Jennifer Kho
President

Jennifer Kho is the president of JAWS and VP of journalism and information equity at DoGoodery, a sustainability consultancy. She also serves as a senior adviser for Canary Media; an adviser for Bay City News Foundation and The Pivot Fund; and – as an independent researcher – co-authored a Membership Puzzle Project report on building healthy news communities.

Her previous leadership roles include the senior director of strategic innovation at HuffPost, where she led the development of new audience engagement, storytelling and revenue models, including membership; managing editor for HuffPost; managing editor for the Guardian US; interim managing editor for GreenBiz; and founding editor of Greentech Media.

Jhmira Alexander
Vice President

Jhmira Alexander is the President and Executive Director of Public Narrative, Chicago’s Premier Communications and Media Literacy Resource. She is a trained journalist committed to improving community health and well being through media and civic engagement. Under her leadership, Public Narrative uses storytelling to implement narrative change strategies addressing harmful narratives related to public safety, health and education.

Jhmira is a resourceful, solutions oriented visionary and social impact leader highly skilled in diverse stakeholder engagement. Jhmira is an innovative & goal oriented strategist with over 14 years of proven leadership experience training and consulting individuals, non profit organizations, media professionals and outlets according to their own strategic goals for growth and communications.

She’s worked with the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications. A JAWS member since 2019, Jhmira is a focused, compassionate and meticulous collaborator with a natural instinct to serve.

Sonya Ross
Deputy Vice President

Sonya Ross is the founder of digital media startup Black Women Unmuted. Sonya launched BWU after a 33-year career at The Associated Press, during which she became The AP’s first Black woman White House reporter and the first Black woman elected to the White House Correspondents Association board. Sonya was the pool reporter aboard Air Force One when President George W. Bush was evacuated during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In 2010, she established specialty race & ethnicity coverage for AP that transformed the media’s approach to newsgathering about race. Sonya was inducted into the Society of Professional Journalists Hall of Fame in 2018. The founding chair of the National Association of Black Journalists’ political reporting task force, Sonya serves on the boards of the Washington Press Club Foundation, the SPJ Foundation and the National Newspaper Publishers Association Fund. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Joanna Hernandez
treasurer

Joanna Hernandez is a Journalism Department lecturer and director of Inclusion and Diversity at the University Florida College of Journalism and Communications. Hernandez’s 20-plus year journalism career included stints at The Washington Post; the New York Times Regional Media Group; the Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger; the San Francisco Examiner; and Newsday. Hernandez has an associate’s degree in word processing from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, a bachelor’s degree in journalism from New York University, and a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College. She is a lifetime member of NAHJ and belongs to other journalism organizations, including JAWS, of course. Hernandez is a Maynard 200 mentor and is a certified trainer in Crucial Conversations.

Tanya Gazdik, JAWS board member

Tanya Gazdik
Secretary

Tanya Gazdik writes about marketing for MediaPost.com, and is the editor of Marketing: Automotive Weekly. She isthe lead programmer and emcee of MediaPost’s automotive marketing conferences at the New York and Los Angeles auto shows. Gazdik is president of the board of directors for Michigan State’s independent voice, The State News. Prior to MediaPost, she was at The (Toledo) Blade, Adweek, WardsAuto and The Associated Press. Gazdik has a JD and BA in journalism from Michigan State University.

Linda Jue
Director

Linda Jue is editor-at-large for the investigative site 100Reporters and a DEI program consultant for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. She is also a contracted reporting and writing coach for the Fund for Investigative Journalism as well as a contributing editor for palabra. (sic), NAHJ’s news site. Linda was founding director and editor of the G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism, which mentored journalists of color, women and youth in public interest and investigative reporting. Linda has been at the forefront of nonprofit and independent journalism for the past 20 years, working on innovative journalism and media projects to strengthen the diversity and integrity of the field.

Suzanne Cosgrove
Director

An experienced communications professional and content leader, Suzanne Cosgrove am comfortable in fast-paced environments. Rooted in my beginnings as a wire service reporter (Knight-Ridder, Reuters) and newspaper desk editor (Chicago Tribune), I have proven researching, fact-checking and copy-editing abilities. Subject expertise includes financial markets and services, derivatives, economics, banking and market structure. Currently, I am working for a small newsletter and media company with big ambitions. I’ve been able to learn a lot, including video production and podcasting, which I’ve loved.

Jeanette Woods
Director

Developing stories is Jeanette Woods’ superpower. I am a highly skilled editor and producer of news, documentaries and narrative, non-fiction podcasts with experience in audio, television and digital news. I am an active advocate for diverse voices in public media.

Alison Bethel
Director

Alison Bethel is director of corps excellence at Report for America, a non-profit initiative of The GroundTruth Project that places emerging journalists in newsrooms across America, including Hawaii and Alaska, as well as in Puerto Rico to cover untold stories and communities. Previously, she was executive director of the Society of Professional Journalists, where she was only the second woman and the first person of color to serve in that capacity in SPJ’s 110 years.

