Author Archives: Alexandra

November 2016: Meeting challenges head on

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.

Honoring Betsy Wade

2016_betsy_wadeStory and photo by Betty Medsger

Congratulations to Betsy Wade, a journalism hero.

This JAWS pioneer was given a lifetime achievement award on Nov. 16 by the Society of the Silurians, an organization of veteran journalists in New York. Many JAWS members were present to honor her.

What a life of service to the profession Betsy has led. Her achievements have benefited journalists throughout the country by leading the way in making it possible for women to be hired in greater numbers in the nation’s newsrooms. In 1974, she was the lead plaintiff in a class action suit filed by women at The New York Times, where she had been hired in 1956 as the paper’s first woman copy editor in the paper’s 105-year history.

CAMP 2016: Overcoming imposter syndrome

10302016_jawscamp_dailyselects_ericayoon_17Story by Linnea Crowther and Connie K. Ho, JAWS members | Photo by Erica Yoon, CAMP photographer

At the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) in Roanoke, Va., attendees participated in topic tables. Each of the tables had a different issue for discussion, including the topic of overcoming imposter syndrome. Here are a few takeaways from the participants regarding overcoming imposter syndrome.

CAMP 2016: In Cuba, women (and journalists) are more equal, but still face challenges

10302016_jawscamp_dailyselects_ericayoon_5Story by Angilee Shah, 2016 JAWS Fellow | Photo by Erica Yoon, CAMP photographer

Cuban journalist Cristina Escobar has been to the United States six times. And for the most part, she feels that she has common cause with those attending the Journalism and Women Symposium conference in Roanoke, Va., in October.

CAMP 2016: Being a Muslim reporter in the age of Islamaphobia

10302016_jawscamp_dailyselects_ericayoon_15Story by Mary Pember, 2016 JAWS Fellow | Photo by Erica Yoon, CAMP photographer

Although the faces and names are new, a panel at JAWS CAMP about Islamaphobia reaffirmed a shamefully persistent problem in today’s newsrooms: Too few people of color and diverse religious backgrounds are at the table when journalists decide how to cover communities that fall outside of the knowledge and comfort zones of mainstream white America.

CAMP 2016: Covering mass shootings: Best practices for journalists

10292016_jawscamp_dailyselects_ericayoon_9Story by Brenna Goth, 2016 JAWS Fellow | Photo by Erica Yoon, CAMP photographer

Journalists never know when they might be called to cover a mass shooting or other violent tragedy.

Reporters are not always prepared. National publications might send them to an unfamiliar place or local media could pull them off their normal beats. Unreliable official sources, misinformation spread through social media and competing narratives can complicate the chaos.

CAMP 2016: Connecting with sources in a suspicious society

kotecha_art_of_storytelling_building_trust_2Story and photos by Jigna Kotecha, 2016 JAWS Fellow

How do journalists report stories of people who are distrustful of news media? How can a journalist establish trust to get invited into people’s lives? Fernanda Santos, Phoenix bureau chief of The New York Times, answered these questions at an Oct. 29 JAWS panel on the art of storytelling by sharing her experience reporting about a wildfire in Arizona that killed 19 firefighters in 2013.

CAMP 2016: When the workplace does you wrong, is there a way to make it right?

farzan_workplace_marissa_evansStory and photo by Shahla Farzan, 2016 JAWS Fellow

Like many workers, journalists face a range of issues in the workplace, from harassment to discrimination. Feelings of powerlessness and isolation often prevent journalists from voicing concerns about issues, particularly for freelancers and other contractors. At a panel on workplace challenges at JAWS CAMP on Oct. 29, five panelists spoke about their personal experiences and suggested potential ways to navigate difficult situations.

CAMP 2016: Using Google to up your digital game

smith_google_3Story and photo by Olivia Smith, 2016 JAWS Fellow

Google is much more than a search engine: It can help journalists in many ways, according to Victoria “Vix” Reitano, who taught a workshop on Google tools at JAWS CAMP in Roanoke this weekend. Vix dived deeper into what Google can offer in terms of searching, writing and gathering information.

CAMP 2016: Three things to consider before you tweet that tweet or take that video

mediajugglers_shah_panelStory and photos by Angilee Shah, 2016 JAWS Fellow

If you feel like you are being asked to do it all, you’re not alone.

Three journalists spoke on a panel at the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) conference Oct. 29 about the challenges of doing good journalism while juggling text, video, images, sound and social media. Their main message? Stand up for yourself and your stories and resist the urge (and the pressure) to tell stories on all platforms.

CAMP 2016: Financial planning for journalists

onyeneho_financial_1Story and photo by Laura Onyeneho, 2016 JAWS Fellow

No matter what your income level, you should be creating a financial plan that will benefit you and your family in the long run, financial adviser Maureen O’Brien told JAWS attendees.

She shared her top 10 tips during her “Financial Planning for Journalists” session at CAMP on Oct. 29.

CAMP 2016: Five tips for teaching digital education on a shoestring

10302016_jawscamp_dailyselects_ericayoon_6Story by Shahla Farzan, 2016 JAWS Fellow | Photo by Erica Yoon, CAMP photographer

As journalism evolves into an increasingly digital profession, college professors must expand their courses to include a new set of skills. For instructors in smaller academic programs with limited budgets, it can be particularly difficult to get equipment and technical support.

CAMP 2016: Trust in the media is low, but journalists can turn it around

ellis-trust-2Story and photo by Sarah Ellis, 2016 JAWS Fellow

The media and the public don’t have a great relationship these days. Trust is low.

“If you’ve seen the Gallup polls year after year after year about which institutions people trust, journalism is way down there,” said Jane Elizabeth, of the American Press Institute, told JAWdesses attending the “Trust Us, We’re Journalists!” workshop on Oct. 30 at JAWS CAMP 2016 in Roanoke.

CAMP 2016: Dinner keynote by Aminda “Mindy” Marqués Gonzalez of The Miami Herald

10292016_jawscamp_dailyselects_ericayoon_15Story by Rachel Sapin, 2016 JAWS Fellow | Photo by Erica Yoon, CAMP photographer

Aminda “Mindy” Marqués Gonzalez, executive editor and vice president for news at The Miami Herald, is somewhat of an anomaly in the newspaper industry.

“There are only two female editors at the top 25 newspapers in America,” said Mindy, the dinner keynote speaker on Oct. 29 at the Journalism and Women Symposium’s annual conference in Roanoke, Va.