Please enjoy the latest issue of the JAWS newsletter.
MAY 29, 2014
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Visit the national listserv

JAWS in your neighborhood

JAWS Albuquerque

Date: May 30
Details: University of New Mexico research fellow Helia Vaezian will give a short presentation on her experience working as a journalist in her native Iran and preview her research on how Iranian media deals with women and feminism. Followed by wine, snacks and mingling. Suggested donation: $5.
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: New Harwood Art Center, 1114 7th St NW (corner of Mountain and 7th).
RSVP: Contact Megan Kamerick (505-400-6819) or Gwyneth Doland (505-453-4353) via phone or email.

JAWS Bay Area

Sign up for the Bay Area regional listserv.


JAWS Boston

Sign up for the Boston regional listserv.


Sign up for the D.C. regional listserv.

JAWS Frederick, Maryland

Date: May 29
Details: Bring your favorite hors d’oeuvres and beverage. Sponsored by Frederick Gorilla Magazine.
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
Location: Cowork Frederick (122 E. Patrick St., Frederick).
RSVP: Please RSVP. For more information, contact Stephanie Yamkovenko.


Date: June 12
Details: Catching up to the other Spring Fling potlucks, while it’s still spring! 
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
Location: Merrill Perlman’s Manhattan apartment, as cleansed of cat hair as possible and cats isolated.
RSVP: Please sign up here for directions and for a dish to bring, or email Merrill Perlman.
Sign up for the NYC regional listserv.

JAWS Southern California

Date: June 1
Details: For those wanting to network with women of JAWS, here’s a chance to connect with some of the most influential women journalists and other media makers in Southern California journalism. Media students, recent graduates, along with journalism/media professors and authors are also welcome to attend.
Location: Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn's home.
RSVP: Email Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn.
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 issue. Email details to Connie K. Ho.

Special discount for JAWS members

Date: June 20 and 21
Details: The Asian American Journalists Association, Los Angeles chapter, invites JAWS members to attend V3con, a conference for bloggers, journalists and those interested in learning more about digital media. Enter the code “Partner-JAWS” for a special discount. Contact Connie K. Ho for more information.
Location: Japanese American National Museum, 100 North Central Ave., Los Angeles.


*Audrey Bilger, professor of literature and faculty director of the Center for Writing and Public Discourse at Claremont McKenna College, has been named to take part in the 2014-15 American Council on Education Fellows Program.

*Mary C. Curtis delivered the keynote to a capacity crowd at Hilton Charlotte at the Mecklenburg County Bar Association's annual Law Day luncheon on the topic “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.”

*Alice Driver’s book “More or Less Dead: Feminicide, Haunting, and the Ethics of Representation in Mexico” will be published by the University of Arizona Press in spring 2015.

*Alexis Hauk recently began a new position as a homepage editor at TIME in New York.

*Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn will be honored by the Black Women in Jazz and Fine Arts Awards for her jazz women documentary, “...but can she play?”

*Karen Lowe has a radio documentary about efforts to save the mountain gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo from oil interests, rebel militias and loggers. It was picked up by the online magazine Evolve, the national public radio show “Living on Earth” and KPCC’s show “Unfictional.”

*Melissa Ludtke is producing a transmedia storytelling project, “Touching Home in China: In Search of Missing Girlhoods.” Get updates via Facebook (Touching Home in China) and Twitter (@TouchingHomeChi) before the Sept. 2015 launch.

*Stephanie Paige Ogburn is moving to KUNC in Northern Colorado as their new Digital First reporter. She is based in Denver and was previously at ClimateWire.

*JAWS Board Member Erin Siegal McIntyre has joined Univision in Miami as an investigative multimedia producer working on national and international documentaries and special reports. She welcomes recommendations of new friends in the South Florida area!

*Lana Straub was accepted by the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources to be a Fellow at their 2014 Shale Country Institute. Also, the story ideas that she submitted to the IRE, SPJ, NECIR Training - Fort Worth Watchdog Reporting Workshop won the KXWT team a slot.  

*JAWS Board Member Lisen Stromberg and Rita Henley Jensen are included in the new anthology on life transitions called “Nothing But The Truth, So Help Me God.” Lisen’s essay, “Staying the Course,” is about keeping it real after 25 years of marriage. Part of Rita’s essay “Road to College Included Hitchhiking with Kids” can be read online.

*Michele Weldon was co-director of TEDx NorthwesternU 2014 and it was absolutely the hardest thing she has ever done, even harder than raising three sons or navigating academia. She could never have done it without the help of NEW JAWdess Karen Springen.

*JAWS Board Member Kira Zalan is moving on from U.S. News & World Report to report for ACAMS She’ll still be based in Washington, D.C.
Have news to share? Send to Connie K. Ho for the next issue. We reserve the right to edit for space.

