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.
JAWS 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.
Looking to get more involved with JAWS? You’re in luck! We have a few upcoming opportunities.
***Registration for the pre-conference workshops are now closed and are at capacity***
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.
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.
***The conference hotel is sold out, but please check the document on finding a roommate. Alternative hotel information posted below.***
JAWS 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Story by 2014 Fellow Elaine Rita Mendus | Video by Macrina Newhouse | Photos by Ellie Van Houtte
While 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Story by 2014 Fellow Nicole Raz | Photos by Ellie Van Houtte
The numbers of women working in tech are low, and two JAWS panelists say the media’s coverage of women in tech isn’t doing much to give those numbers a boost.
“In journalism, people focus on catchy titles that are more controversial and potentially result in more people clicking, but a lot of those are negative,” said Alaina Percival, an adviser at CodePath, a mobile developer school for engineers.
Headlines like “Tech companies haven’t gotten past sexism 1.0” and “Why women leave tech: It’s the culture, not because ‘math is hard’” aren’t helping.
Story by 2014 Fellow Elaine Rita Mendus
Radio journalism is an art, and there has never been an easier opportunity to get involved because of podcasting. At JAWS CAMP 2014, radio journalism and podcast experts Gina Delvac and Katie McMurran went over a variety of information, from finding equipment, recording, editing software suggestions, and even distribution methods.
The session began with discussion over recording equipment. Delvac and McMurran suggested using XLR microphones similar to those used in normal recording studios, as well as headphones.
Story by 2014 Fellow Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil | Photos by Ellie Van Houtte
Many journalists get into the profession to make a difference – but where the rubber hits the road is in execution and having freedom to pursue data analysis and spending time with sources, according to panelists at JAWS Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) in La Quinta, California.
Susan Smith Richardson, editor and publisher of The Chicago Reporter, said that social justice journalism is “a lot bigger” than just wanting to make a difference – “we all want to make a difference with our stories,” she said – but also examines structural inequalities in society, whether through data or human stores with the aim of trying to change policies or practices.
Story by 2014 Fellow Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil | Photo by Ellie Van Houtte
In 1997, Melissa Ludtke traveled to China and adopted a baby who had been abandoned by her birth parents as a result of the country’s one-child policy. For the next 16 years Ludtke raised her daughter Maya in her home state of Massachusetts. When Maya was almost 17 years old, she returned to China to find out what life would have been like had she grown up in the rural countryside.
Ludtke, the first-ever JAWS entreprenurial fellow, sent a team of bilingual videographers along with Maya and her orphanage crib neighbor Jennie to document their journey – and the results are her forthcoming iBook, “Touching Home in China: in search of missing girlhoods.” Ludtke shared the process of creating the interactive iBook on Nov. 2.