Fellowships

The Journalism and Women Symposium each year raises money to support our fellowship program, bringing women who are just starting their careers to the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) as well as those looking to transition into the next step of their career. We invite them to meet some of our trailblazers, feel inspired by learning new skills and also share their energy and enthusiasm with the group.

Meet the 2015 Diversity Fellow Charisse Gibson

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CharisseGibsonThe Journalism and Women Symposium each year selects one journalist from a community traditionally underrepresented in the media, and whose work supports diversity. The Financial Times is generously underwriting the JAWS Diversity Fellowship. A proud New Orleans native and the 2015 Diversity Fellow, Charisse Gibson is the Morning Anchor at KSLA News 12 “This Morning” in Shreveport, Louisiana.

When not on the anchor desk, Gibson is reporting for her “Family First” franchise, telling the life stories of notable African Americans in Northwest Louisiana. Check out her story about the first black police officer on the Shreveport police force here and here. And the story of a folk artist who grew up on a Louisiana plantation here.

Meet the 2015 Entrepreneurial Fellow Claritza Jiménez

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ClaritzaJimenezClaritza Jiménez is a television news producer and video journalist. She produces international news as part of the Latin America team at Associated Press Television News (APTN) in Washington, D.C. Some of the biggest stories she has worked on include the shift in U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations and the election of Pope Francis.

Jiménez, who is a native Spanish speaker, started her journalism career at the CBS stations in Chicago and Dallas. She was awarded an Investigative Journalism Fellowship at American University’s School of Communication, where she earned a Master of Arts in journalism.

Introducing 2015 Next Step Fellowship recipient E.J. Graff

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EJGraffE.J. Graff first came to Journalism and Women Symposium’s Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) in Oregon in 2004. Like so many of us, she immediately fell in love with this raucous, welcoming sisterhood of other irreverent, curious, fabulous journalists ready to throw open their homes and contact lists whenever she asked. Since then she has served on the Board of Directors, chaired the fundraising committee, caused trouble, donated money and, with Jodi Enda, won the “Sneaky Shark” award at JAWS CAMP in New Hampshire in 2008 (go ahead, ask).

Graff entered journalism in the 1980s, contributing to the then-marginalized gay and feminist press. During the 1990s she began reporting about LGBT life for the mainstream, and in doing so, helping to pioneer the gender and sexuality “beat.” Her work has since appeared in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Advocate, The New Republic and Slate. Graff has published two books: “What Is Marriage For? The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution” and Mass. Lt. Gov. Evelyn Murphy’s book “Getting Even: Why Women Still Don’t Get Paid Like Men—and What To Do So We Will.”

Contribute to the JAWS Fellowship campaign

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supportJAWScampaign2015By Kira Zalan, JAWS Fellowship Chair

This is an exciting time for the JAWS Fellowship Committee. We are in the midst of reviewing 105 applications to select the 2015 class of fellows. Our goal is to introduce the 13 recipients to you by June 15.

We have two dozen volunteers assigned to selection committees, many of them recent fellows. It’s heartening to see so many fellowship recipients give back to JAWS by helping organize regional events, supporting various committees and serving on the board of directors.

As we enter our fellowship fundraising season, I’d like to provide a bit of history of how we got here.

JAWS Entrepreneurial Fellow’s report from the field

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Melissa LudtkeBy Melissa Ludtke, JAWS Entrepreneurial Fellow

Not surprisingly, as an entrepreneur, it’s not about my journalism acumen but as my creation’s chief marketer that I am writing to you from the field … so it was yesterday that at a home in Newton, Massachusetts, in the company of my daughter Maya, whose journey “home” is the impetus for “Touching Home in China: In Search of Missing Girlhoods,” that we launched our iBook into the world! Albeit, for now, it’s just our pilot chapter … since next up is the typical entrepreneurial adventure called “crowdfund.” One week from now, on Monday, Sept. 22, “Touching Home in China” launches its Indiegogo crowdfund — after a year of totally self-funding its development (not from lack of trying to get grant funds), with a product to show, not just a story to tell, it’s time to ask for help in the way entrepreneurial projects do. To crowd-fund.

JAWS Entrepreneurial Fellow reveals transmedia storytelling project

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Melissa LudtkeJAWS members attending the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) will be able to talk with JAWS’ first entrepreneurial fellow Melissa Ludtke about transmedia story-making and the story she is telling — “Touching Home in China: In Search of Missing Girlhoods.”