Social media tip

Send JAWS some social media love! You can share tweets and information about the work you do (#jawsfare), events and panels you are involved with (#jawsevents), and photos from the events that JAWS members attend. Maybe a group met for a monthly mixer or just because there was extra wine around (that’s a perfect time!) — whatever the reason, please let us know by including @womenjournos in your tweets or emailing You can also send photos to Social Media Manager Ankita Rao for the new JAWS Instagram account - events, panels, book covers, reporting snapshots are all welcome.
Board of Directors
Lauren M. Whaley,
Susy Schultz,
  Vice President
Nancy Day,
  Deputy Vice President
Amy Resnick,
Rachel Louise Snyder,
Karen Cheung-Larivee
Jennifer DePaul
Judy Miller
Donna Myrow
Sarah Pollock
Hilary Powell
Erin Siegal McIntyre
Lisen Stromberg
Kira Zalan

Regional Captains
Megan Kamerick and Gwyneth Doland, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Emily Beaver, Bay Area, California
Karen Cheung-Larivee, Boston, Massachusetts
Nancy Day, Chicago, Illinois
Jennifer DePaul, District of Columbia
Stephanie Yamkovenko, Frederick, Maryland
Susanna Ray, Seattle, Washington
Megan Sweas, Southern California

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

Karen Cheung-Larivee, Communications Chairwoman
Merrill Perlman, Copy Editor
Ankita Rao, Social Media Manager
Connie K. Ho, Website Manager

President’s letter: Exciting news and opportunities

By Lauren M. Whaley, JAWS President 

Dear JAWdesses:

Wow, what a month! I am reminded every day that JAWS is like no other place or organization. I have come to expect our robust listserv discussions on topics such as Jill Abramson's recent firing as well as links to heart-wrenching gorgeous essays. I love reading news on book deals and jobs opportunities. We all benefit from the intimacy our fellow members have cultivated over the years. And sharing that experience with more women in journalism – especially at this time in our industry when so many need the kind of support we provide – is gratifying. As I wrote in my fellowship letter, I want JAWS to welcome those who need this community. Our membership growth over the past few years shows how relevant we are, and the financial support that has grown along with it shows that our mission is compelling.

We have a newsletter packed with reports about activity on many fronts, but here are a few highlights.

First, I am very proud to tell you about three new fellowship opportunities targeted at journalists who can help us continue our rich tradition of embracing diversity of all types; these are in addition to our traditional 10 Emerging Journalist fellowships. Thanks to some generous private donors, we are able to support a mid-career fellowship and an entrepreneurial fellowship this year. And we are also thrilled to have support for a diversity fellowship targeted at journalists who are traditionally underrepresented in newsrooms. Getting great people to CAMP is a wonderful way for us all to give back; watch for our crowdfunding effort to support the Emerging Journalist fellowship program starting June 1.

Second, I have convened a new committee led by past president Dawn Garcia to look carefully at our organization’s long-term needs to be sure we have the right staff and structure in place to support our 700+ members and meet the goals set out in our Strategic Plan. We will also be asking for membership feedback throughout this process.

In the meantime, we have retired the unpaid, volunteer ambassador position and created three part-time staff positions to carry out the crucial business of JAWS through the end of this year. We are very lucky to have had candidates with experience, commitment and passion step forward to fill these roles.

The board on May 10 approved these part-time contract appointments through 2014, when we expect to have permanent staff on board.

Operations and CAMP Director: Adrienne Lawrence. The board found her organizational abilities, demonstrated experience in bookkeeping and management systems and energy and enthusiasm to be key in making her the top candidate among those who applied for the operations director and CAMP director positions. Adrienne, who had been working on CAMP plans with co-chair Megan Sweas, resigned from the board earlier this month. Her detailed knowledge of the plan will give her a running start to assure that we have a stellar symposium this fall in Palm Springs, California. Details on CAMP below.

Development Director: Kat Rowlands. The board’s commitment to not only put on a great CAMP but also meet member requests for more regional programming means that we have to secure the revenue to support that work. As immediate past president, Kat has a solid track record over the past few years of making a compelling case to supporters for JAWS and the work we do to empower women in journalism and work toward a more accurate portrayal of society. Kat’s work in this area helped JAWS raise $54,000 in individual donations, $24,000 in CAMP sponsorships and $13,000 from the onsite and online auctions last year, among other successes. She has generously offered to donate her compensation back to JAWS.

Other great news to share:

We want journalists across the country to have at least a taste of the JAWS experience of CAMP, so we are stepping up regional gatherings and trainings. This month, JAWS members are gathering for potlucks across the country as part of our Spring Fling.

