November 2013: New president, CAMP re-cap

Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWS members:

When outgoing superwoman president Kat Rowlands placed the presidential shark crown on my head at this year’s Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP), I teared up looking out at the brilliant women who started our Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) nearly 30 years ago sitting among those who were at CAMP for the first time. As a fellow in 2010, I remember the feelings I had at my first CAMP — intimidation and excitement — as I marveled at the brilliant badasses surrounding me, welcoming me into their ranks.

For my first letter to you as your president, I want to give a report on CAMP.  We had 202 women attend our annual conference! And with its relaxing spa, warm apple cider and tree-lined bike path, the Essex Culinary Resort & Spa was the perfect place to celebrate one another!

From the Friday night introductions to Madeleine Kunin’s Legacy Luncheon speech about changing policy for women to change the world, to Jill Abramson’s keynote discussion with advisory board member Diana Henriques, it was a rich and inspiring weekend.

Personally, I loved the symbiosis that happened with mentor-mentee groups, including my own. We’re already working on formalizing the mentorship program beyond CAMP in 2014!

For those of you who could not join us, our brilliant fellows have written blog posts on each panel for theJAWS website. We tweeted about CAMP via@womenjournos (#JAWS13).

For the Fran Lewine Memorial Interview, Edie Lederer, a JAWS founder and pioneer for women journalists, interviewed advisory board member Geneva Overholser, who spoke about her work-life balance, her time covering sexual assault at the Des Moines Register and how the work of which she’s most proud has combined feminism and journalism.

2013 board member Sandra Fish organized tech trainings all weekend. She and her team offered workshops on everything from hosting your own website to mobile photography to a demo of Tableaudata visualization software. As we beef up our regional trainings, we hope to be able to offer tech workshops on the road so JAWS members in different parts of the country can benefit.

This was a very ambitious CAMP, with panel topics ranging from how to cover the Affordable Care Act towomen in management and funding your dream journalism project. CAMPers learned about food policyand how to write about food, telling multiplatform stories,publishing an ebookavoiding plagiarism, the art of interviewingtelling sexy stories with data andstrategies for finding a job. We also gathered for a panel on feminism and journalism 50 years after the publication of the Feminine Mystique. Keeping with tradition, we whined and wined, browsed books by JAWdesses and gathered in cozy corners of the resort to swap stories. All this happened in no small part due to the many volunteers who help keep JAWS going! Thank you!

I also want to give special thanks to some of our generous financial sponsors:

Thank you, too, to the many individuals and organizations who donated in support of our fellowship program.

Along with our executive director and board of directors, I have a lot of incredible programs and ideas in store for 2014! I’m also excited to hear from you. So, please, feel free to email me any time with ideas, concerns, wild hairs.

And thank you for the honor of electing me as your president. I am excited to continue to serve JAWS.