For Maura Casey, being a JAWS member is an expression of support for fellow women journalists. She learned about the organization in the early 1990s when an editorial reader connected her to, one of the JAWS originals who resided in the circulation area of newspaper in Connecticut. Maura was then an active member of the National Conference of Editorial Writers [now the Association of Opinion Journalists], so she did not attend the annual camps until 2007. Since then, she has participated regularly and appreciates that JAWS is filled with kind, welcoming ladies who enjoy encouraging young and minority journalists. She said the mixture of ages indicates that JAWS is a healthy, thriving organization.
Two fuels to Maura’s career in editorial writing have been ambition and optimism, both of which she learned from her mother and teacher-mentor at school. She had confidence she would be good at op-eds because she thought she could do a better job than what appeared in the papers. Many people said she would need to be a reporter for at least a decade, but she searched for a position that would allow her to do it in half the time and then landed an editorial job at the. Within five years, Maura won a Scripps Howard Foundation Walker Stone Award for her opinion columns. After spending the majority of her career at newspaper, the editorial page editor of offered her a position because she knew her work. So Maura worked as a NYT part-time editorial writer for three years until the media’s economic crisis displaced her. Regardless of the length of her stay, though, she knew that working at The bestowed her with high credentials, so she founded her own small communications firm, doing writing and editing. In a typical JAWS style, her longtime friends sent people her way so that her business quickly became successful.
Maura had just arrived at the JAWS weekend camp and was picking up her registration materials when I approached her and asked for her participation in the oral history project. She agreed, and we sat down for the interview on October 26, 2013, in the Essex Hotel of Essex, Vermont. True to her 30 years of editorial experience, she was very straightforward and open to sharing her viewpoints and life experiences.
( This interview was conducted by Youn-Joo Park )