Honoring our 2016 Exceptional Women with plenty of MoJo

At the PG&E Auditorium on Sept. 27, 2016, EWIP awarded Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlain and EIC Clara Jeffery as our Exceptional Women in Publishing, a dual recognition that we haven’t done since 2004, when we honored mother-daughter Ardath Rodale and Marie Rodale.

Following hors d’ouevres catered by Fuddhism and wine, journalist Jessica Buchleitner moderated the 30-minute Q&A with these fearsome ladies. Please enjoy the video (thanks to board member Katharine Fong for her Periscope) and a slideshow glimpse of our evening. To those who joined us, thank you and we look forward to seeing you in 2017!

  • EWIP doubles down on its Exceptional Women in 2016

Below, the transcript of just the introductions:

“Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.”

That motto came from Mother Jones, born 1837 in Cork, Ireland, as Mary Harris. She grew up during the Irish potato famine, lost her husband and four children to yellow fever in Memphis, and saw her small dressmaking shop consumed in the Chicago fire of 1871.

It was at age 63 at the turn of the 20th century, when industrialization was changing America’s landscapes and widening the gulf between rich and poor, that this itinerant widowed Irish immigrant reinvented herself as Mother Jones. She fought for the cause of the working class, be it garment workers, bottle washers, steelworkers or copper miners, and she took her fight to the top, going toe to toe with corporations and politicians, including Theodore Roosevelt. Mother Jones believed working families had to bond together to fight corporations and politicians who worked in their own best interests.

Forty years ago, Mother Jones was reborn, during the age of Watergate scandals. Within two years of its launch, the magazine investigated the Ford Pinto, America’s best-selling compact car that killed at least 500 people at low-speed rear-end collisions. This would be the first of many exposes, domestic and global.

If you can imagine the power of Mother Jones, imagine when two women team up. Ten years ago, Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlain became the co-editors of this storied progressive periodical. In the past 10 years, magazines and newspapers have downsized or disappeared altogether. In the Bay Area, where Mother Jones was founded, 30 percent of journalism jobs have been lost.

What did Clara and Monika, at a time of consolidation, job cuts and the loss of trust in the Fourth Estate? They tripled the size of its newsroom. They expanded to D.C. and New York. They reinvigorated website, where they can publish their scoops daily rather than bimonthly. Their online site increased sevenfold within three years, getting to 1.5 million unique visitors per week. Today, 10 million people visit MotherJones.com every month. Unlike many of their peers who still struggle to understand the web, Clara and Monika understand that, like Mother Jones did when she criss-crossed America, they too have to go to where their audience is.

At a time when media left watchdog reporting slip to bloggers and headline news to content mills, Monika and Clara bucked the magazine trend of the freelance model and began investing in staff journalists.

And for their efforts? Let us count just a few of the awards:

And to Monika and Clara themselves, the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing. In 2015, Monika became CEO and Clara became sole editor in chief.

In the age of publishers trying to fit their content to distribution platforms, MoJo is going straight to the readers. After its latest stunning expose on private prisons, they’ve received nearly 2,000 sustaining donors in an ambitious campaign within a month: Before this, Mother Jones magazine only racked up 2,000 donors in its 40-year existence. If MoJo reaches its goals, they will show once again that quality reader-supported journalism can not only survive in the digital space, but continue to inform and foment change. We may pray for what journalism once was, but these ladies are fighting like hell in the MoJo spirit for the living.

In the traditional of the Exceptional Women in Publishing, we are so pleased to have Monika Bauerlain and Clara Jeffery be part of our own awardee legacy that has included Ms. Magazine founder Gloria Steinem, Essence founding editor Susan Taylor, Dwell Media president Micaela Abrams and National Geographic magazine editor in chief Susan Goldberg.





EWIP 2015: Taking Risks, Blazing Trails

Event: EWIP’s 7th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference
Date: March 26, 2015
Location: Clark Kerr Conference Center
University of California, Berkeley
2601 Warring Street, Berkeley, CA 94720 [map]
Host Sponsor: kdmcBerkeley
9 A.M. – 7 P.M.

