News

August 2014: Covering tough subjects

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Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWS members:

These have been a troubling few weeks for journalists and for the world. And I am grateful for JAWS members who have helped to explain and reflect on what is happening through our network, support and work. Thank you for the posts and discussion on the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown and the continued aftermath in Ferguson, Missouri and beyond. And thank you, too, for the coverage and conversation following photojournalist James Foley’s execution. In both stories, many people see their sons, their fathers, their brothers, themselves.

I am hoping we can continue these conversations about the world and the role of journalists in it on the listserv, on Twitter, on Facebook and at our Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) at the end of October.

Jezebel founder Anna Holmes: CAMP keynote

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Anna HolmesI am so pleased to announce that Anna Holmes has agreed to be our Saturday night keynote speaker at this year’s Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP). She’s excited about it and so am I.

Anna is founder of Jezebel and recipient of the 2012 Mirror Award for Best Commentary for her columns in The New York Times and the Washington Post. She is the editor of two books, “Hell Hath No Fury: Women’s Letters from the End of the Affair” and the “Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things.” She now works as a columnist for the New York Times Book Review and as an editor at Fusion.

Many JAWS members asked for her by name as a potential speaker, and we are honored to have Anna at this year’s CAMP.

July 2014: Empowering women journalists

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Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWdesses:

If ever you doubted the power of our mission to empower women journalists, just take a look at the results of our JAWS crowdfunding campaign to support the 10 Emerging Journalist fellowship winners coming to CAMP this year. Not only did we meet our goal of raising an incredible $12,000 through more than 200 small donations, we also garnered attention from hundreds of new supporters, who saw the tweets, posts and emails about these impressive emerging journalists and our Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) this year.

Remarkably, we had over 80 applicants for 10 spots — a record response for JAWS and double the number from last year.

June 2014: Behind the scenes

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Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWS members:

I want to take this time to share with you not only some of the exciting opportunities we have been working on (see Fellowships! Regional gatherings! Member news! CAMP!), but also some of the work we have doing behind the scenes to keep JAWS functioning and improving.

We now have organizational documents posted online behind our members-only site. There, you will find committee names and members, our 2014 budget and our 2014 development plan. We will continue to add documents to this area.

Journalism and Women Symposium and Financial Times launch new fellowship for women

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Journalism and Women Symposium is pleased to announce a new fellowship for women of diverse backgrounds to attend the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP), an opportunity that will be funded over five years thanks to generous support from the Financial Times.

One fellowship winner each year will receive up to $1,000 to cover the cost of registration, travel and accommodations at the annual CAMP conference. JAWS intends to make this opportunity available to women who are traditionally underrepresented in newsrooms, including women of color, journalists in the LGBTQ community and those with disabilities.

May 2014: Exciting news and opportunities

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Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWdesses:

Wow, what a month! I am reminded every day that JAWS is like no other place or organization. I have come to expect our robust listserv discussions on topics such as Jill Abramson’s recent firing as well as links to heart-wrenching gorgeous essays. I love reading news on book deals and jobs opportunities. We all benefit from the intimacy our fellow members have cultivated over the years. And sharing that experience with more women in journalism – especially at this time in our industry when so many need the kind of support we provide – is gratifying. As I wrote in my fellowship letter, I want JAWS to welcome those who need this community. Our membership growth over the past few years shows how relevant we are, and the financial support that has grown along with it shows that our mission is compelling.

JAWdesses on Jill Abramson and The New York Times

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Journalism and Women Symposium members often pen eloquent commentaries on issues and news of the day and the firing of Jill Abramson as executive editor of the New York Times was no exception. As our keynote speaker at CAMP in 2013, Jill Abramson announced to a cheering audience that she was becoming “the newest member of JAWS” and her tales from the trenches inspired many who heard her speak. As the first woman to lead The New York Times, she was a beacon for many. And now that Dean Baquet is in that spot as the first African American to lead the paper, he is also a beacon for those striving for diversity in newsrooms.

Our listserv has been full of interesting and thoughtful comments, but we wanted to also highlight a few of the published columns from our members. If you have suggestions for other published work on this topic by JAWS members, send a note to web@jaws.org.

