The Journalism & Women Symposium receives Ford Foundation grant

The Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS) is pleased to announce it has received a $50,000 grant from the Ford Foundation.

These funds will assist the organization’s hiring of a full-time Executive Director, in tandem with the Democracy Fund grant awarded earlier this year, and provide support to regional groups around the country. It is an urgent priority at this time for JAWS to organize and implement diversity and inclusiveness training at the regional level, and this grant will be a crucial pillar of that mission.

“We greatly appreciate the Ford Foundation’s support as we seek to expand our regional programming, diversify our membership and help women journalists at every stage of their careers,” says JAWS President-Elect Mira Lowe. “Our work as an organization to amplify women and their voices in journalism is more important than ever.”

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission Report, which forced news media to reckon with the dearth of racial diversity in U.S. newsrooms. Women, too, were a missing piece of the newsroom puzzle, critical to telling authentic stories with transparency and context.

While JAWS has played a critical role in supporting women in honing their skills and becoming newsroom leaders, men still dominate, according to the Women’s Media Center. For example, “men receive 62 percent of byline and other credits in print, Internet, TV and wire news,” according to the center’s Status of Women in Media Report. Women of color have a vastly smaller share of voice in all media formats.

The Ford Foundation grant will further the development of JAWS members in sharpening journalistic skills that are key to the transparent functioning of democracy and the telling of the incredible, true stories of our lives.

About the organization

The Journalism & Women Symposium is a nonprofit journalism organization supporting the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism and working toward a more accurate portrayal of the whole society. For questions and comments, please contact comments@jaws.org. Follow us @womenjournos and support us here.