In her early 60s, she took on a new challenge: she decided to learn how to use an emerging digital platform to tell a compelling story she’d been a part of in rural China. She is producing an iBook that lets her mesh video (shot by a bilingual crew she hired in China), galleries of photos, interactive graphics, pop-out text boxes and narrative text across a single platform. When the iBook is launched in September 2015, its transmedia story will be digitally distributed to global audiences through her project’s social media ecosystem.

Ludtke’s iBook videos show encounters of American and Chinese teens that occurred when her 16-year-old daughter Maya, adopted from China as a baby, and her orphanage crib neighbor Jennie, each of whom was abandoned as a newborn in a farming village near Changzhou, China, returned to the towns where they were abandoned as newborns. There, they got to know girls their age who were raised there and those girls became their guides to gaining a sense of what their missing girlhoods might have been.

Meet the first JAWS diversity fellow

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AmyStrettenThe Diversity Fellowship signifies the power of JAWS, bringing a journalist traditionally underrepresented in the newsroom to CAMP. By July 1, we received 54 applications for one spot and more than a dozen JAWdesses answered the call for volunteers to help with the selection process. JAWS thanks the Financial Times for its generous support of the Diversity Fellowship.

Amy Stretten is a bilingual (Spanish/English) independent multimedia journalist, blogger and freelance news reporter. Stretten is Native American, from the Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia. As a mixed-race, queer-identifying woman of color, she draws from her personal experience, navigating the world through a multicultural lens, to share stories that matter but may otherwise be misunderstood or overlooked.

Stretten has a unique sensitivity to what matters to diverse communities. As the National Affairs Correspondent at Fusion (ABC and Univision’s millennial-focused joint-venture), she wrote, produced and presented on-air stories and commentary exploring identity and the intersections of race, class, gender and sexual orientation for a millennial audience. Through her writing, she connected the dots between Netflix series “House of Cards” and Native American tribal disenrollment, explained Black American Sign Language and substantiated the need for femme/feminine lesbian visibility.

Meet the first JAWS mid-career fellow

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SuzanneCosgroveThis year we launched the Mid-Career Fellowship with the goal of bringing to CAMP an experienced journalist at a crossroads in her career.

Suzanne Cosgrove is a freelance financial writer, editor and teacher who works on multiple media platforms. A former financial editor at the Chicago Tribune, she currently writes a weekly column on commodities for the Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones.

She also covered commodities and managed funds for Thomson Reuters and previously was the Chicago bureau chief for Market News International.

She is a contributing writer for Market News International and number of other publications, and is an adjunct professor at the Medill School of Journalism.

Meet the first JAWS entrepreneurial fellow

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MelissaLudtkewithMayaThe Entrepreneurial Fellowship is one of our three new fellowship programs this year. It is designed to bring to CAMP an experienced journalist, who is working on an innovative journalism project consistent with the JAWS mission. JAWS received six impressive applications and the selection committee awarded the fellowship to JAWS member, Melissa Ludtke.

When Melissa applied for JAWS first ever Entrepreneurial Fellowship, her application opened with these words: “I might be a veteran journalist — going on 40 years in the business — but I’m a very young digital storytelling entrepreneur.”

Crowdfunding campaign success

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By Katherine Rowlands, Interim Development Director

What an outstanding accomplishment to have surpassed our goal to fully fund our Emerging Journalist fellowship program this month! We had a record number of applicants and a record response to our fundraising efforts with more than 223 individual crowdfunding donations, several designated private gifts, including new backing from the founders of GrantHer and a $2,500 travel grant from the Ford Foundation.

This is a terrific endorsement of our program to encourage and provide support for 10 new journalists and a wonderful reminder of why JAWS is so important.

A month ago, we asked for support from JAWS members, outside supporters and the fellowship winners’ networks and the results are impressive: the CrowdRise effort alone brought in $13,173 with more than $3,000 raised by the fellows themselves. The amplification of our message through our JAWS website and social media campaign on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn paid off.

JAWS CAMP 2013 Fellows

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The 2013 JAWS Conference and Mentoring Project was held in Essex, Vt. (near Burlington) from Oct. 25 – 27.

We raised money to bring 10 early-career female journalists to this year’s CAMP in Essex, Vermont. Watch the video to learn more about our annual fellowship program and to meet the JAWS Fellows from 2013.