Support for Jill Abramson

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Dear Jill:

The members of the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) support you.

As you ascended the ranks of top newspapers, you impressed us with your investigative journalism chops. When you became the first woman to run one of the most influential news organizations in the world, you inspired us to reach for leadership positions in our careers. And when you spoke to us during our annual conference last fall, you re-invigorated us with your self-proclaimed optimism about the journalism field and the influence we can have as women in it. Now we want to support you.

At the JAWS conference, you brought us to our feet declaring yourself to be “the newest member of JAWS” and acknowledging us as your “peeps.” Well, your peeps are here for you if you need us. We are hundreds strong in newsrooms all across the country and we stand with you and will help if we can.

Apply to be a JAWS fellow

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Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWdesses:

I am proud to tell you all about our commitment to bring another 10 emerging journalists to our annual Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) this year — and to encourage you to spread the word about this tremendous opportunity. Please reach out to people who would not only love the Journalism and Women Symposium experience but who would also bring vitality and fresh contributions to our intimate group.

As a former fellow, I know how important this program is and have made it a priority to maintain during my time as president.

April 2014: What’s new at JAWS

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Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWdesses:

I feel like I have birthed twins. Juggling care of my 3-month-old son and my work for JAWS leaves me wishing for clones (or at least more arms). I know many of us feel such Overwhelm. Lucky for me, I have a great support system in my husband, my friends and family and in all of you, including my hard-working JAWS board members. I feel my energy renewed with each listserv discussion on, say, a must-read article or a JAWdess’s accomplishment or plans for upcoming meetings. Thank you for being such an engaged community of professionals!

As you know, our executive director stepped down last month; she is working with us through April 30. We bid adieu to Becky Day with fondness and gratitude for the work she has put in as office manager and then executive director, for a total of 13 years with JAWS. Thank you, Becky, for your service to this incredible organization.

February 2014: Haikus for you and upcoming events

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Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWdesses:

It’s 1:23 a.m.

The baby is asleep in my arms and I’m typing this on my phone. He’s snoring and practicing his smiles in his sleep as we rock. He just laughed in his sleep. It’s quiet moments like these when I look into my son’s face when I feel truly grateful.

For JAWS, it’s all about the moments, too. Thanks to your support and the hard work of board members and other volunteers. We are looking forward to creating more moments, big and small.

January 2014: Fundraising update, supporting new initiatives

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Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWdesses:

I just had a baby. My first.

His name is Malcolm. He has 10 perfect long fingers and 10 perfect long toes and wants to eat every second of the day.

Knowing he will be watching me closely, listening to how I describe the world makes me want to be even more deliberate about how I spend my time. I’ll proudly tell him that I am a member of a kickass group of women journalists who are trying to create a more accurate portrayal of society through our work.

December 2013: Happy almost New Year

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Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWS members:

As I look to the year ahead and all the exciting upcoming programs and life events, I have to pause. I have to remind myself that there are a few days left in this year and lots to do before the clock strikes midnight.

Tucked in among our power cords and notebooks, my husband and I have piles of baby clothes to wash, baskets of papers to file and stacks of presents to send. We’re getting ready to welcome our first child into the world. After all these months, I still cannot believe he or she is almost here!
With many work projects under my belt, a recent apartment move and a nearly complete pregnancy, I have had quite the year personally.

Even so, my JAWS work has been some of the most gratifying.

November 2013: New president, CAMP re-cap

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Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWS members:

When outgoing superwoman president Kat Rowlands placed the presidential shark crown on my head at this year’s Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP), I teared up looking out at the brilliant women who started our Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) nearly 30 years ago sitting among those who were at CAMP for the first time. As a fellow in 2010, I remember the feelings I had at my first CAMP — intimidation and excitement — as I marveled at the brilliant badasses surrounding me, welcoming me into their ranks.

September 2013: Letter from the president

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Better Kat pic

Building momentum is fun and we are doing a lot of that right now at JAWS.

At a networking party I held at my home this month, I got to sign up a dozen new members, connect writers looking for work with editors looking to hire, and start building a wish list of training sessions that we will organize this year.

What fun to see success with the networking, mentoring and training behind our mission to support the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism and work toward a more accurate portrayal of the whole society.