Please enjoy the latest issue of the JAWS newsletter.
Jan. 22, 2015
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Sign up for the Bay Area regional listserv.



Sign up for the Boston regional listserv.


Date: Jan. 23
Details: Happy hour
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: National Press Club, McClendon Room, 529 14th St., NW, 13th Floor.
Contact: Send an email to Andrea Stone.

Date: Feb. 14
Details: Screening of “She's Beautiful When She's Angry” followed by Q&A with director Mary Dore.
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: E Street Cinema, 555 11th St., NW.
Contact: Send an email to Linda Kramer Jenning.

Sign up for the D.C. regional listserv.


Date: Jan. 25
Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
Location: Katie Mullen’s, 1550 Court Pl.
Contact: RSVP on Facebook or email Sandra Fish.


Join the Frederick Facebook group.


Sign up for the NYC regional listserv.


Southern California

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


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.


*Mary C. Curtis’ column on her father for the Washington Post was named one of Daily Beast’s Top 10 of 2014.

*Gwyneth Doland is excited to begin working on a big new project, a revision of the State Integrity Investigation for the Center for Public Integrity. She’s also gearing up for the January start of New Mexico’s legislative session, which she’ll be covering on TV, on the radio and online.

*Megan Kamerick was honored by the Hautepreneurs, a mentoring, support and training network for women entrepreneurs in New Mexico. Three other finalists for the Haute Honors Awards — Rachel Sams, Gwyneth Doland and Giovanna Rossi — are all JAWS members.

*Miriam Pawel was named a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for her biography of Cesar Chavez titled “The Crusades of Cesar Chavez.”
Have news to share? Send to Connie K. Ho for the next issue. We reserve the right to edit for space.
Board of Directors
Linda Kramer Jenning,
Sandra Fish,
Susy Schultz,
  Vice President
Amy Resnick,
Sheila Solomon,
Angela Greiling Keane
Justine Griffin
Liz Seegert
Gina Setser
Erin Siegal McIntyre
Judy Miller
Pamela Moreland
Donna Myrow
Merrill Perlman
Hilary Powell
Kira Zalan

Regional Captains
Gwyneth Doland and Megan Kamerick,
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jill Cox-Cordova, 
Atlanta, Georgia
Emily Beaver, 
Bay Area, California
Karen Cheung-Larivee, 
Boston, Massachusetts
Nancy Day and Sheila Solomon,
Chicago, Illinois
Sandra Fish, 
Denver, Colorado
Deirdre Bannon, Jennifer DePaul and Lisa Gillespie,
District of Columbia
Stephanie Yamkovenko, 
Frederick, Maryland
Solmaz Sharif, 
New York City
Susanna Ray, 
Seattle, Washington
Megan Sweas, 
Southern California

Advisory Board
Jill Geisler
Diana B. Henriques
Dori Maynard
Geneva Overholser
Lisa Stone

Justine Griffin and Merrill Perlman, Communications Co-Chairwomen
Connie K. Ho, Web Manager

Adrienne Lawrence, Interim Operations and CAMP Director
Kat Rowlands, Interim Development Director
Ankita Rao, Social Media Manager
Connie K. Ho, Web Manager

President’s Letter: Underrepresentation

By Linda Kramer Jenning, JAWS President

Women elected officials and the women journalists who cover them share an uncomfortable reality: We are both underrepresented.

The new U.S. Congress includes 20 women out of 100 senators and 84 women out of 435 representatives. Only five of the 50 governors are women. Compared to other nations, we’re in the cellar when it comes to the number of elected women. We trail behind such nations as Honduras, Rwanda, Vietnam and Bosnia.

And research shows equally dismal representation for women journalists at home and abroad. An IWMF study on the global status of women in the media found that women worldwide held only about 36 percent of reporting jobs. Last year’s study by the Women’s Media Center found that, in the United States, male bylines continue to dominate both newspaper front pages and the content of newer online-only sites.

Jennifer Lawless of American University studies why more women don’t run for elected office. Over the years, her research has shown that women often need to be asked, perhaps as many as seven times, before they consider running.

But we don’t have that recruitment problem in journalism.

Women outnumber men in today’s journalism schools. I see that in every class I teach in Georgetown’s graduate journalism program. My last class had 15 women and one man. So why aren’t those numbers reflected in newsrooms?

I don’t have the answer, but I believe more women in leadership would make a difference. Why? Well, read this exchange from a New York Times interview last year with Nina Jacobson, producer of “The Hunger Games.”

“What do you think of the notion that movies with female protagonists are risky box-office bets? Since I’m not allowed to swear, I’ll say I think that’s a lot of bullpucky. I don’t understand why people still behave as though making movies with female protagonists is risky, given that — hello — we do make up over 50 percent of the population, and we go to movies.

“So do you have any idea why this idea persists? Too many white men in positions of power?

“How do you suppose that changes, then? White boys beget white boys. The more women and people of color who find positions of influence, the more women and people of color who will find positions of influence. So we need critical mass, and we’re still working toward that. I won’t be satisfied until we’re at the 50-50 place where we ought to be.”

