President’s Letters

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.

Collective wisdom moves JAWS forward

By Mira Lowe Trailblazing journalist and author Dorothy Butler Gilliam had a memorable and tweetable quote during the Fran Lewine Memorial Interview at this year’s CAMP in Williamsburg, Va.: “Let your phone be smart, you be wise.” As I begin my term as president of JAWS, I’m seeking to draw on wisdom — mine and yours, too — as I give careful thought to the work ahead and where we can go as a unified force. JAWS should be the leading, go-to organization for women in journalism — advocating for advancement and equity in newsrooms; spotlighting great work and achievement […]

JAWS: A path toward redemption and reconciliation

More than three years ago, I was asked by the Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS) leadership to run for president-elect. And I’m not going to lie – I was nervous. I was nervous because I wasn’t sure I was up for the task. After all, JAWS has 600+ members who are strong, outspoken and very accomplished. I worried that I didn’t have the chops to be their leader. Thanks to the encouragement of women like Linda Kramer Jenning, Nancy Day, Angela Greiling Keane and Sheila Solomon (so many more I need to thank), I decided to run and became president-elect […]

JAWS seeks new Diversity and Inclusion Consultant

Dear members, I want you to know that Dr. Mary J. Wardell is no longer able to continue her diversity and inclusion work for Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS). In a statement she shared with the Executive Committee on April 18, Dr. Wardell said that is has been her “professional pleasure assisting the Journalism and Women Symposium through this most difficult organizational time as it grappled with the aftermath of the 2018 CAMP and the incidents leading up to the diversity crisis it faced. During the past several months, we have worked diligently to gauge the organizational climate of JAWS […]

Where we stand

Dear JAWS members, The JAWS board has suspended Andrea Stone from the listserv for posting comments that violated our code of conduct and the values we hold as an organization. Andrea has apologized on the listserv. The board has decided NOT to punish people who shared Andrea’s message outside of the listserv, which contravenes our listserv policy, because it would have a dampening effect on whistleblowers who are raising awareness of the serious issue of racial inequality within our organization. That said, our listserv policy does state: “You should not redistribute other people’s words or email addresses from this list […]

Apology from JAWS board of directors

“It’s never too late to drop your beliefs and let your wounds heal. Instead of wounding others as well.”  ― Adam Scythe, Immortals, Vol. II

JAWS is an organization I have been honored to be a part of for many years, not just because it is led by women who broke down newsroom barriers for women but because it has provided me a safe space to vent about being a woman of color in mostly all-white and all-male workplaces for most of my career.

Unfortunately, CAMP was not a safe space for many of us this year.

September 2018: From Austin to Portland – and beyond

Traveling by plane, trains and automobiles to conferences across the country can be exhausting. I know. As I write this column, I am in the midst of my second conference in Austin, Texas. And while I am tired, I’m also exhilarated. I’m exhilarated not just because Austin is a cool place (and the destination for Journalism and Women Symposium’s conference in 2020!), but because I was allowed to reconnect with my inner journalist.

September 2017: The beauty of taking risks

2017 is the year of journalism conferences for me. So far, I’ve been to NICAR, the Collaborative Journalism Summit, INN Days, IRE and SRCCON. Next, I’ll head to ONA, JAWS CAMP (still the best!) and the Agora Engaged Journalism Summit. I’m going to so many conferences because I’m taking a new risk, trying to start my own new journalism nonprofit in Colorado. And in the process, I’m taking what I consider some other risks. For instance, back in May, someone from Investigative Reporters & Editors emailed asking if I’d teach a Python 101 programming session at the Phoenix IRE conference. […]

July 2017: Meeting veteran and newbie JAWdesses near and far

I recently attended the Investigative Reports and Editor (IRE) conference in Phoenix, Ariz., and hosted a JAWS meetup. Among the group were at least two students, current and former board members, past fellows and one future fellow, Chandra Bozelko. There were even two Brennas from Arizona sitting next to each other – Brenna Goth, a fellow at last year’s Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP), and Brenna Bailey, a University of Arizona student member.

We shared stories about work, IRE and, of course, our excitement about attending CAMP.

When it comes to our fellows, a JAWS tradition is raising money to help these young women come to CAMP.

April 2017: Paving the way for women journalists

One of the coolest things about our CAMP for me is meeting new women journalists – especially our fellows.

Each year, our fellowship committee selects a group of 10 to 14 women who might not otherwise be able to come to CAMP to receive these grants to attend.

This year we’re honored to add the Betsy Wade Legacy Fund Fellowship to the lineup, honoring the first woman copy editor at The New York Times. Wade and her women co-workers sued the Times in the 1970s for equal pay, and their settlement paved the way for better pay and advancement for the women who came after them.

March 2017: Improve your leadership skills at one-day training seminars June 24 and July 28

Looking to improve your leadership skills or develop some expertise to get there?

We’re excited that Jill Geisler will once again be offering JAWS members her excellent one-day training seminars this summer in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.

If you’re in or near the Bay Area, put June 24 on your calendar. We’ll be meeting at Stanford for the day, with lunch provided and most likely happy hour at the end of the day.

In New York City, Jill will be at CUNY on July 28, a Friday. Again, a day-long, interactive training with lunch provided and happy hour at the end of the day.