The cornerstone of JAWS’ work is training and mentorship. Often this takes place at our annual Conference and Mentorship Program (CAMP) gathering, but we also strive to provide opportunities for members to connect through regional gatherings and trainings. In addition, we also work to partner up mentors who wish to share their experience and expertise with mentees who seek to grow, advance and lead. We call this symbiosis, as mentoring is often a two-way exchange.
By Camila Osorio, 2015 JAWS Fellow
Storytelling is at the heart of good journalism. But storytelling is changing: Snapchats, podcasts and interactive graphics have quickly entered 21st century-newsrooms. Katherine Lanpher, Al Jazeera America senior online features editor, organized a panel, “Storytelling in this Century,” at JAWS CAMP to encourage women to welcome these new narrative forms instead of fear them.
JAWS D.C.: Nearly 30 members of JAWS gathered at Teaism Restaurant in Washington, D.C., Oct. 29, for an exciting evening of food, fun and fellowship. The event was organized by regional co-captain Lottie Joiner and featured author Dr. Alice Driver. Driver, a JAWS member, talked about her book “More or Less Dead: Feminicide, Haunting, and the Ethics of Representation in Mexico.”
Nikki Raz also organized its first “freelancer speed-dating” event Nov. 7 designed to match people seeking to work collaboratively in order to gain new skills. Seven JAWdesses came to pitch and to listen to story ideas.
Relive the magic of the Conference and Mentoring Project, hosted Oct. 9-11 in Montana. Photos by Roxanne Foster, Katie Alaimo and Beatriz Costa-Lima.
By Casey Hynes, 2015 JAWS Fellow
On the first day of journalism school or the first day in the newsroom, journalists learn that the cardinal rule of reporting is objectivity. Letting personal biases creep into the story is a credibility-destroying mistake. The Society for Professional Journalists is clear: Journalists should report stories, not become part of them.
But Asra Nomani, author of “Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam,” believes reporters can ethically promote causes. But they must maintain their journalistic values while doing it. Nomani led a CAMP breakout session on the issue, titled “Crossing Lines: How Journalists Can Ethically Be Advocates.”
Nomani became an advocacy journalist after her friend and colleague Daniel Pearl was beheaded by Islamic militants in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2002.
By Casey Hynes, 2015 JAWS Fellow
Figuring out what works — and what doesn’t — to improve diversity in news coverage and newsrooms has been key in the career of Los Angeles Times managing editor S. Mitra Kalita.
Here’s what she’s learned over her career, which includes stops at The Washington Post, Newsday, the Associated Press and Quartz: “There is no path forward for any of us until there is a space for all of us.”
By Madi Alexander, 2015 JAWS Fellow
The rape and brutalization of Native American women and girls is pervasive both on and off tribal lands. At a panel on sexual violence at JAWS CAMP, five journalists shared their experiences and advice on covering these issues and understanding the context around them.
By Bethany Barnes, 2015 JAWS Fellow
College journalism programs are under pressure to deliver the digital journalists of the future, but effective curriculum isn’t only about teaching particular tools or platforms, according to professors discussing “Reinventing the Journalism Curriculum” at the 2015 Journalism and Women Symposium.
A computer can spew out facts — but it still can’t compete with the adept journalist when it comes to context, curiosity and critical thinking. Those fundamentals are needed no matter how the journalism is relayed to the audience, the panelists agreed.
Rachele Kanigel, Jackie Spinner, Melita Garza and Cindy Skrzycki talked about how they tackle what they think is a false conflict: The struggle between what’s been the bedrock of reporting — writing, ethics — and new technologies.
By Deirdre Bannon, 2015 JAWS Fellow
Dana E. Neuts (@SPJDana) presented strategies for success as a freelance journalist in her workshop, “Freelance Doesn’t Mean Free” at JAWS CAMP.
Neuts, the immediate past president of the Society of Professional Journalists, started her Seattle-based freelance writing business, Virtually Yourz, in 2003. After only 18 months, she was able to fully support herself through a combination of editorial and corporate clients.
But navigating the business side of a freelance career isn’t always easy, so Neuts shared her tricks of the trade with journalists looking to start or expand their independent journalism businesses. Her advice included how to negotiate rates and contracts, how to keep the IRS happy, and how to make sure you’re able to save for retirement. Here are the top 10 takeaways from the session.