About this Event: Taking Risks, Blazing Trails
Our seventh Women’s Leadership conference promises to inspire and inform content creators of all stripes. With our signature all-female speaker roster you can dive into three program tracks: creating top-notch content, reaching more readers, and the best strategies for making money. Sessions will include exceptional speakers, engaging panel discussions, and hands-on training. Join us for the day of learning and celebrate with the EWIP Award presentation and cocktail reception. Taking risks and blazing trails is all about connecting with people and ideas that will help you transform your career.

For More Conference Details

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Rocking the Podium: Top Women in Media Awards

I recently attended Folio: magazine’s Top Women in Media awards luncheon in New York. I was invited as a representative of EWIP to present several of the awards, which was a great honor—and also fun!

This was Folio:’s first year presenting these awards, and the room was certainly packed with media star power! Awards were given out in a number of categories: corporate visionaries, industry leadership, director-level doers, entrepreneurs, rising starts, and mentors. Folio: VP of Content Tony Silber and Editorial Director Bill Mickey invited each recipient to the stage to say a few words and to accept a glass award (occasionally accompanied by a spirited video made by colleagues who had secretly nominated them).

Certain themes emerged in the women’s words of thanks. As Poppy McDonald, Publisher and President of National Journal, said “we all know we have to work harder as women.” It was clear from the accomplishments, energy, and dedication evinced by the award winners that this was indeed a ballroom full of women who work extremely hard to succeed.

Carolyn Kremins, Senior VP & General Manager of Epicurious, vowed to pioneer on behalf of other women and to help “watch each other’s back.” Jennifer Follett, Executive Editor of The Channel Company, challenged attendees to find a young woman to mentor, and Stacy Hawes, SVP of Data Solutions at Epsilon recommended that winners “put one hand behind you and grab the hand of another woman to help.” Nancy Gibbs, Editor at Time, said that women are in a good place now, and Tessa Gould, Director of Native Advertising at Huffington Post exclaimed that the awards proved that “girls can and do run the world!”

Keynote Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Network, spoke about important leadership qualities which include: a tolerance for ambiguity, an ability to work in the unknown, and an insatiable curiosity. She cited studies that demonstrate that “corporate leaders who are high performers have these attributes.” These people get promoted and advance faster. She believes these qualities contribute to the success of many of the award winners.

Overall, the award winners seemed quite pleased and proud to be part of this event. Many brought along numerous colleagues (men too!), and several brought husbands along as well to help celebrate their achievements. Says Editorial Director Bill Mickey, “Folio:’s Top Women in Media event was a terrific success. It was exciting to have so many high-powered executives in one room, and the sense of camaraderie was inspiring. This year marked the debut of an important event that we intend to make an annual franchise. Next year will be even bigger and better.”

Lynn Rosen runs Open Book, providing editorial, marketing, and event-planning services. Contact her

Record Attendance at the Women’s Leadership Conference

Bd President-WLC2011Over 225 women and men are expected to attend EWIP’s Women’s Leadership Conference and Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. This is the fourth year EWIP has held the annual conference and award presentation in San Francisco. In recognition of the success of the event, EWIP received a thank you letter from Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi who extends a warm welcome to all participants. In her letter she recognizes the value of those working to help women become strong leaders and applauds the group for providing “examples of great partnerships and collaborations, and [providing attendees with] opportunities to interact with innovative leaders” in publishing and media.

Thea-Colleen-WLC2011There are over 30 speakers in the all-female roster who will speak to the theme, Taking Our Next Step: Content, Community, Collaboration in the highly interactive conference.

A highlight of the Women’s Leadership Conference is the Exceptional Woman in Publishing Award presentation, an opportunity to publicly honor an influential leader. Michela O’Connor Abrams, president of Dwell Media is the 2012 Exceptional Woman in Publishing Award recipient and will be honored during the March 7th luncheon.

Sponsors for the 2012 Conference include, Brown Printing Company, Dwell Media, Graphic Communications, Infogroup, PM Digital, Publishers Press, RR Donnelley, The Magazine Manager, Time/Warner Retail, Verified Audit, and Zinio.

Tickets for the nearly sold-out event are available online till 8:00 pm PST on Tuesday. For more details on the conference program, session schedule visit the registration site online.

Photos courtesy Kathryn MacDonald