Bethel has more than 35 years of experience as an award-winning reporter, bureau chief, senior editor and media trainer. She has worked in senior-level positions at The Boston Globe, The Detroit News, Legal Times and the Nassau Guardian in The Bahamas.

Mei Fong
Director

Mei Fong is a former Pulitzer-prize winning Wall Street Journal reporter + best-selling book author + communications strategist, now currently Chief Communications Officer at Human Rights Watch.

Amanda Crawford
Director

Amanda J. Crawford is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut and a former reporter for Bloomberg News, The Arizona Republic and The Baltimore Sun. She previously served on the journalism faculties of Western Kentucky University and Arizona State University and was a long-time board member of the Best of the West Journalism competition.

Crawford’s work has been published by a range of other news outlets and literary journals including People, Businessweek, Ms. Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Geographic, Phoenix Magazine, High Times, and Creative Nonfiction. Amanda teaches journalism law, ethics, press history and other classes at UConn, with an academic focus on the role of journalists in democracy. She was a 2020-21 fellow with the UConn Humanities Institute and is working on her first book about mass shooting denial and the fight against misinformation.

Amanda is also a singer, songwriter and flutist who performs nationally with A Former Friend. Amanda was the first person in her family to attend college, graduating with honors from the University of Maryland and earning her masters from ASU.

Gwyneth Doland
Director

Gwyneth Doland has been a working journalist since 1999. She divides her time between journalism and teaching courses in newswriting, media ethics and at the University of New Mexico. She has been a staff writer and editor at newspapers, magazines and online outlets, and have worked as a reporter for public radio and public television. Doland started her career as a food writer but has spent the last decade covering government accountability. She is a past executive director of our state freedom of information group. And she was one of the writers of the Center for Public Integrity’s 50-state corruption risk index, which was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Barbara Selvin
Director

Barbara Selvin, M.S., is an associate professor of journalism at Stony Brook University, where she is an award-winning teacher. In addition to teaching reporting at all levels, the major’s capstone course, and a course on the economics of the news media in the digital age, Barbara is the School of Journalism’s faculty governance lead and director of internships and careers.

Before becoming an educator, Barbara was a reporter on New York Newsday’s business desk, writing about economic development, real estate, housing and health-care reform. At Newsday, she proposed and pioneered the company’s first part-time work schedule for newsroom employees, a legacy that outlasted her tenure at the paper. Her freelance work has been published on Poynter.org and in The New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review and Nieman Reports, and her scholarly work in Grassroots Editor and Literary Journalism Studies. She is a member of JAWS, IRE, the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors and the International Association for Literary Journalism Studies.

Barbara lives in Port Washington, N.Y. with her husband, Craig Werle. The couple has three adult children and two grandchildren. Her interests include novels, gardening, travel, yoga, beaches and birdwatching.

about the board

Election of JAWS officers and new board members takes place at our annual Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP).

Eligibility for the JAWS board: Any active member who has attended CAMP twice can run for a seat on the board. Officers and board members serve one- or two-year terms. All are elected by a vote of the membership.

Job description for the board: The primary responsibility of the board of directors is to ensure that the organization operates in a fashion true to its stated mission and principles. The board provides continuity to the organization as individual members come and go.

The board is entrusted with two duties: the group’s growth and future, and to further the group’s goals. It is responsible for setting policies, making decisions, delegating work and ensuring the decisions are carried out. The board is legally responsible for governance of the organization and adherence to federal, state and local laws, audits done annually and income tax form filing.

A director’s responsibilities include:

  • Maintain a current membership in JAWS and attend the annual conference.
  • Know the bylaws, mission, purpose, goals, strategic plan, programs and services for the organization.
  • Raise funds and actively seek financial support and donations for JAWS and its projects; The goal is for each board member to give or get $500.
  • Prepare for and attend all board meetings. The board holds regular in-person meetings in spring and in fall. The date of the spring meeting is determined by the president in consultation with other board members. The fall meeting is held immediately preceding JAWS CAMP, at the same location. In addition, the board convenes every other month via conference call. The president and committee chairs will schedule additional meetings as needed.
  • Build and guide long-range plans for membership, programming, fundraising, staffing and resources.
  • Ensure programs and services address membership needs.
  • Recruit members and attendees for annual conferences, contribute program ideas and encourage member engagement.
  • Contribute and/or solicit stories for the JAWS newsletter, listserv, social media accounts and website.
  • Review the minutes to ensure that critical matters, resolutions and topics of discussion have been adequately covered.
  • Be willing to commit at least several hours per week of volunteer time to areas such as membership, social media, programming, fundraising and CAMP.