Please enjoy the latest issue of the JAWS newsletter.
Oct. 30, 2015
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In this newsletter:

Visit the national listserv

JAWS in your neighborhood


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Contact the regional captain to suggest an event.

Atlanta, Georgia

Contact the regional captain to suggest an event.

Bay Area

Date: Nov. 1
Time: 4 to 7 p.m.
Details: Development Director and Past President Kat Rowlands will host a potluck gathering at her home. Bring a side dish or dessert and enjoy a fall afternoon with other Bay Area members.
Location: 9 Clarewood Lane, Oakland
Sign up for the Bay Area regional listserv.


Contact the regional captain to suggest an event. Sign up for the Boston regional listserv.


Date: Nov. 7
Details: For our next event, we are partnering with Chicago Headline Club on a half-day workshop focusing on how to build your own brand.  

Why should you come? a) You are interested in learning how to elevate your brand. b) You work hard on your stories but don’t know which social media tool, from Twitter and Facebook to Instagram and Periscope, will attract the most readers. c) You want to learn how to get an edge from those who do this every day and get results. d) You are opposed to journalists building a brand and want to share your thoughts.

Our featured guests will include:
Rex Huppke, a columnist at the Chicago Tribune
Angelica Atondo, an author, entrepreneur and former Univision Chicago anchor
Alex Garcia, an independent photographer who wrote the “Assignment Chicago” blog at the Chicago Tribune
Ali Trumbull, social media guru at Crain’s Chicago Business
Ed Scott, UX consultant and adjunct professor of communication at the Illinois Institute of Technology
Location: ABA Journal, 321 N. Clark St.
Contact: Email Alejandra Cancino.

Join the Chicago Facebook page.


Contact the regional captain to suggest an event.


Date: Nov. 7
Time: 4 p.m.
Details: JAWS D.C. will host a “speed-dating” event for members looking to work collaboratively to gain new skills. After people present their ideas to the group, those who are interested in teaming up with one of the presenters will go up to the presenter and provide them with clips, résumé and an informal interview. The presenter will collect email addresses/phone numbers and notify the people they would like to work with.
Location: 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW #1250
Contact: RSVP here or email Nikki Raz.

Sign up for the D.C. regional listserv.


Contact the regional captain to suggest an event. Join the Frederick Facebook group.

Gulf Coast, Florida

Contact the regional captain to suggest an event. Join the Gulf Coast Facebook  group.


Contact the regional captain to suggest an event.

Northern New England

Contact the regional captain to suggest an event.


Sign up for the NYC regional listserv or join the Facebook group.

Seattle, Washington

Contact the regional captain to suggest an event. Join the new Facebook group.

Southern California

Date: Nov. 14
Time: 6 p.m.
Details: Potluck.
Location: Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn’s home.
Contact: Email Megan Sweas.

Sign up for the Southern California regional listserv. Connect on Facebook.

South Florida

Contact the regional captain to suggest an event.

Twin Cities

Contact the regional captain to suggest an event.Join the new Facebook  page.


Have an upcoming event? Host a lecture, potluck or happy hour in your region and publicize your local gathering in the next newsletter. Email details to Connie K. Ho.

Want to start a regional group or become a regional captain in your city? Contact Megan Sweas, chair of regional gatherings.

Looking for JAWS members in your town, region or state? Log on to the members-only site and use the nifty search function to find out more.

Published books

Have you published a book lately? We want to include your book on Send details to so we can promote your work and support JAWS at the same time (some proceeds from Amazon support the organization).

Going to any conferences?

JAWS wants to reach out to our sisters in other journalism organizations to spread the word about our group and look for ways to partner.

If you are already planning to attend an upcoming journalism conference, please email JAWS development director Kat Rowlands so she can arm you with cards, pins and information and perhaps coordinate a JAWdess gathering at the conference.

Upcoming conferences are:
  • Journalism Education Association, Nov. 12-15 in Orlando, Fla.
  • Association of Opinion Journalists Minority Writers Seminar, Nov. 12-15, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Association of Opinion Journalists Symposium, Nov. 14-15, St.  Petersburg, Fla.


*Joanne Bamberger’s next book, “Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox,” is set to be released on Nov. 3.

*Melissa Ludtke launched the website for her new transmedia project “Touching Home in China: in search of missing girlhoods.”

*Sonia Nazario traveled to Mexico in September to investigate reports that Mexico, thanks to U.S. funding, was conducting a ferocious crackdown on refugees fleeing violence in Central America. She wrote an article that was published The New York Times (“Refugees at our Door") and a petition.

