So you’re about to commence or complete your journalism degree. You’ve maybe volunteered for a media source, completed an internship or even begun your first full time reporting gig. You are definitely on the right path to a fulfilling journalism career. To help ensure long term success as a journalist, you need to continuously learn from more seasoned professionals and make connections within the industry. What better way to do this but by joining a journalism organization?
The Council of Journalism Organizations recommends that professional reporters, writers, editors, broadcasters and photojournalists join a professional association so they can keep up to date with trends within the journalism industry, make connections, access invaluable resources and learn from mentors. It also provides an avenue for colleagues to meet and collaborate – an understanding community for encouragement and support.
Sixty-one associations are a part of The Council of Journalism Organizations. Here’s a sneak peak of some organizations that can help further your journalism career:
Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
The Society of Professional Journalists was founded in 1909 and has over 10,000 members, making it the largest journalism organization in the United States. Its mission is to sustain the constitutional right of freedom of the press and to foster excellence and high, ethical standards among journalists. The SPJ constantly offers professional development through local and national conferences. There are almost 250 chapters across the country providing members opportunities to network with other professionals in their region. The SPJ also provides information on job leads, awards and advocates on behalf of journalists so they can uphold their right to freedom of the press.
National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)
Founded in 1946, the National Press Photographers Association has approximately 7,000 members across the United States and around the world. Membership is open to photojournalists as well as journalists who work with video, multimedia and other visual channels. When you join, you are assigned to one of 11 regions so that you can receive relevant information on events and resources in your area. Membership benefits include discounts on visual media equipment and workshops/seminars, a subscription to News Photographer magazine and invaluable networking opportunities. The NPPA also provides opportunities for visual journalists to display their portfolios and resumes on its website.
ASBPE: Fostering B2B editorial excellence
Founded in 1964 as the American Society of Business Press Editors, ASBPE is the
professional association for full-time and freelance editors, writers, art
directors, and designers employed in the business, trade, and specialty press. ASBPE
is widely known for its annual Awards of Excellence competition, which recognizes
the best in editorial, design, and online achievement. The organization also
sponsors the annual ASBPE National Editorial Conference. Regular educational
seminars are held by local chapters in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Kansas City,
Washington D.C., and Cleveland.
American Copy Editors Society (ACES)
The American Copy Editors Society, founded in 1997, is open to editing professionals, professors and students in the journalism, business, government, non-profit and educational sectors. Members of ACES have the opportunity to collaborate and create a voice for fellow copy editors, to continuously improve their editing skills and to network with colleagues. Benefits include a subscription to ACES’ quarterly newsletter, access to the discussion board to chat about common issues and discounted fees for ACES’ and other journalism organizations’ workshops and seminars. ACES also offers information on job opportunities, awards and mentorship programs.
There are journalism organizations for almost every specialized niche and style, from magazine editing to investigative reporting, from journalists who write on food and healthcare to criminal justice and environmental themes. You will certainly be able to find a journalism organization that fits your career goals and professional passions.