JAWS FAQ

Do you want to learn more about the benefits and services offered to members of the Journalism and Women Symposium? Do you ever wonder how you can join a committee or how you can propose a new JAWS initiative? Read on for questions to your answers!

About the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS)

Benefits and Services

Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP)

Reaching Our Members

Supporting JAWS

Membership

Membership Dues

JAWS Leadership

About the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS):

What is JAWS?

JAWS is a network of women journalists who seek to empower and support women in journalism and work toward a more accurate portrayal of the whole society. We are a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.

What does JAWS offer that sets it apart from other organizations that focus on women in communications?

JAWS offers a level of professional networking, support and individual mentoring that our members say doesn’t exist elsewhere. One of our members described it this way: JAWS offers a network “unreplicated in any other journalism organization.”

Do you need to be a woman to join?

JAWS welcomes members of all gender expressions and identities. For more information aby types of membership, feel free to check out this page.

When are your office hours?

Operations director office hours:

Monday through Friday – 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time (2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time)

JAWS Benefits and Services:

What are some benefits of JAWS membership?

Our growing network offers motivation, support and career tips as we share the ups and downs of the evolving world of journalism and strategize on how to make it a better environment for women. Some key benefits available to members include:

  • A Facebook group for members that provides job leads, career resources and a forum to discuss issues important to our members and to the mission of JAWS.
  • Mentoring that can be with a designated mentor any time of the year and/or informal mentoring whenever two or more members chat or meet up.
  • A nationwide members-only directory you can use to find journalists whose expertise you may want to tap or to find other journalists in a specific location.
  • The annual Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) and regional gatherings around the country offer a range of workshops and skills training and conversations about the issues shaping journalism today.
  • The opportunity to interact with other motivating and inspiring women engaged in all kinds of journalism platforms and at all levels, from those on their first job to those running newsrooms.
  • One of the major benefits of membership: you are giving back and supporting other women in journalism.

How does the JAWS Facebook group work?

Our active Facebook group is open to current members only. All conversations are archived.

Regional JAWS groups also have Google listservs that offer local workshops, job connections and social events, and may include some non-members.

Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP):

What does CAMP stand for? Do you actually go camping?

The Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) is our signature event and reflects our emphasis on mentoring in all aspects. We do not camp out, but conferences are usually held in a scenic location where attendees can use free time to get to know each other better by going on hikes and other excursions, in addition to offering top-notch sessions and speakers.

Where is your next CAMP?

CAMP 2019 will be held in Williamsburg, Va. See more details here.

Do you need to be a JAWS member to attend CAMP?

No, but members receive a discounted registration fee.

Are there scholarships to attend CAMP?

Yes, through the fellowship program JAWS helps about a dozen journalists attend CAMP by paying registration, travel and lodging expenses. The application deadline is generally around May 15 and recipients will be notified by around June. Visit the fellowship page to find out more about the kinds of fellowships.

Reaching Our Members:

I represent an organization that is looking to hire/ offering a fellowship/ looking for award submissions. How can I reach out to JAWS members?

Contact our web manager at web@jaws.org and she’ll work with you to find the best avenue to reach JAWS members.

Supporting JAWS:

I’m not a member but I want to support JAWS. How can I help?

We welcome donations from anyone who wants to advance our mission of empowering and supporting women in journalism and working toward a more accurate portrayal of society. It’s easy to donate online and you can do it right now.

Membership:

What are the demographics of JAWS?

We currently have some 600 members ranging from college students to retirees to news veterans. Members are located all over the country and overseas.

What does JAWS do to promote diversity?

In addition to supporting journalists of all gender identities, JAWS has taken a stand against harassment and discrimination faced by women, particularly women of color, in journalism, including standing in solidarity with a reporter who faced discrimination for wearing her natural hair and calling on the Trump Administration to stop verbally attacking reporters of color.

We are also engaged in a process of centering equity and inclusion within our own membership. In early 2019, the Board instated a Code of Conduct that outlines what behavior is expected in JAWS spaces (in person and online) and what is prohibited.

Members have participated in a survey led by JAWS’ former diversity, equity and inclusion consultant. Data from this survey informs JAWS programming, goals and initiatives.

The 2018-2019 Board is the most diverse in JAWS history and has worked to promote and require diversity on committees, through speakers and trainers and through the fellowship program.

Do you have to be a journalist to join JAWS?

Members include full-time and part-time independent journalists, journalists employed by news outlets, journalism educators and others involved in journalism and supporting it. For the description of membership requirements and categories, click here.

Does JAWS have a job board?

There is a job board, on the Facebook group where members share job openings. We often get a heads up before a job has been formally posted elsewhere. We are exploring adding a more formal job board to our website.

Does JAWS sell or give away its membership list?

No.

Membership Dues:

How much does it cost to join JAWS?

We do our best to keep dues low compared to other journalism organizations’ dues. For more information, visit the membership page.

Are there any membership discounts if you belong to other journalism organizations?

Yes, members of Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), Exceptional Women in Publishing (EWIP) and American Copy Editors Society (ACES) can join for our exchange rate of $35 for the first year.  We are working to expand partnerships with other journalism organizations.

How can I donate to JAWS?

Visit our donate page. Because JAWS is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), donations are tax deductible.

JAWS Leadership:

Are there meetings?

JAWS has one annual meeting, our Conference and Mentoring Project, in the fall.

Regular gatherings are organized by local members in regions such as New York, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Colorado, Los Angeles, Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area and Frederick, Md. We are working to expand our regional offerings.

Who are the JAWS board members?

Read more about the board.

Contact the current president: president@jaws.org

Who are the JAWS staff members?

Read more about the staff.