By Bethany Barnes, 2015 JAWS Fellow
What we need to change in the culture of our newsrooms is what’s needed for all great stories: strong verbs. At the 2015 Journalism and Women Symposium plenary session “Not On My Watch,” Mary C. Curtis, an award-winning multimedia journalist, and Jill Geisler, an expert in newsroom leadership and management, encouraged the audience to view diversity as action.
By Nicole Chavez, 2015 JAWS Fellow
Many women are at the forefront of digital media. Some create or produce content, others are showing leadership potential and many are already leading digital newsrooms across the United States. A diverse group of those 25 women was selected from nearly 500 applicants to attend the first Online News Association-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media last April.
Jane McDonnell, executive director of ONA, shared at the 2015 JAWS CAMP four important things that organizers and faculty learned during the leadership academy, which they hope will serve as a guide to improve their next seminar.
We started the day with a tribute to JAWS’ legacy – the women we’ve lost, and how their memory lives on.
By Lisa Maria Garza, 2015 JAWS Fellow
Journalists who cover race and police issues in America tend to parachute into communities, focus on the loudest voices and ignore the real issue of racism, panelists discussed Saturday at JAWS.
In the aftermath of the Freddie Gray shooting, worldwide media played on loop a clip of black people looting a CVS store in Baltimore as it burned to the ground during street protests that showcased obvious tension with police, panelists and attendees said.
“No one showed the picture of people coming the next day to clean the CVS,” said Susy Schultz, outgoing JAWS vice president and Community Media Workshop president at a session titled “Covering Race, Police & Communities.”
By Nicole Chavez, JAWS Fellow
You can turn your phone into your best ally for reporting and also promote your work on social media with just a few clicks.
“It’s not really to engage your audience, it’s to attract new people to your platform,” said Jackie Spinner, assistant professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago and correspondent for Columbia Journalism Review. It’s as much about branding as reporting.
At CAMP 2015, Spinner went over the basics of how to take better photos with your smartphone, what apps can turn your phone into a better camera and also a few apps that can help you distribute your photos and stories.
By Cassie Cope, 2015 JAWS Fellow
Campaign finance is the best beat ever, according to a journalist who investigates political spending.
That’s because someone has to follow the money, said Carrie Levine, a campaign finance reporter for the Center for Public Integrity.
“If someone is going to figure out who is getting rich here, who is breaking the rules, it is on us,” Levine said.
Levine was joined by Denise Roth Barber of the National Institute on Money in State Politics and Nancy Watzman of Television Archive in leading the “Washington for Sale 2016” session at the JAWS Conference and Mentoring Project. Alison Fitzgerald Kodjak of NPR moderated.
The first full day at CAMP started off with AP’s first female foreign correspondent, Edie Lederer, a true trailblazer.
By Kirstin Garriss, 2015 JAWS Fellow
Stories and datasets have one thing in common — details. As journalists, we weave details in and out of sentences to create stories. You can do the same thing with data.
All day Friday, a packed room of journalists learned how to mine rows of numbers and text to extract stories important to readers.
During the 2015 DataViz workshop at JAWS CAMP in Whitefish, Mont., the journalists explored the world of data through visualization and learned how to creatively present data to an audience. Cheryl Phillips, a Stanford University data journalism lecturer, shared some quick tips for mastering Excel and explained how to incorporate your data into storytelling. Tableau customer community specialist Lauren Rogers showed how to turn data into visuals.
Grouse Mountain Lodge details, airport shuttle info, ride sharing and room sharing, and parking info
For those attending the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) in Montana, we have a few suggestions for activities in the area.
JAWS NYC: Despite a broken arm sustained while reporting on dance skaters, Tina Susman invited JAWdesses to her Brooklyn Heights apartment on Sept. 3.
By Michele Weldon, CAMP Books & Browse Coordinator
What has 12 legs, six books, thousands of pages and an hour devoted to it on the JAWS Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) schedule Friday night? Books & Browse is the heralded tradition at CAMP when you can chat with JAWS authors and have them sign their books. This year, B&B will follow the Friday night dinner and come before the throwback to 1985 party.
Veteran JAWS members Jane Isay, Jeannie Morris, Caryl Rivers and myself will be talking truth in recently published books about secrets, relationships, politics, gender, work, media, parenting and more. We will also have a spot for veteran members Mary C. Curtis and Lisen Stromberg to discuss their contributions to an upcoming book on Hillary Clinton.