*The Tristar/Amazon pilot inspired by Lynn Povich’s book, “The Good Girls Revolt,” will go up on Amazon Prime on Nov. 5. It’s called “Good Girls Revolt” and Amazon Prime members will be able to vote on it.

*Fernanda Santos, The New York Times’ Phoenix Bureau chief, has written her first book, “The Fire Line: The Granite Mountain Hotshots and One of the Deadliest Days in American Firefighting.” It tells the story of 19 firefighters killed in an Arizona wildfire in 2013 and is scheduled for release on May 3, 2016.

*Liz Seegert was invited to be a Continuing Journalism Fellow with the Gerontological Society of America.

*Miranda Spivack won an honorable mention from the prestigious Lowell Thomas awards for a Washington Post piece she did on Roman ruins in Spain.

*Lana Straub received the David Stolberg Award for Meritorious Service from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

*Sarah D. Wire started a new position covering the California delegation for the Los Angeles Times.
Have news to share? Send to Connie K. Ho for the next issue. We reserve the right to edit for space.
Board of Directors
Sandra Fish,
Justine Griffin,
  Vice President
Linda Kramer Jenning,
  Deputy Vice President
Amy Resnick,
Sheila Solomon,
Georgia Dawkins
Jane Isay
Angela Greiling Keane
Liz Seegert
Gina Setser
Pamela Moreland
Merrill Perlman
Amy Stretten
Megan Sweas

Regional Captains
Gwyneth Doland and Megan Kamerick,
  Albuquerque, New Mexico

Stell Simonton,
  Atlanta, Georgia
Emily Beaver, 
  Bay Area, California
Karen Cheung-Larivee, 
  Boston, Massachusetts
Alejandra Cancino and Dannie Mahoney, 

Sandra Fish, 
  Denver, Colorado
Lottie Joiner, Jennifer DePaul and Lisa Gillespie,
  District of Columbia
Stephanie Yamkovenko, 
  Frederick, Maryland
Justine Griffin, 
  Gulf Coast, Florida
Solmaz Sharif, 
  New York City
Lucia Thayer, 

Meg Heckman, 
  Northern New England
Susanna Ray, 
  Seattle, Washington
Megan Sweas, 
  Southern California
Jess Weiss, 
  South Florida

Melinda Voss, 
  Twin Cities

Advisory Board
Jill Geisler
Mindy Marqu
és Gonzalez
Diana B. Henriques
Geneva Overholser
Lisa Stone

Merrill Perlman and Sarah Shemkus, Communications Co-Chairs
Connie K. Ho, Web Manager

Roxanne Foster,
  Operations Director
Connie K. Ho,
  Web Manager
Ankita Rao,
  Social Media Manager
Kat Rowlands,
  Development Director

Join me in serving JAWS

By Sandra Fish, JAWS President

Why I love JAWS:

  • Friendships old and new.
  • Shared wisdom, formal and informal.
  • Support in a noncompetitive environment.
  • Costumes, karaoke and dancing!

We left CAMP (aka the Conference and Mentoring Program) rejuvenated.

We gained new journalism knowledge (so much I can’t even summarize it), serendipitous connections, memories of Glacier National Park and more to take home with us.

On the shuttle to the airport, JAWS member Sonya Green told me she periodically refreshes herself with her “bottle of JAWS” while working in her Seattle radio newsroom.

Whether you were at CAMP or couldn’t make it, I’d like to encourage you to open your “bottle of JAWS” throughout the next year — and share it with the other women journalists in your life.

The JAWS board wants to help you share the JAWS love.

Here’s how:

  • Interested in attending or starting a regional JAWS group? Contact Megan Sweas, a new board member coordinating regional groups, at
  • Want to find other members in your area? Log in to the JAWS members-only website and go to the member directory. You can search by city, state, regional groups and more.
  • Interested in a mini-JAWS closer to you? We hope to hold daylong Saturday training sessions next spring in at least three different locations. The recent members' survey indicated the greatest interest for training in leadership, social media management and salary negotiating. If you’re interested in helping out on this, contact me:
  • Tell your women journo friends about JAWS and encourage them to join!

I’m honored to serve as the president of an organization that has done so much for me and my career. Be sure to save Oct. 28-30, 2016, for the Conference and Mentoring Project in Roanoke, Va. And I look forward to helping you keep the spirit of JAWS going all year round!