For existing members, we have launched our new membership portal, called YourMembership. This is cause for celebration. Seriously. Board members and other volunteers have spent months creating this interface that will significantly improve membership experience and record-keeping efficiency. Upload your résumé and photo, check out your fellow members’ work, find a mentor. This new members-only site will also allow us to post board meeting minutes and financial reports. Read more here.

CAMP update. Our CAMP organizers are planning a stellar program for Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 in Palm Springs, California. We have Amy Bernstein, former JAWS president and current editor of the Harvard Business Review, confirmed to speak at CAMP. We also have a documentary film festival planned of women telling women’s stories. We have a panel on podcasting 101 and a whole tech track organized by board member Hilary Powell. We have panels on social justice and coding. The Fran Lewine interview will feature Edie Lederer interviewing Linda Deutsch.

As we know, women are still underrepresented in media. I am proud to say I am the president of an organization working hard to change that. If you want to get involved in JAWS on the board level or you know someone who would, please send names to the nominating committee, chaired by board member Nancy Day. The committee will send questionnaires to nominees in the next few weeks. Once nominees’ applications are reviewed and candidates are selected, per our bylaws, we will vote on the 2014-2015 board slate during our general membership meeting at CAMP.

Meanwhile, I am taking advantage of the last few days of my five-month maternity leave, which has allowed me to run JAWS full time and take care of my baby boy. Although I’ll soon be sitting in my office with windows that don’t open, I am looking forward to dusting off my audio and video equipment to tell stories professionally (not just at bedtime). I know many JAWS members have gone through this transition and I plan on calling on our sisterhood for help and guidance.

We have a hard-working board to help guide us, new staff to get the business done and all of you to provide the active and insightful substance of JAWS. If you have questions or feedback please reach out to the board. Everyone’s emails are listed on the website.

Happy summer, everyone!

Lauren M. Whaley

New members-only site launched

By Katherine Ann Rowlands, JAWS Immediate Past President is live!

We have exciting news for JAWS members this month: Starting NOW, you can log onto our new members-only site to take advantage of many improvements the board has been working on for the last year or so. The site replaces our old members-only directory at and will allow you to:

  • Easily update your profile with personal and professional information, including areas of expertise, your academic background, your website and social media accounts, your photo and much more.
  • Tell us about your interest in being a mentor or mentee and fill out a short survey so we can match you as part of our year-round program.
  • Post links or files of your work so that others can see the great journalism you have been doing.
  • Search for other current members based on criteria such as name, city, state, organization, professional description or affiliation with other professional groups.
  • Pay your membership dues efficiently and on time after getting automatic alerts, and track your history to create receipts.
  • Donate to JAWS and automatically record your contribution history for tax purposes.
  • Learn about and register for special JAWS events such as CAMP.

As we build out the new site, we will add lots of additional features, so send us feedback about what you would like to find on this members-only site.

To get started, go to this link (and bookmark it!) and use your email address as a user name and “JAWS1234” as your password. You will be able to change your password, renew your dues and fill out your profile at the prompts. Please note that some members will show up as “expired” or “non-members” if their dues have not been recently renewed but you should still be able to access your basic profile, make changes – and pay for another great year with JAWS.

Special thanks to former board member Jessica Rettig and JAWS Communications Chairwoman Karen Cheung-Larivee for helping to set this up. If you have any trouble, contact Kat Rowlands.

JAWS CAMP sneak peek

By Adrienne Lawrence, CAMP Director

There are plenty of fun reasons to go to CAMP this year, like a spa, 41 swimming pools and hot tubs, tennis, hiking and golf, but there’s also top-notch training and experts. Here are a few of the topics we’ll cover:

  • Telling Our Stories: Documentarians will discuss how they use film to tell women’s stories while presenting diverse images to discover about who we are, what we do, our history and contemporary stories. This panel will also include documentaries shown over the weekend. Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, documentarian, professor and journalist, will present this panel.
  • Mansplaining and Online Harassment: Men seem to feel like they need to explain everything to women. Michele Weldon, Northwestern University professor and journalist, and Hilary Hughes, prominent music journalist based in New York, will present this panel.
  • Swiss Army Knife of Apps: What are the not-to-be-missed and useful apps for mobile devices? Digital journalist Stephanie Yamkovenko will cover her top 10.
  • Podcasting 101: Who are the best podcasters right now? You’ll get tips from the pros, find out what you need to start your own podcast and more.

Thinking about registering? We’d love to meet you. CAMP will be held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 at La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, California, (which is VERY near Palm Springs).

Registration opens June 1. Check back later for the link to register.

Early bird: $345 member/$450 non-member, before Aug. 1
Regular: $375 member/$475 non-member, Aug. 1 to Sept. 31
Late: $400 member/$500 non-member, Oct. 1 to CAMP
Day rate: $125

Rooms at the resort are separate and JAWS negotiated a rock-bottom price. We’ll have booking information soon.

