The Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) supports the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism and works toward a more accurate portrayal of the whole society. We do this at our Conference and Mentoring Project, through our fellowship programs and at regional gatherings.


Thank you to members, sponsors, partners and supporters for all your many contributions to JAWS. If you have already made a donation to JAWS, we thank you for your continued support for our training, mentoring and regional programming. If you are still considering year-end donations to your favorite causes, please include JAWS by making a tax-deductible contribution here.

  • CAMP 2014: From Elvis to O.J.: The career of court reporter Linda Deutsch (VIDEO)

    Story by 2014 Fellow Lindsey Anderson | Photos by Ellie Van Houtte | Video by Macrina Newhouse
    *Update 12/18/14: Yahoo News reported that Linda is retiring on Dec. 22

    MB2A7985A love affair with Elvis Presley got Linda Deutsch her start in journalism.

    Deutsch fell madly in love with Presley when she was a 12-year-old in New Jersey. Officials at Elvis headquarters gave her a list of potential fan club members members, and Deutsch began one of the first Elvis fan clubs in the United States. She used her Smith Corona typewriter to write a club newspaper, charging $1 in membership dues in the U.S. and $2 overseas.

    “This was so much a prediction of what my career would become in a way,” Deutsch said Saturday at the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) annual Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP).

  • CAMP 2014: A serious conversation about harassment: JAWdesses discuss online harassment (VIDEO)

    Story by 2014 Fellow Elaine Rita Mendus | Video by Macrina Newhouse

    While online harassment has always been an issue, it has become a big topic among journalists recently, as the recent Gamergate debacle only underlined the importance of this discussion at CAMP. Veteran journalists Mary Curtis, Susy Schultz and Michele Weldon discussed the issue of harassment on the Internet, harassment prior to the Internet and ways to counter harassment.

    Women in the session were asked to post on a corkboard an insulting or harassing comment left for them on a story. And every woman on the panel relayed a tale of harassment, threats or physical stalking.

  • CAMP 2015: JAWS slogan contest

    By Nancy Day, JAWS member

    The 2015 Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) in Whitefish, Mont., Oct. 9 to 11, is the 30th anniversary of JAWS. We want a snappy slogan to mark the occasion. In other words, a tagline.

    The board has created a competition to create and choose this slogan. Details follow. First, some guidelines:

    The best ones are pithy (S-H-O-R-T), memorable and include a key element of the organization — at best, its essence. When it hits the mark, it lasts for generations, as in “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” UNCF (formerly the United Negro College Fund).

  • Board member blog post: From Molly Ivins, to JAWS: Straight talk and fun

    By Pamela Moreland, JAWS board member

    Molly Ivins continues to give JAWS something to talk — and think — about. That’s one of the biggest takeaways from a gathering of 30 Bay Area JAWS members and their friends at the Berkeley Rep production of “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins.” Kathleen Turner, the Academy Award and Tony Award nominee, starred in the one-woman play written by the Engel sisters, Margaret (better known as Peggy) and Allison, both JAWS veterans.

    Going to see Turner channel Ivins has become a JAWS tradition: Earlier this year, JAWS members in Washington, D.C., saw Turner’s star-turn in the play, and others saw her in Philadelphia in 2010.

  • Regional gatherings recap: December 2014

    JAWS NYC: A small group of New York JAWS members gathered at the warm and welcoming Brooklyn apartment of Regional Captain Solmaz Sharif on Dec. 8. With Ruthie Padawer’s brownies and Ashley Milne-Tyte’s “devils on horseback” (baked bacon-wrapped prunes), among other offerings, we were not short of food! Among other things, we pledged to have more frequent meetings. At Liz Seegert’s suggestion, we’re stealing a page from the D.C. group and plan to mix up venues and organizers to attract more people.

  • Call for CAMP 2015 workshops and speakers

    By Gina Setser and Emily Shenk, CAMP Co-chairs

    The 30th anniversary JAWS CAMP needs a program that rockets newswomen into the future, and the board is turning to the sharpest minds anywhere for suggestions—you. Can you think of a panel or speaker who will give us all the boost we need?

    Anyone may submit a proposal as an individual or as a team. JAWS members should feel free to brainstorm an idea on the listserv to flesh it out and find collaborators, then submit it to us here. Plan to be the prime organizer for your speaker/panel. Deadline is Jan. 15, 2015.

  • Make #GivingTuesday #Give2JAWS Day

    By Pamela Moreland, JAWS board member

    Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. All very cool. All about consumption.

