tech

10 Am: The Power of Portrayals in a Wired World

  • Barbara Glickstein, director of communications, Media Projects at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University School of Nursing
  • Kem Knapp Sawyer, contributing editor, Pulitzer Center
  • Linda Steiner, professor, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland
  • Negassi Tesfamichael, education reporter, The Cap Times

Moderated by Tracy Lucht, associate professor, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University

11:15 AM: Gender at Work: Overcoming Bias in the Newsroom

  • Michelle Ferrier, dean of the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, founder of
  • Christina Kahrl, senior editor for MLB coverage at ESPN
  • Jon Sawyer, executive director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Moderated by Lindsay Palmer, assistant professor, School of Journalism & Mass Communication, UW-Madison

12:15 PM: Lunch & small group discussions


1:30 PM: Real World Solutions: Moving Forward with Equity & Integrity

  • Sharif Durhams, senior editor, CNN
  • Lindsay Palmer, assistant professor, School of Journalism & Mass Communication, UW-Madison
  • Susan Ramsett, general manager, KWQC TV-6
  • Traci Schweikert, vice president of human resources, POLITICO

Moderated by Jill Geisler, Bill Plante Chair in Leadership & Media Integrity, Loyola University Chicago and Freedom Forum Institute Fellow in Women’s Leadership

2:45 PM Closing remarks


Sharif Durhams

Sharif Durhams is president of NLGJA, the Association of LGBTQ Journalists, which works from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of diverse communities. He is also a senior editor for news and alerting for CNN Digital, where he oversees daily planning decisions for CNN’s desktop homepage and mobile alerts. CNN won the Edward R. Murrow award for best TV network website in 2018. Durhams was previously a homepage editor at The Washington Post, a social media editor and digital strategist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a state and local government reporter at the Charlotte Observer.

Michelle Ferrier

Dr. Michelle Ferrier is the dean of the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and the founder of Ferrier was named one of the top 20 journalism innovation educators for 2018. She conducts research around online communities, media entrepreneurship and digital identity and reputation management. She is the principal investigator for the Media Deserts Project ( Ferrier holds a Ph.D. from the University of Central Florida in Texts and Technologies; a master’s degree from the University of Memphis in journalism; and a bachelor of science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Jill Geisler

Jill Geisler is the Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago. She also serves as the Freedom Forum Institute Fellow in Women’s Leadership, heading its Power Shift Project. Geisler teaches and coaches newsroom leaders worldwide. She spent 16 years guiding the leadership and management programs of the Poynter Institute. She is the author of the book “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know,” writes a management column for the Columbia Journalism Review, and produces the podcast: “Q&A: Leadership and Integrity in the Digital Age.” Her first career was in broadcast journalism, as a reporter, anchor, and one of the first female TV news directors in the United States at WITI-TV in Milwaukee. She has been inducted into multiple media halls of fame. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UW–Madison and a masters in leadership studies from Duquesne University.

Barbara Glickstein

Barbara Glickstein is a public health nurse, health reporter and media strategist. She founded Barbara Glickstein Strategies, providing leaders in the public, private and social sectors guidance and expertise on leadership and media strategies. Glickstein produces and hosts HealthCetera, a podcast that provides evidence-based health news, analysis and commentary. She’s the nurse consultant at Carolyn Jones Productions and worked on the documentaries “The American Nurse” and “Defining Hope.” Glickstein was selected to participate in Take The Lead’s 2019 “50 Women Can Change the World in Journalism.” She’s committed to changing the health narrative to reflect more diverse voices in health news.

Christina Kahrl

Christina Kahrl is a senior editor for MLB coverage at ESPN, a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America since 2009, and was one of the founding members of the baseball think tank, Baseball Prospectus. She also came out publicly as a transgender woman in 2003, becoming the first out trans woman working in sports journalism. She has also worked as an activist on civic equality for transgender Americans, helping to reform Chicago police policy on transgender individuals, train police departments throughout the Midwest in cooperation with the Department of Justice, and writing on trans issues in mainstream society and sports for ESPN,, Playboy, the Windy City Times, and elsewhere. She has also been active on the boards of GLAAD and Equality Illinois. She has been elected both to the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame and the Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. She lives in Connecticut with her wife.

