Category Archives: News

September 2018: From Austin to Portland – and beyond

Traveling by plane, trains and automobiles to conferences across the country can be exhausting. I know. As I write this column, I am in the midst of my second conference in Austin, Texas. And while I am tired, I’m also exhilarated. I’m exhilarated not just because Austin is a cool place (and the destination for Journalism and Women Symposium’s conference in 2020!), but because I was allowed to reconnect with my inner journalist.

JAWS statement on Capital Gazette shooting

Any attack on a newsroom or journalists, no matter the motive, is an attack on the free press and the public’s right to know. We stand in solidarity with the courageous staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. The members of Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) mourn for the people killed or wounded, and we support the journalists covering the ongoing investigation.

August 2017: Naming and standing up to hate

The protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, Va., highlighted, once again, the challenges we face as journalists, particularly when it comes to false equivalency.

As many have noted, there are no two sides to racism.

Racism is wrong.

It was heartening to see SPJ’s ethics chairman write about the false equivalence.

July 2017: Meeting veteran and newbie JAWdesses near and far

I recently attended the Investigative Reports and Editor (IRE) conference in Phoenix, Ariz., and hosted a JAWS meetup. Among the group were at least two students, current and former board members, past fellows and one future fellow, Chandra Bozelko. There were even two Brennas from Arizona sitting next to each other – Brenna Goth, a fellow at last year’s Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP), and Brenna Bailey, a University of Arizona student member.

We shared stories about work, IRE and, of course, our excitement about attending CAMP.

When it comes to our fellows, a JAWS tradition is raising money to help these young women come to CAMP.

April 2017: Paving the way for women journalists

One of the coolest things about our CAMP for me is meeting new women journalists – especially our fellows.

Each year, our fellowship committee selects a group of 10 to 14 women who might not otherwise be able to come to CAMP to receive these grants to attend.

This year we’re honored to add the Betsy Wade Legacy Fund Fellowship to the lineup, honoring the first woman copy editor at The New York Times. Wade and her women co-workers sued the Times in the 1970s for equal pay, and their settlement paved the way for better pay and advancement for the women who came after them.

March 2017: Improve your leadership skills at one-day training seminars June 24 and July 28

Looking to improve your leadership skills or develop some expertise to get there?

We’re excited that Jill Geisler will once again be offering JAWS members her excellent one-day training seminars this summer in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.

If you’re in or near the Bay Area, put June 24 on your calendar. We’ll be meeting at Stanford for the day, with lunch provided and most likely happy hour at the end of the day.

In New York City, Jill will be at CUNY on July 28, a Friday. Again, a day-long, interactive training with lunch provided and happy hour at the end of the day.

February 2017: Charting the future of JAWS

Where should JAWS go in the next five years?

How can our organization better serve our members?

That’s the question your board of directors will be mulling as we meet in Denver next month for our spring board meeting.

It’s time to update our strategic plan, created in 2012 to last through this year. You may read a summary here.

January 2017: New programs for the new year

As the new year begins, I’m giving thanks for all those who so kindly donated to our successful end-of-year fund drive.

But we’re especially thankful for Phuong Ly of the Institute for Justice and Journalism. She recently closed the nonprofit and contributed money to several journalism nonprofits, including a generous gift to Journalism and Women Symposium.

Her gift, suggested by former JAWS President Dawn Garcia, will help us in our goal to provide regional training sessions in the year to come.

And that goal is already in motion.

December 2016: Looking back at 2016, getting ready for 2017

As 2016 comes to a close, I want to offer thanks to everyone who’s done so much for Journalism and Women Symposium this year.

So many people have contributed it would be impossible to name you all.

But you’ve helped JAWS put on another great Conference and Mentoring Program in Roanoke, Va., hold three successful daylong regional training sessions, continue our work of mentoring each other and building relationships and more.

From board members to committee volunteers to trainers and mentors to our great JAWS staff members, your support is invaluable.

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.