Operations Director Corner

By Roxanne Foster, JAWS Operations Director

Please join me in welcoming these newest members:
Carla Murphy (@carlamurphy)
Cheryl Corley (@nprcherylcorley)
Cheryl W. Thompson (@cherylwt)
Katie Alaimo (@kateinez)
Beatriz Costa-Lima (@Bcostalima)
Kathleen McCleery (@KMcCleery1)
Katherine Mast (@katiemast)
Tara Walch (@tarawalch)
Alana Barton
Susan Jaffe (@susanjaffe)
Jennifer Sergent (@jensergent)
Joy Mayer (@mayerjoy)
Noelle Graves
Nina Maffey (@ninglin)
Karen Ford (@KarenFordOnline)
Lisa K. Miller
Shreeya Sinha (@shreeyasinha)
Stephanie Guzman (@stephrguzman)
Ryan Maye Handy (@ryanmhandy)
Kamelia Kilawan (@kameliakilawan)
Mellissa Fung (@mellissafung)
Megan Messerly (@meganmesserly)
Tanya Snyder (@TSnyderDC)
Amanda Carroll (@akakuehn)
Karin Assmann (@kbassmann)

If your membership is past due, please renew! You’re an important part of the JAWS network, and we’d like to keep you connected. If you have questions or concerns about JAWS, please feel free to call (720-722-3569) or email. My office hours are Tuesday and Thursday, noon to 4 p.m., MT.

JAWS auction update

Thank you for donating, bidding and winning!

By Kat Rowlands, Development Director

Competitive shopping made for lots of happy JAWS members this month as jewelry, books, vacation homes and professional coaching were all snapped up at the on-site auction at the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) and in the online auction open to all via BiddingForGood. All the money raised in the auctions goes toward supporting programming at CAMP and during the rest of the year.

The on-site auction grossed $5,023 (pushed over the top by two huckleberry pies) and the online auction (with more than 50 items, including vacation stays in beautiful destinations like Joshua Tree, Calif.; Sundance, Utah; and Cape Canaveral, Fla.) garnered $8,395 this year. That makes for a record total of  $13,418 — well done! Many thanks to auction chair Pam Moreland, web manager Connie Ho and all the donors, bidders and wranglers who helped make this a success.

For those of you keeping track, we have raised $43,275 (minus a bit for credit card and web hosting fees) over the past four years to help JAWS bring you great programming at CAMP and provide membership and event support during the rest of the year. Three years ago, the board launched the online version of our traditional auction so that everyone — not just CAMPers — could participate, and the results have been impressive: Our total was $7,677 in 2012; $13,293 in 2013; $8,887 in 2014; and then the record $13,418 this year.

Small items like purses, necklaces and media swag are fun and make it possible for everyone to take home something. But the addition of special tours, professional advice and vacation homes, which draw the biggest bids, make a difference. So if YOU have a home in the mountains, by a beach or in a fabulous city like New York or Paris, please consider donating it for a long weekend or week next time so that JAWS can benefit. The board is considering a winter/spring auction for 2016 so email before Dec. 31 if you have an online item to donate.

CAMP 2015: S. Mitra Kalita Keynote

By Casey Hynes, 2015 JAWS Fellow

Figuring out what works — and what doesn’t — to improve diversity in news coverage and newsrooms has been key in the career of Los Angeles Times managing editor S. Mitra Kalita.

Here’s what she’s learned over her career, which includes stops at The Washington Post, Newsday, the Associated Press and Quartz: “There is no path forward for any of us until there is a space for all of us.”

Women and minorities get ahead through “conviction and being professional,” she told a group of about 200 journalists during her keynote, “The Women Feminism Left Behind,” at the 2015 Journalism and Women Symposium Conference and Mentoring Project.

When they do reach positions of power, women must help others in their communities achieve as well, she told the group at Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish, Mont., for the JAWS 30th anniversary CAMP gathering.

Kalita’s own diversity awakening happened courtesy of the “Boyz n the Hood.” While watching the 1991 movie with a group of fellow Dow Jones diversity interns, Kalita was struck by the character Doughboy’s words on the media after his brother’s murder doesn’t make the news: “Either they don’t know, don’t show or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.”

Until then, Kalita said, she never saw herself as an “other.” But she realized at that moment that women and people of color constantly look at news stories, at panels and in their immediate surroundings to see if they’re represented. And too often, the answer is that they’re not. She and the other interns resolved to improve representations of diverse communities, but often found that news outlets were more interested in shallow stories about food and festivals.

