Who We Are
We are Pulitzer Prize winners and toilers in the most obscure outposts of American journalism. We are just out of college and we are in our seventh decade and still working for truth and justice. We have been celebrated and dismissed, patronized and powerful, out of work and in the most wonderful job in the world.
Many of us have created our own jobs, whether by working for ourselves or for some of the biggest media corporations in the U.S. JAWS has helped many of us shape our own future by providing a testing ground, a sounding board and a launch pad for ideas we just couldn’t resist trying out.
JAWS brings together women journalists and journalism educators and researchers from across the country — and sometimes the world — to meet in an atmosphere of mutual support, professional growth and a chance to exercise the tongue instead of biting it.
We characterize our mission this way: “JAWS supports the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism and works toward a more accurate portrayal of the whole society.”
JAWS has grown vigorously since 1985, when Tad Bartimus of the Associated Press invited 15 women from diverse backgrounds on a retreat in the Rockies. In the way of women, friends told friends, and now JAWS is a group of hundreds, committed to the ideas of renewal, affirmation and serious examination of our professional lives.
Our “herstory” is colorful and peppered with characters — characters such as former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund, Lieut. Gen. Wilma Vaught, Judy Chicago, Molly Ivins, Nan Robertson and Carolyn Heilbrun. Chief Bisi Ogunleye of Akure, Nigeria spoke to us via a teleconference from the UN Women’s Conference in Beijing.
At our Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP), held each fall in places like Santa Fe, the Grand Tetons or Glacier National Park, workshops, speakers and casual conversations explore ethics and equity, coverage and careers, affirmative action and anger. Ther’s also time to improve at billiards, try your jokes on those who haven’t heard them yet and tell it on the mountains before breakfast.
We are a non-profit corporation and can provide documentation for tax deductions. We welcome financial support for our programs, including the one dearest to our hearts: fellowships to bring the most diverse group of campers possible into the JAWS circle.
Non-members can attend camp, but you can also become a voting member if you fit one of these descriptions:
- Journalists who are employed by newspapers, news services, syndicates, magazines, television or radio stations or other electronic disseminators of news and information programming.
- College-level teachers of journalism.
- People whose full-time occupation is freelancing in the news field, or who combine freelancing with other eligible work
- Click to see Video: A taste of camp