Julie Dunlap

They were wonderful women, and the younger women aren’t where they are today because they got there on their own. There’s been change along the way however incremental, and it’s always important to remember that. And salute it and honor it.

— Julie Dunlap

Julie Dunlap

Julie Dunlap’s 26-year history with JAWS and her distinguished career in the newspaper industry made her an ideal candidate for this oral history project.

Born in 1948, Julie grew up in a newspaper family. Her father, James Dunlap, worked for The Des Moines Register and Philadelphia Inquirer. Initially torn between veterinary medicine and journalism, Julie ultimate chose to study journalism and political science at Pennsylvania State University.

After college, she headed for Australia and briefly worked at The Daily Telegraph in Sydney. After coming back to the United States, Julie worked for United Press International (UPI), The New York Times and The Oregonian. However, she spent much of her career as an editor at The Associated Press, where she met JAWS founder Tad Bartimus. Julie joined JAWS in 1987 and has since served on the board three times and as president in 2007.

“I can remember overall just the feeling of listening to these terrific women talking about doing our jobs,” Julie said of her first JAWS camp. “Of course I’d worked with a number of them at the AP. But to have time when we came together and talked about how we felt about our careers, and how we felt about what women could do in journalism and the importance of our influence, was new to me.”

All these years later, Julie said the sisterhood of JAWS continues to motivate her.

“It’s just tremendous support and love and laughter that gives me energy to go on for the rest of the year, no matter where I was in my career,” she said. “And just that feeling that there’s support and yes, you can do this because you could see other women doing it.”

This oral history with Julie took place at the JAWS camp in Essex, Vermont on October 27, 2013.

( This interview was conducted by Yong Volz )