But now that she’s the boss – Kalita is the managing editor for editorial strategy at The Los Angeles Times – she’s constantly thinking about diversity and how the people she hires will help fulfill her vision of what the news organization should embody five years from now.

“I think the way forward is going to be our talent,” she said.

She also discussed her approach to metrics, which is to look at both the stories that are getting millions of hits and those that perform less spectacularly. She views this as an opportunity to better package the stories that don’t play well so that they resonate with the paper’s audience.

She also spoke to the importance of mentorship and said women should have at least one male mentor – “or at least a salary buddy to know what men are being paid.”

Kalita shared that “there is no work-life balance in our house” for her and her husband, artist Nitin Mukul. That’s why Mukul and their two daughters had front-row seats to her CAMP keynote. They blend their professional passions and family time. “Our work is our life,” she said.

Some JAWS women expressed skepticism about this approach and asked Kalita if she expects her staff to adopt the same mentality.

Kalita said she knows that she sets the example for her team. She assures them that she doesn’t expect emails answered at all hours and sees the work-life question as an individual one.

“I do work a lot. I also live a lot,” she said. “It’s important that people see I have a life with my family that has a lot to do with my journalism and how I cover our great city.”

Meet the new JAWS Board of Directors

At the Conference and Mentoring Project in Montana earlier this month, members elected a new board for the 2016-2017 term, including president Sandra Fish, a data journalist with New Mexico In Depth, and vice president Justine Griffin. New and returning board members are Georgia DawkinsAngela Greiling KeaneJane Isay, Linda Kramer JenningPam Moreland, Merrill PerlmanAmy ResnickLiz Seegert, Gina Setser, Sarah ShemkusSheila SolomonAmy Stretten and Megan Sweas.

Read more about their work and goals for JAWS.

CAMP tip sheets and session blog posts

About 200 professional women journalists flocked to Whitefish, Mont., for the 30th annual Journalism and Women Symposium’s Conference and Mentoring Program Oct. 9-11.

Los Angeles Times managing editor S. Mitra Kalita led a discussion about the women feminism left behind as a part of the keynote discussion at the 30th anniversary CAMP.

Thirteen journalists were awarded fellowships through JAWS’ fellowship programs for early career, entrepreneurial, midcareer and diversity journalists.

CAMP attendees participated in discussions about diversity and harassment, learned new investigative and data visualization skills and tested emerging storytelling tools first hand for three days at Grouse Mountain Lodge, not far from Glacier National Park. Longtime international AP correspondent Edie Lederer also took part in an interview with famed AP courts reporter Linda Deutsch.

Fellows were tasked with writing blog posts that recapped the sessions. A few of the posts on include:

Crossing Lines: How journalists can ethically be advocates

Five lessons about covering sexual assault in Native communities

Reinventing the journalism curriculum

Freelance doesn’t mean free

4 lessons from the ONA-Poynter Digital Women’s Leadership Academy

Covering race, police and communities

Essential apps for mobile storytelling

Washington for Sale 2016

We’ve also uploaded a video of Edith Lederer speaking at CAMP on our Vimeo page. In addition to the blog posts, speakers have shared a few resources. To access the tip sheets, log on to the members-only site.

Check out the CAMP photos

More images and videos to come, visit to learn more.

Member blog post: Advice to internship seekers

By JAWS members

The Journalism and Women Symposium has a robust listserv where members can ask questions and provide advice. A recent question posed to the group was for recommendations for those applying for internships. If you are interested in reading more on this topic, apply for a JAWS membership for access to the listserv.

Linda Kramer Jenning, adjunct professor at Georgetown University and former Washington Editor for Glamour magazine

When I used to hire interns, here are some things that made a difference:

  • Familiarity with what we do. I wanted to see that candidates had taken a deep look at the magazine and not just skimmed a copy or the site before showing up. Be prepared to mention examples of the kind of features that you liked (and cite examples from all the outlet’s platforms).
  • Come with ideas.
  • Come dressed for the job. Not overly formal and not overly casual. This also shows that you have a sense of the outlet’s DNA.
  • Show enthusiasm. Not gushing, but research-based enthusiasm for the kind of work you’d be involved in.
  • Show flexibility in terms of work schedule. You might be expected to work evenings, weekends and odd hours.
  • At the same time, be up front about your academic obligations. It’s OK to say you can’t work during exam week.
  • Be direct about your skill set and how those skills are a match for the organization’s needs. Don’t oversell yourself.
  • You’re a journalist. Come prepared to ask questions. Interviews are a two-way street.
Read more here.
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