    Giving Tuesday is different. Founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York and the United Nations Foundation, it’s about giving back and making a difference. Your tax-deductible donation to JAWS on Giving Tuesday, no matter how big or small, will provide money for fellowships, mentoring programs, regional training and help in bringing great speakers to our annual conference.

    We must keep up the momentum, and we need your support to do so.

  • November 2014: Building on core strengths

    This year at the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) at the La Quinta Resort and Club near Palm Springs, California, our amazing fellows asked for a few moments on the program because they had something to say. They stood up and, one by one, shared how they had become hooked on JAWS, how they had found it a safe place, a place of support, rejuvenating and inspiring and so much more.

    They summed up eloquently and with emotion everything I might have said in my opening remarks after immediate past president Lauren Whaley placed the stylish shark tiara on my head. The fellows, like the excellent journalists they are, zoomed in on the heart of what JAWS is about.

  • Member blog post: How misogyny, body shaming and hypersexualization in media skew modern perceptions of female beauty

    By Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, JAWS member

    IMG_7454For our November regional event, Southern California JAWdesses partnered with Ms. Magazine to host a public forum on women, body image and the media at the Feminist Majority headquarters in Beverly Hills. More than 60 attendees – many of them journalism and media students from area colleges and universities – braved the early Saturday morning chill for the 90-minute presentation, “Mirror, Mirror: How Misogyny, Body Shaming and Hypersexualization in Media Skew Modern Perceptions of Female Beauty,” moderated by So Cal JAWS member Amy Lieu (editor, SoCal Connected).

  • Holiday shopping = awesome for JAWS

    Planning a trip? Renting a car? Buying a book? Ordering flowers? Do you buy from Amazon, iTunes, Hotwire, Travelocity, eBay, Best Buy, Target, Lands’ End or 1-800-Flowers? If the answer is yes, you can help the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS).

  • CAMP 2014: Success requires hard work, truth and confronting our fears

    Story by 2014 Fellow Georgia Dawkins

    “Emote! It’s good to cry, but don’t stay there.” That was the message from Wendy Wallbridge as she comforted a tearful woman sharing the conflict between her true self and her false self with a room full of strangers. In that moment, we were not strangers, we were kindred spirits. It was the moment where we recognized that we all shared the same fears.

    The woman’s testimony was part of an exercise at a CAMP session, “Elevating Your Voice: A New Roadmap for Self-Defined Success.” Wallbridge said that to be successful, we had to develop a different relationship with the negative voices in our head. So, as part of the session, we made a T-chart. On one side we listed all the negative things our false self told us about pursuing our dreams, and on the other, we listed the truth. She encouraged us to combat those negative voices with words from our true self. “Are you thinking about what you want, or the lack of it?” said Wallbridge.

  • CAMP 2014: Mentors are out there, but you have to look for them

    Story by 2014 Fellow Georgia Dawkins

    Shh! Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but the big secret to mentoring is asking for what you need. I know this for a fact. For the last 10 years, I have recruited mentors from various backgrounds, genders and ethnicities to guide me through life. This year, JAWS made that process even easier. Not only was I drawn to like-minded JAWdesses like a mosquito to water, but I was paired with a phenomenal female journalist. I was paired with Stacy-Marie Ishmael. She instantly made meeting me at CAMP a priority, and her commitment didn’t end at after one breakfast at the La Quinta Resort. Between BuzzFeed and the Financial Times, her time is limited, but I’m now on her schedule. I look at our newfound union and think, “Now, that’s how you do it.”

    Mary Stutts, vice president of external affairs for Comcast, told CAMP attendees that many women don’t have mentors because they fail to ask. “Mentoring is conducive to developing future leaders,” says the mother of three.

  • CAMP 2014: 21st century ethics for 21st century journalism

    Story by 2014 Fellow Melissa Ludtke

    As the industrial model of conveying news via print and broadcast shares its space now with digital media, so do the 20th century’s benchmarks of newsroom ethics need to adjust to new ways of assessing the profession’s guiding principles. It doesn’t work to “simply apply the old rules to the new environment,” said Kelly McBride, who is vice president of academic programs at the Poynter Institute and led the session entitled “New Journalism Ethics” at JAWS CAMP. McBride is also co-editor of “The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century.”

    No licensing board sets standards for journalists to adhere to, unlike many professions. Instead, its ethics grow “from the bottom,” and thus have evolved in that way, too, McBride observed. Consumers of news then have those ethics as guiding principles that undergird the delivery of their news. With fairness and accuracy at the center of journalism’s mission, the standards — core values — that grew out of the common 20th century practice involved truth-telling, independence (from advertisers) and the minimization of harm.