While we can’t look ahead five, ten or twenty years to see what the future looks like for the Society of Professional Journalists, I’m confident it will be bigger and stronger than ever. Why? Because I’ve seen the next generation of professionals coming out of dozens of SPJ student chapters around the country.
The Society of Professional Journalists is a strong organization in part because of our chapters, where local journalists often turn for support when challenged, attacked or even put in danger doing their jobs. Here are just a few examples of how our chapter leaders have stepped in to defend and protect journalists.
Since becoming president of the Society of Professional Journalists, I’ve constantly talked about #SPJStrong. We are a strong organization in part because we have two communities that bring journalists together for a common cause. If you’re a freelancer looking to expand your network, find a job lead or join a supportive group, all you have to do is turn to the SPJ Freelance Community.
SPJ professional and student chapters are the backbone of our organization. Often the “boots on the ground” for our local journalists, student journalists and journalism educators, they play a big part in the strength of SPJ. That’s why I’m devoting my Quill columns to our chapters, whether they are standing up for the rights of journalists, raising scholarship money or giving students a place to grow their network on campus.
NOTE: As Quill went to press, and this column came out, the Hartford Courant announced it was dropping Google Translate and developed its own in-house, staffed Spanish-language site. Read more here. Over the summer, the Hartford Courant began offering news in Spanish to its readers.
I probably would have spit coffee on my microphone if you told me in 2008 that I’d soon go from a TV news reporter to a new media journalist running a 3,000-member social networking site. It all began in summer 2009, after a Dallas, Texas, Fox affiliate and I parted ways amid the industry turmoil.