Questions? Email Adrienne Lawrence.

Board member blog post

The JAWS Workout

By Hilary Powell, JAWS Board Member

Giving back is an infectious energy inherent to JAWS. So are differences.

There is an effortless muscle of mutual support flexed when you attend CAMP, regional events or reach out to a fellow JAWdess online.

As part of the JAWS mission, we members strive to create a “more accurate portrayal of the whole society.” In my experience, since I joined JAWS six years ago, there is, ironically, but one homogeneous trait among members: the will to amplify diverse voices.

Read more here.

Support for Jill Abramson

By Lauren M. Whaley, JAWS President

After hearing of Jill Abramson’s termination from The New York Times as its first female executive editor, JAWS wrote an open letter in support of Abramson.
Abramson was the CAMP 2013 keynote speaker. 

Dear Jill:

The members of the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) support you.

As you ascended the ranks of top newspapers, you impressed us with your investigative journalism chops. When you became the first woman to run one of the most influential news organizations in the world, you inspired us to reach for leadership positions in our careers. And when you spoke to us during our annual conference last fall, you re-invigorated us with your self-proclaimed optimism about the journalism field and the influence we can have as women in it. Now we want to support you.

At the JAWS conference, you brought us to our feet declaring yourself to be “the newest member of JAWS” and acknowledging us as your “peeps.” Well, your peeps are here for you if you need us. We are hundreds strong in newsrooms all across the country and we stand with you and will help if we can.

Read more here.

Apply to be a JAWS Emerging Journalist fellow

Deadline June 1

By Kira Zalan, JAWS Board Member

The annual JAWS CAMP focuses on strengthening core journalism skills, building personal brands and careers, developing strategies for success in our evolving media landscape, improving gender parity in newsrooms, empowering women in leadership and management, and encouraging a more accurate portrayal of the whole society. Participants enjoy a dynamic experience filled with inspiring speakers, motivating career development sessions, and rewarding networking and mentoring opportunities. It’s an experience that has helped launch countless careers, and it’s also ignited lifelong friendships.

Emerging Journalist fellowships are open to professionals in the early stages of their careers. We are looking for journalists with at least one but no more than five years of professional journalism experience. Winners are selected based on a combination of merit, financial need and their potential contribution to JAWS as an organization that supports diversity across race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, media platform, beat and location.

Fellowships cover CAMP registration and travel expenses. In return, fellows will be asked to blog the weekend’s events for the JAWS website and to help JAWS spread the word about our crowdfunding fellowship fundraising campaign. Fellows also receive a complimentary one-year JAWS membership.

Read about the application process here.

JAWS’ spring fling potluck

By Jen DePaul, JAWS Board Member, Chair of Regional Gatherings

Several chapters have held a May spring fling potluck and there’s still time for your region to organize one. Our goal is to have every active chapter (Albuquerque; Bay Area; Boston; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Frederick, Maryland; New York City; Seattle; and Southern California) participate in this event.

Whoever hosts the event (regional captain or member), we ask that you promote it among your regional email listservs and tweet @womenjournos, prior to the potluck. Remember to take pictures and submit them to the chair of regional gatherings following the event so that we can share them in the next newsletter and online. Have questions? Email Chair of Regional Gatherings Jen DePaul.

Regional gatherings recaps

JAWS Frederick, Maryland: For its monthly mixer on April 27, the Frederick JAWS group received free training on using social media as journalists. The training was led by JAWS member Kirstin Garriss of WHAG News in Hagerstown, Maryland, and Marissa Evans of Kaiser Health News in D.C. Seven journalists attended the event: Five were JAWS members and two were not members. Everyone brought laptops or mobile devices to test out the social media tips in real time.

JAWS Bay Area: Several Bay Area JAWS members volunteered at a Student Résumé Round Robin April 30 at the San Francisco Chronicle, critiquing the work of new graduates and young journalists preparing for job interviews. Lots of great tips from experienced journalists representing nearby universities and media such as CNET, KRON, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Public Press, Pacific Media Workers Guild, AAJA San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Bay Area News Group, NAHJ Bay Area Chapter, Bloomberg News and JAWS. Look for some great résumé tips on the new JAWS member site.

JAWS Bay Area: A Wine and Whine dinner was held on May 6 with Bay Area women journos at the home of Immediate Past President Kat Rowlands.

JAWS D.C.: Thanks to the D.C. area members who trekked out to Alexandria for the potluck on May 18. Annie Groer proved herself to be an extraordinary auctioneer – $250 was raised for fellowships. There are also six new members in the group.

20% off for JAWS members. Mention “JAWS” when registering, after your email address.
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