The President of the Journalism and Women Symposium, according to the organization bylaws, serves as the chief executive officer of the organization. She directs staff and board members, presides at meetings, appoints committees, signs all written contracts and obligations of the organization, and speaks on behalf of JAWS. The president, most importantly, sets the tone and direction for JAWS.
Dear 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dear 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.
Dear 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.
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.
The transition to fall requires a fresh look at the calendar, including the start of school for my daughter, the holiday celebrations with friends and family and, of course, JAWS CAMP.
I had intended to tidy my desk that quiet Saturday while subbing for another editor on vacation. But then the Asiana plane with 307 passengers and crew crashed at SFO, plunging me and dozens of other journalists into the adrenaline-pumping rush of a big news story.
June is a month full of ceremonies: graduations, celebrations, new commitments and awards. …
It is also a month of notable achievements for JAWS so I hope you will all celebrate with me to note these milestones
The JAWS board is now soliciting nominations to join the Board of Directors when the terms of six current members expire. We need women to fill the roles of vice president, deputy vice president, treasurer and at least three general board members.
The spring is an exciting time for the Board of Directors of JAWS because we gather for our annual retreat – this year in my hometown of Berkeley, Calif. – to take stock of where the organization is and strategize about where we want to go.
The JAWS Board of Directors took time recently to review the organization’s core values as a way to reaffirm the principles we value as an organization.
I found it inspiring to think about the strength of our collective purpose and to look back on all the careers that have been launched, sustained and propelled by the JAWS network during the last three decades.
JAWS has a lot of momentum right now on several fronts, and I am happy to share our progress with you.
We are thrilled to announce that Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, will be our Saturday night keynote speaker for 2013 CAMP at The Essex Culinary Resort & Spa near Burlington, Vt., Oct. 24-27.
A new year always brings new inspiration for me and there’s no shortage of that from JAWS members. As recounted in my December letter, we have enjoyed a tremendous year of growth and success, so let’s keep the momentum going and make sure that other women in journalism benefit from all our organization has to offer.
While celebrating the holidays and enjoying time with family and friends, December is also a time to take stock of the past year. …And it has been a consistently rewarding one through my leadership as President of Journalism & Women Symposium.
What a success! I am so awed by the 226 women who came to the 2012 Conference and Mentoring Project of Journalism & Women Symposium. From newspapers and magazines to documentaries and books to radio and blogs, the work being done by JAWS members is remarkable.