Training and Mentorship

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.

Regional gatherings recap: June 2015

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JAWSDC_LakeJacksonJAWS D.C.: At least three dozen JAWS members gathered Saturday at Roberta Baskin’s breathtaking home on the bank of Jackson Lake in Manassas, Va. In addition to boat rides by Capt. Jim (Roberta’s husband and journalist), JAWS members enjoyed dips in the pool and great conversation at every corner. If only every summer day could be this magical!

CAMP 2015: Programming preview

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By Emily Shenk, JAWS CAMP Co-Chair

Fall may seem far off, but the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) in beautiful Whitefish, Mont., is just a few months away! We are very excited about the 30th anniversary CAMP, which will celebrate our accomplishments together so far but also look forward to the next 30 years. What lies ahead for women in journalism? How will the way we tell stories evolve in the coming decade? What skills can we gain to become better leaders in our workplaces?

We’re planning a lineup of interactive sessions to help you explore these questions and more. Early-bird registration ends June 30, so register now to get the best deal. If you need more convincing, here are some highlights that I’m particularly excited about.

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.

Regional gatherings recap: May 2015

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JAWS_AHCJ_0415JAWS Bay Area: Sharkey and the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of JAWS made an appearance at the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) conference in Santa Clara, Calif., on April 25. We had a great time catching up with JAWdesses from across the country and meeting journalists attending the AHCJ conference.

CAMP 2015: Getting to CAMP (discount airfares and rideshare)

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By Pamela Moreland, JAWS Board Member

Getting to the Big Sky Country in Whitefish, Mont., for JAWS CAMP (Conference and Mentoring Project) shouldn’t take big bucks. That’s why JAWS has partnered with the three major airlines to offer conference participants airfare discounts.

Alaska, Delta and United airlines have all agreed to knock off 5 to 13 percent on reservations to Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell. That’s the closest airport to Whitefish and the Grouse Mountain Lodge.

CAMP 2015: Registration is open!

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The Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) will be taking place this year at the Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish, Mont., from Oct. 9 to 11. This year is extra special as JAWS celebrates its 30th anniversary. The annual JAWS CAMP focuses on strengthening core journalism skills, building personal brands and careers, developing strategies for success in our evolving media landscape, improving gender parity in our profession, empowering women in leadership and management, and encouraging a more accurate portrayal of the whole society. Participants will enjoy a dynamic weekend filled with inspiring speakers, motivating career development sessions and rewarding networking and mentoring opportunities. It’s an experience that has helped launch countless careers, and it’s also ignited lifelong friendships.

Regional gatherings recap: April 2015

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JAWS_April_1JAWS D.C.: About 20 JAWdesses and potential new members gathered at the National Press Club on April 2 to learn about an amazing 19th-century American journalist named Eliza Scidmore. Among her many accomplishments, after spending time in Japan, Scidmore was the first to propose planting cherry blossom trees in a national park along the Potomac in the late 1880s. Her vision was not to be realized until nearly 30 years later. Local JAWS member Diana Parsell presented the fascinating story of Scidmore’s life, work and travels as an independent woman ahead of her time. Diana is preparing a biography of Scidmore tentatively titled “A Great Blooming.”

Regional gatherings recap: March 2015

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JAWS D.C.: More than 40 Washington-area JAWdesses and prospective members braved freezing rain and treacherous sidewalks to get together on March 1 for a potluck at the home of JAWS board member Angela Greiling Keane. The event focused on JAWS membership, so members were encouraged to bring a friend who’d be interested in joining JAWS. The potluck featured dishes from homemade carrot cake to Indian stews to from-scratch sourdough bread. In the spirit of good food, former JAWS board member Carol Guensberg talked about the effort to compile and publish a JAWS cookbook for the organization’s 30th anniversary to tell the JAWS story through food.

JAWS SoCal: We had a wonderful JAWS potluck on Saturday evening. Listening to Patt Morrison speak about the art of interviewing, the value of research and the hard work of reporting, and graciously answer everyone’s questions, was a major treat. Thanks to everyone who came and contributed food, fun and thoughtful exchanges.

Regional gatherings recap: February 2015

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JAWS Bay Area: We’re currently in the planning stages of a daylong investigative journalism training/workshop. If you have ideas or would like to help, contact Angela Woodall or regional captain Emily Beaver.

Bay Area and Albuquerque JAWdesses gathered in their respective cities for viewings of “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.” Feedback reveals this is a great opportunity for regions to use a film or play as a recruitment tool — especially if you can arrange an informal mixer or talk afterwards.

JAWS Boston: Boston JAWS members last month attended “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins,” a play written by JAWS members (and twins) Margaret (Peggy) and Allison Engel.

Winning JAWS 30th Anniversary slogan

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By Nancy Day

On behalf of the judges, I am pleased to announce the winning slogan for our 30th anniversary year:

JAWS: WOMEN MAKING NEWS FOR 30 YEARS

The judging was blind, based only on the merits of the many entries, but I was thrilled to find that the winner comes from Linda Deutsch, legendary trials reporter for the Associated Press, based in Los Angeles. Those of us lucky enough to come to CAMP ’14 were spellbound during her interview with her longtime friend and colleague Edie Lederer about her approach, ethics and entree into the world of celebrity defendants and their lawyers. Last month, Deutsch announced her retirement and her plan to write her memoirs.