Tracy Lucht

Tracy Lucht is an associate professor at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University, where she teaches courses on news editing and journalism history. She holds a Ph.D. from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland and has worked for USA Today, The Washington Post and The Des Moines Register. She is the author of Sylvia Porter: America’s Original Personal Finance Columnist and co-author of Mad Men and Working Women: Feminist Perspectives on Historical Power, Resistance, and Otherness.

Lindsay Palmer

Lindsay Palmer is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison. She studies global media from a qualitative perspective, especially focusing on the cultural labor of conflictcorrespondents in the digital age. Though Palmer looks at numerous questions inspired by conflict reporting in the 21st century—questions of translation, representation, and political domination, just to name a few—she is particularly interested in the economic and political structures that inform news organizations’ policies on their correspondents’ safety in the field. Palmer has recently published a book on this topic, entitled Becoming the Story: War Correspondents after 9/11 (University of Illinois Press, 2018).

Palmer is also interested in the local news employees who assist the foreign reporters visiting their nations. The translators, stringers, and “fixers” who guide the foreign press through cities like Beirut or Kiev are crucial to the practice of war reporting; yet, far too often, the journalists who depend upon “fixers” the most end up disavowing or erasing their contributions. Because of this, Palmer is writing another book (Oxford University Press) that focuses solely on the cultural labor of local “fixers,” examining their crucial participation in informing transnational publics about conflict in the present moment.

Sue Ramsett is vice president and general manager of KWQC-TV, Gray Television’s NBC affiliate in Davenport, Iowa.

A former reporter, anchor and news director, Sue brings a passion for Journalism and Community Service to the GM’s office.  She is a member of the Power Shift Project’s inaugural class, having completed leadership training at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. last summer.  

Sue is currently serving as past president of the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association and is one of the driving forces behind the Midwest Journalism Conference in Minneapolis. She is a native of La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Jon Sawyer

Jon Sawyer is founding director of the Pulitzer Center. The Center promotes in-depth engagement with global affairs through its support of quality journalism and an innovative program of outreach and education. The Center has won an Emmy, the Asia Society’s prize for best use of technology in international education, and best online journalism prizes from the National Press Foundation and the Society of Professional Journalists. Jon was previously Washington bureau chief for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was selected three years in a row for the National Press Club’s prize for best foreign reporting. He is a graduate of Yale University.

Kem Knapp Sawyer

Kem Sawyer is a contributing editor and director of the university student fellowship program at the Pulitzer Center, a non-profit journalism organization based in Washington, DC. She has reported on women and children at risk in Congo, Haiti, Bangladesh and India. Her books for young readers include Grace Akallo and the Pursuit of Justice for Child Soldiers, Refugees: Seeking a Safe Haven, and The Underground Railroad in American History, and biographies of Harriet Tubman, Nelson Mandela, Mohandas Gandhi, Anne Frank, Lucretia Mott and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Traci Schweikert

Traci Schweikert serves as the vice president for human resources for POLITICO. She has been building best-in-class teams and organizations across a variety of industries for 25 years. Traci has a proven record of optimizing organizational development for industry-leading companies such as NPR, LexisNexis and McKesson Corporation. She is particularly passionate about leveraging culture and communication to create opportunities where talent is a strategic business advantage, employees are valued, and people truly make a difference.

Traci received her degree in journalism from University of North Carolina, and holds several certifications including GPHR, SHRM-SCP, KFLA and Voices360. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Freedom Forum Institute’s Power Shift Project.



Linda Steiner

Linda Steiner is a professor in the College of Journalism at the University of Maryland and the editor of Journalism & Communication Monographs. She has published over 100 book chapters and refereed journal articles, including about sexual harassment in journalism/journalism education. Her recent co-edited books include Key Concepts in Critical-Cultural Studies (2010), Routledge Companion to Media and Gender (2013); The Handbook of Gender and War (2016); Race, News, and the City: Uncovering Baltimore (2017); and Journalism, Gender and Power (2019). Steiner worked briefly for a small newspaper and she leads Maryland’s campus-wide Keeping Our Faculty program

Negassi Tesfamichael

Negassi Tesfamichael is the K-12 education reporter at the Capital Times in Madison. A  2018 graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison, he majored in English and political science and served as the managing editor of The Daily Cardinal. He previously was a digital intern at WISC-TV/ and a breaking news and politics intern at POLITICO.