– Linda Kramer Jenning

Board member blog post

Age diversity in JAWS membership

By Angela Greiling Keane, JAWS Board Member

There are many things to love about JAWS, but one of my favorites is the age diversity of our members. When I first joined JAWS in 2003, that wasn’t the case. But the members at the time — the core of whom had founded the group as soulmates in solidarity in the 1980s — realized that JAWS wouldn’t be sustainable into the future if they didn’t replenish their ranks. So they set out to do just that.

I was recruited to JAWS by the indomitable Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, who at the time worked down the hall from me. I don’t remember her exact words, but whatever they were, when she invited me to a reception for JAWS that was being held in conjunction with an Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in Washington, I don’t recall there being a choice of whether I would attend. 

When I joined JAWS, I was in my 20s. At my first few gatherings, I remember feeling awfully young compared with most attendees.

Fast forward a few years and discount the fact that I have gotten older. The intergenerational moment that brings me amusement came a couple years ago at CAMP. On the first night, the wonderful Kathy Bonk — a woman old enough to be my mother if she’d been a very young mother — invited me to sit at her table for dinner.

Read more here.

The Mentor Project

JAWS proudly expanded the Mentor Project in 2014 to be a year-round program. With enthusiasm from our membership, hundreds of members signed up to be a mentor or mentee. Many of you have contacted the Mentor Committee asking about your application and when you’ll be matched with someone.

Please be patient and give us time to make a great match for every mentor and mentee. The Mentor Project is staffed by volunteers; we’re working as fast as we can.  

Which reminds us: The Mentor Committee also needs volunteers to assist with matching pairs and communicating with mentors and mentees throughout the year. Please send us your name if you are able to help.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Donna Myrow, Board Member, Co-Chair Mentor Committee
Sheila Solomon, Board Member, Co-Chair Mentor Committee

CAMP relationships extend far beyond

By Donna Myrow, JAWS Board Member

Jill Abramson brought her sister Jane O’Connor to the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) in La Quinta, Calif. I was thrilled to meet her because she’s the author of “Fancy, Nancy,” an award-winning series of books about a silly, adventurous girl. It’s a great book for kids. Jane is also editor-at-large at Penguin Books for Young Readers.

I’m a BookPALS volunteer at a local Coachella Valley elementary school. Once a week I read to fourth graders to engage them in reading and writing and to encourage children to read on their own to awaken their imagination. I told Jane about my weekly trek to this beautiful school, perched on a hilltop overlooking the desert. The Title 1 school serves more than 700 children from a very low-income community.  

Jane asked for my card and we chatted about the importance of reading aloud to children.  

The day before Christmas, two large boxes arrived on my doorstep. Dozens and dozens of books for all grade levels were packed inside. Jane remembered our conversation at CAMP.

Special relationships happen at JAWS beyond journalism.

January BoardBytes 

By Sheila Solomon, JAWS Secretary

  • In a money-saving effort, the executive board plans to contract with the Society of Professional Journalists to manage our bookkeeping.
  • The Communications Committee is calling for new recruits. Please contact Merrill Perlman or Justine Griffin about your interest.
  • And coming soon: FAQs for members and the public. The ones for the public will be designed to make us more visible in Internet searches and will serve as a promotional tool to drive membership and fundraising.   

Visit the members-only site and log in to view full board minutes.

Regional gatherings recap

JAWS D.C.: JAWS D.C. members Jane Meacham (in cap), Viola Gienger (red gloves), Beryl Adcock and her husband, David, walked in a silent march that drew hundreds, perhaps more, in Washington, D.C., in a show of solidarity with France and the values of free expression and tolerance, after the attacks in Paris. French Ambassador to the U.S. Gérard Araud and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde helped lead the procession, which began at the Newseum and ended at Judiciary Square.

JAWS SoCal: JAWS SoCal members attended a goal-setting workshop this past month. The first step to setting your goals is to develop a mission statement, Debra Eckerling told SoCal JAWS members and guests. Capture who you are and what you want — and use “I am” instead of “I will,” she added.

Over the course of an evening, Debra helped us embrace this vision of ourselves and craft a plan on how to get there.

As SoCal JAWS’ first event of 2015, the workshop covered much more than resolutions. Debra created a safe space for all of us to share our dreams and desires.

She then helped us break down these visions into short-term goals, milestones and tasks. As goal-setting and productivity coach, she sprinkled the conversation with helpful tips on managing work and making time for passion projects.

“I’ve been mulling over your questions for days, which is a sign that you tapped into some important issues,” JAWS member Evelyn Iritani said in an email chain after the event.

The conversation has continued beyond the workshop. JAWS board member Donna Myrow won a drawing for a free 30-minute coaching session with Debra. Other members are turning to one another as “accountability partners” for encouragement in accomplishing their goals.

Regional Captain Megan Sweas organized the workshop. NextSpace, a co-working space with locations in multiple cities, donated a conference room for the event. Participants also received free day passes.

Debra Eckerling, who donated her time for the event, works with individuals, entrepreneurs and small businesses to set goals and manage their projects. Debra has more than 15 years of experience in communications and project management with a specialty in writing, social media and live networking. She graduated from journalism school and is an editor at Social Media Examiner. You can find out more about her at and

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