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.
March has been an exciting month for JAWS, starting with our spring board retreat in Oakland, California. We tackled some big issues, including whether to seek funding for an executive director, streamline the site selection process and increase the size of our year-round membership.
As 2017 comes to a close, I want to thank our members and staff for all their hard work.
Your grit and dedication paid off with a successful CAMP, where women of all ages and backgrounds came together in Hot Springs, Ark. to recognize, inspire and grow as women in journalism.
My first time at JAWS camp transformed me.
It was 1993, and I had recently arrived at the San Francisco Chronicle from the Associated Press, where I was lucky enough to learn from Linda Deutsch and other great journalists in Los Angeles.
It’s truly been an honor to serve as president of Journalism and Women Symposium these past two years.
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 […]
The protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, Va., highlighted, once again, the challenges we face as journalists, particularly when it comes to false equivalency.
As many have noted, there are no two sides to racism.
Racism is wrong.
It was heartening to see SPJ’s ethics chairman write about the false equivalence.
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.
Our annual CAMP is the highlight of the year for Journalism and Women Symposium, and this fall will be no exception.
We have two dynamite keynote speakers, a terrific Fran Lewine interview, a fantastic Sunday morning plenary on implicit bias and plenty more super programming.
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.
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.
Where should JAWS go in the next five years?
How can our organization better serve our members?
That’s the question your board of directors will be mulling as we meet in Denver next month for our spring board meeting.
It’s time to update our strategic plan, created in 2012 to last through this year. You may read a summary here.
As the new year begins, I’m giving thanks for all those who so kindly donated to our successful end-of-year fund drive.
But we’re especially thankful for Phuong Ly of the Institute for Justice and Journalism. She recently closed the nonprofit and contributed money to several journalism nonprofits, including a generous gift to Journalism and Women Symposium.
Her gift, suggested by former JAWS President Dawn Garcia, will help us in our goal to provide regional training sessions in the year to come.
And that goal is already in motion.
As 2016 comes to a close, I want to offer thanks to everyone who’s done so much for Journalism and Women Symposium this year.
So many people have contributed it would be impossible to name you all.
But you’ve helped JAWS put on another great Conference and Mentoring Program in Roanoke, Va., hold three successful daylong regional training sessions, continue our work of mentoring each other and building relationships and more.
From board members to committee volunteers to trainers and mentors to our great JAWS staff members, your support is invaluable.
Like many of you, I left our Conference and Mentoring Program in Roanoke last month invigorated by great programming, refreshed by seeing friends old and new, and, maybe, a bit overfed!
The job of a working journalist can be a struggle. The pay isn’t always great, the hours are unpredictable and newsrooms have been cut to the bone in the last decade as the media’s business model is dissolved by all that is “free” on the Internet. That struggle is especially true for women and people of color, who are less likely to get the job, the pay raise, the promotion to management.
Starting this fall, the role of leading our fundraising and development efforts is shifting from former JAWS President Katherine Rowlands to current Operations Director Roxanne Foster.
Kat was awarded a JSK Fellowship at Stanford University for 2016-17 and is taking a leave of absence from her editing job at the San Jose Mercury News as well to focus on her project: How we can overcome gender disparities in newsrooms, especially in leadership positions, to more accurately reflect and report on society.
She and Roxanne have been working together on our crowdfunding campaign, annual fund plans, auction, CAMP sponsorships and foundation grant efforts to ensure a smooth transition.
Journalism and Women Symposium is looking for ways to partner with other journalism organizations to provide our members with other opportunities.
One example of that is our recent partnership with the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
JAWS also has signed on to a recent letter to the White House vowing to fight for more transparency. And we’re also partnering with Society of Professional Journalists’ Open Our Gov campaign.
You may have noticed there’s an election going on.
Many of us are covering it at some level; most of us are talking about it.
JAWS members Jodi Enda at CNN, Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times, Caitlyn Huey-Burns and others are out on the campaign trail. Joanne Bamberger edited the book “Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox” and is often seen commenting on the election (though not seen often enough). Meanwhile JAWS board member Angela Greiling Keane continues to stalk, I mean, cover the current president for Bloomberg News. Even I have been to see Donald Trump in New Mexico and Colorado.
Give a little? Or a little more?
We’re still a ways from our crowdfunding goal to bring 13 wonderful women to CAMP as fellows.
If you haven’t already donated, consider kicking in a little (though we’d take a lot too!). If each member kicked in just $10 this week, we’ll meet our fundraising goal of $15,000.
I’ve already asked my friends and family to donate (and many of them have, including a few who surprised me!) via email, Twitter and Facebook. I’d urge you to seek out help from your friends too.
In the meantime, today I’ll be going to our crowdfunding site to give just a little bit more! I hope you’ll join me!
On another matter, someone needs to replace me.
Not immediately, I’ll be JAWS president through CAMP 2017, and my successor will take over as president-elect this October.
But we are also looking to build the board of the future, so we’re seeking nominations that the membership can vote on in October, with terms to begin after our Sunday morning membership meeting at CAMP.
October may be months away, but the JAWS board and staff are working tirelessly to ensure that our annual Conference and Mentoring Program, aka CAMP, is filled with great programming.
One of my favorite highlights of CAMP is meeting our fellows, from young women in the early years of our career to longtime JAWS members, making a transition to new ways of doing journalism.
We will again have 13 fellows this year, with one – the Diversity Fellowship – fully funded thanks to a grant from the Financial Times.
We all want to succeed in our careers.
And JAWS is helping us succeed in a variety of ways, formally and informally.
One of the best examples is our recent leadership training sessions in Chicago and Washington, D.C., with Jill Geisler and her team of coaches.
Jill shared her solid lessons gleaned from experience as a broadcast newsroom manager; holding a masters degree in leadership; working at Poynter Institute guiding their leadership and management programs; holding the Bill Plante chair in leadership and media integrity at Loyola University in Chicago.