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|Vice President - Print||Annemarie Nefffirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Vice President - Broadcast||Lillian Williams||Lwilliams@popmail.colum.edu|
|Web Site Coordinator||Melissa Knopperemail@example.com|
|Past President||Susan Evans||EvansS@wbbm-tv.com|
To meet our 2000 executive committee: Executive Committee Biographies
Visit our membership directory to learn more about our executive committee and other members.
You could say we were born in protest. The AWJ was
founded in Dallas-Ft. Worth in 1988 by a group of women objecting to a billboard
advertising campaign for a newspaper that featured a scantily-clad, well-endowed
hair stylist cutting a man's hair as he read the newspaper.
The first meeting to discuss their outrage was the start of something much bigger. Most of the Texas women belonged to another group, JAWS, Journalism and Women's Symposium, a national group that meets once a year. So, they knew what they wanted - a JAWS feeling in their hometown. Welcome to the world, AWJ.
It was Cristi Kempf who moved from Texas to Chicago, bringing her AWJ newsletter with her. At about the same time, a handful of women were thinking out loud to each other that it was time for a women's journalism group here, and the AWJ sounded perfect.
Organized by Michelle Stevens, Cindy Richards, Susy Schultz, Mary Galligan and Adrienne Drell, the AWJ's Chicago chapter came to life on November 7, 1993 at a Sunday brunch at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, thanks to Mary Dedinsky, who opened the school's doors to us. Billed as "the ladies that lunch" in James Warren's Sunday media column, the first meeting attracted more than 60 women - more than half of whom handed over $25 checks to become founding members.
From there, things continued to grow. Over the years, the AWJ's Chicago chapter has grown along with the AWJ. There are now seven chapters across the country, and our chapter has more than 200 paid members.
Who are we? We are women and men who are working journalists. We work in all mediums - newspapers, magazines, television and radio as editors, producers, reporters, columnists and editorial writers. We are from national, local and regional publications that come out daily, weekly and monthly. We are academics from all the major journalism schools in the area. We are an apolitical, not-for-profit organization. We offer you a network, in that many of us find a little bit of sanity in a crazy industry.
We spread the word slowly and through our programs, breakfasts and colleagues. We can boast great people with energy, enthusiasm and ideas. And AWJ people don't just talk, they do.
Take the panel we sponsored at the 1996 Democratic National Convention with the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession. It was a star-studded group of women journalists who, before 300 people at the Chicago Public Library, discussed the study AWJ had just released with Northwestern University about who covers Washington and whether gender affects the coverage. The package event was born from Pat Colander, then-publisher of the Times newspaper's Illinois bureau. You can find out more about the study on this Web site (links are below).
Reporters' Experiences & Perceptions: Does Gender Matter?
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