Thus, the prize of extra time on the Friday night CAMP introductions should be lively and include more juicy tidbits from Deutsch’s victory lap year, including many celebrations of her storied career.

Regional gatherings recap: January 2015

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JAWS D.C.: JAWS D.C. members Jane Meacham (in cap), Viola Gienger (red gloves), Beryl Adcock and her husband, David, walked in a silent march that drew hundreds, perhaps more, in Washington, D.C., in a show of solidarity with France and the values of free expression and tolerance, after the attacks in Paris. French Ambassador to the U.S. Gérard Araud and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde helped lead the procession, which began at the Newseum and ended at Judiciary Square.

CAMP 2014: A serious conversation about harassment: JAWdesses discuss online harassment (VIDEO)

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Story by 2014 Fellow Elaine Rita Mendus | Video by Macrina Newhouse | Photos by Ellie Van Houtte

11.2.2014_JAWSCAMP_EllieVanHoutte-8523While online harassment has always been an issue, it has become a big topic among journalists recently, as the recent Gamergate debacle only underlined the importance of this discussion at CAMP. Veteran journalists Mary Curtis, Susy Schultz and Michele Weldon discussed the issue of harassment on the Internet, harassment prior to the Internet and ways to counter harassment.

Women in the session were asked to post on a corkboard an insulting or harassing comment left for them on a story. And every woman on the panel relayed a tale of harassment, threats or physical stalking.

Regional gatherings recap: December 2014

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JAWS NYC: A small group of New York JAWS members gathered at the warm and welcoming Brooklyn apartment of Regional Captain Solmaz Sharif on Dec. 8. With Ruthie Padawer’s brownies and Ashley Milne-Tyte’s “devils on horseback” (baked bacon-wrapped prunes), among other offerings, we were not short of food! Among other things, we pledged to have more frequent meetings. At Liz Seegert’s suggestion, we’re stealing a page from the D.C. group and plan to mix up venues and organizers to attract more people.

CAMP 2014: Success requires hard work, truth and confronting our fears

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Story by 2014 Fellow Georgia Dawkins

“Emote! It’s good to cry, but don’t stay there.” That was the message from Wendy Wallbridge as she comforted a tearful woman sharing the conflict between her true self and her false self with a room full of strangers. In that moment, we were not strangers, we were kindred spirits. It was the moment where we recognized that we all shared the same fears.

The woman’s testimony was part of an exercise at a CAMP session, “Elevating Your Voice: A New Roadmap for Self-Defined Success.” Wallbridge said that to be successful, we had to develop a different relationship with the negative voices in our head. So, as part of the session, we made a T-chart. On one side we listed all the negative things our false self told us about pursuing our dreams, and on the other, we listed the truth. She encouraged us to combat those negative voices with words from our true self. “Are you thinking about what you want, or the lack of it?” said Wallbridge.

CAMP 2014: Mentors are out there, but you have to look for them

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Story by 2014 Fellow Georgia Dawkins

Shh! Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but the big secret to mentoring is asking for what you need. I know this for a fact. For the last 10 years, I have recruited mentors from various backgrounds, genders and ethnicities to guide me through life. This year, JAWS made that process even easier. Not only was I drawn to like-minded JAWdesses like a mosquito to water, but I was paired with a phenomenal female journalist. I was paired with Stacy-Marie Ishmael. She instantly made meeting me at CAMP a priority, and her commitment didn’t end at after one breakfast at the La Quinta Resort. Between BuzzFeed and the Financial Times, her time is limited, but I’m now on her schedule. I look at our newfound union and think, “Now, that’s how you do it.”

Mary Stutts, vice president of external affairs for Comcast, told CAMP attendees that many women don’t have mentors because they fail to ask. “Mentoring is conducive to developing future leaders,” says the mother of three.

CAMP 2014: 21st century ethics for 21st century journalism

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Story by 2014 Fellow Melissa Ludtke

As the industrial model of conveying news via print and broadcast shares its space now with digital media, so do the 20th century’s benchmarks of newsroom ethics need to adjust to new ways of assessing the profession’s guiding principles. It doesn’t work to “simply apply the old rules to the new environment,” said Kelly McBride, who is vice president of academic programs at the Poynter Institute and led the session entitled “New Journalism Ethics” at JAWS CAMP. McBride is also co-editor of “The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century.”

No licensing board sets standards for journalists to adhere to, unlike many professions. Instead, its ethics grow “from the bottom,” and thus have evolved in that way, too, McBride observed. Consumers of news then have those ethics as guiding principles that undergird the delivery of their news. With fairness and accuracy at the center of journalism’s mission, the standards — core values — that grew out of the common 20th century practice involved truth-telling, independence (from advertisers) and the minimization of harm.