January 2013: Letter from the president

Better Kat picBy Katherine Ann Rowlands, JAWS president

A new year always brings new inspiration for me and there’s no shortage of that from JAWS members.

As recounted in my December letter, we have enjoyed a tremendous year of growth and success, so let’s keep the momentum going and make sure that other women in journalism benefit from all our organization has to offer. Will you renew this year and reach out to two additional women to join by forwarding this letter?

Here are just a few good reasons why:

Mentoring: JAWS members have done spectacular things in their careers and chances are the advice you seek is available for the asking whether in person at CAMP, via the group on our listserv or privately by mining our online membership directory. Résumé tips, job leads, insight into freelance rates, experience with book deals, ideas for a journalism class curriculum, a sounding board for dealing with bosses, examples of great interview techniques, and thoughts about pursuing graduate school or a fellowship program are just some of the topics our members have discussed during the past year. What an amazing resource we have with so many women journalists who are just starting out, midway through their careers or at the pinnacle of a trailblazing life—and always willing to share.

Training: On my “to learn” list is taking better photos and videos with my iPhone and iPad, navigating Google with more sophistication, building my Twitter followers, outlining a book project, practicing the art of being a respected newsroom manager, and learning to use data to do deeper reporting. Lucky for me—and all JAWS members—these are the kinds of training sessions we offered in 2012 and plan to offer in 2013 at CAMP, at regional gatherings and via partnerships with other organizations. Keeping up with the demands of our industry as tools and expectations change is important and JAWS helps our members navigate these challenges.

Networking: Skills and experience are important in our field but we all know how important personal connections can be, too. Having a network of professional and personal support from around the country can make all the difference when changing jobs, launching a new project or even shifting your career focus. Journalism & Women Symposium began almost three decades ago with a group of women who were seeking connections and camaraderie and that is still true today. How many other groups can pull together a roster of original stakeholders like Betsy Wade, Edie Lederer, Linda Deutsch, Peg Simpson and Jean Gaddy Wilson to hear inspiring speakers like Gloria Steinem, Keesha Gaskins, Sara Ganim and Marilyn Geewax in a single weekend? Add in our new Advisory Board, including Dori Maynard, Geneva Overholser, Lisa Stone, Diana Henriques and Jill Geisler, and it’s hard not to be enthusiastic about JAWS and our ambitions to grow.

Share the inspiration with women you know by inviting them to join JAWS.