Journalism and Women Symposium features women leaders at annual conference

Jill Abramson formerly of NYT, Anna Holmes of Jezebel, Pulitzer-winning Sonia Nazario to speak at conference

Jill Abramson, former executive editor of The New York Times; Anna Holmes, founder of, the women-focused Gawker media site; and Pulitzer Prize winner Sonia Nazario, author of “Enrique’s Journey,” will be headlining the annual Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) conference this fall.

“We have a killer roster of speakers coming to our conference this year, whose voices in traditional and new media demand to be heard,” JAWS President Lauren M. Whaley said. “We look forward to spirited conversations with these fearless role models during a time when our diversity of experiences should be used to solve the many challenges women in journalism face today.”

This year’s conference, known as the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP), will be held Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 at La Quinta Resort, near Palm Springs in Southern California’s stunning Coachella Valley. CAMP brings together journalists to learn skills from podcasting to coding to digital mapping to entrepreneurial journalism, as well as to discuss the hot-button issue of gender equality in newsrooms. This year’s agenda also features panels on social justice with Sandy Close of New America Media, changing journalism ethics with Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute, and how to deal with online harassment with Mary C. Curtis of The Washington Post’s “She the People” blog.

With Hollywood just over the mountains, the JAWS conference this year is spotlighting women who make documentaries and films. Screenings include Mary Dore’s “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” and Carol Bash’s “Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings The Band.” Films also featured are Mary Trunk’s “Lost In Living” and Katrina Dunn’s “Kumpania Flamenco: Los Angeles.”

JAWS was founded almost three decades ago to help women journalists connect with each other, network for jobs and advance in their field, given the paucity of opportunities for women in most newsrooms. Now, JAWS is a national group that provides regional training and mentoring to 750 members across the country, from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles. Its mission is to “support the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism and work toward a more accurate portrayal of the whole society.”

Registration before Oct. 1 is $475 and includes all training sessions and speakers and most meals from Friday through Sunday. Discounts are available for JAWS members. A full schedule of events can be found at

A pre-conference training session on investigative reporting, with award-winning journalists Jennifer LaFleur, Rosemary Armao, Maud Beelman and Susy Schultz, will be held on Oct. 30, as will one on copy editing, in conjunction with the American Copy Editors Society.

Questions? Send them to For more information on JAWS, check out Follow us on Twitter @womenjournos; the conference hashtag is #jaws14.

About Journalism and Women Symposium

Started in 1985, JAWS brings together working journalists and journalism educators and researchers from across the country to share resources, support, training, mentoring and information about issues that affect women in our field. We meet in person at frequent regional gatherings, convene at an annual conference and connect online in an atmosphere of mutual support. We have grown to more than 750 members across the country.

JAWS supports the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism and works toward a more accurate portrayal of the whole society. JAWS is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization.

Media contact
Lauren M. Whaley,