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Dana Neuts
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Bio (click to expand) picture After a career in financial services, Dana (Blozis) Neuts began freelancing in 2003. Based in Kent, Washington, Dana is a freelance writer and editor as well as the owner and publisher of iLoveKent.net and iLoveCovington.com, hyperlocal blogs. Her work has appeared in many Seattle-area publications as well as national publications including GSN: Government Security News, HS Today and American Profile. She is past-president of the award-winning Western Washington Pro Chapter of SPJ, serves as the Region 10 Director of SPJ, is a member of the membership committee, and chairman of the freelance committee. She previously served on the SDX foundation board and has been a facilitator for Scripps. For more information, please visit VirtuallyYourz.com. Specialties: Business Writing and Editing, Features, Humor, Small Business, Nonprofits, Finance, Insurance, Travel, and Marketing Consulting and Implementation including Social Media.

Home > Become an SPJ Member > Why Join SPJ? > Why I’m a Member > A case of prioritizing

Why I’m a Member

Holly Fisher
A case of prioritizing

All of us who work in the journalism industry know the business can be all-consuming. News isn’t 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Working for a bi-weekly business journal gives me a more regular schedule than when I worked in the daily newspaper business. But it’s still hectic and often leaves me with more work than an eight-hour day (or nine or 10) can handle.

Plus, we all have families, friends and personal lives we try to squeeze into our days. Last summer, my husband and I moved to a different area of Charleston. We bought a house that needed some major interior work so my weekends have been filled with painting, cleaning and unpacking.

Mixed in with work and home life, I have SPJ commitments and taught a class last fall as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston. I don’t doubt my full schedule sounds familiar to many of you. These days, prioritizing and juggling are necessary skills.

But prioritizing a host of worthy projects and commitments can be tough. And some of you may be like I am: “no” just doesn’t come out of our mouths very easily.

In 2006, I resolved to do better at saying “no.” I wanted to commit to only those activities and tasks that I find most rewarding and most important. SPJ continues to be one of those activities.

I’ve been a member for 11 years and a regional director for five years. Not once have I put SPJ at the bottom of my priority list. It continues to be an important part of my life for a host of reasons. Primarily, I like the feeling of being a part of something bigger. I like knowing I’m giving something back to the profession and that maybe, even in some small way, I’m contributing to an industry I hold dear.

As a member of the board, I am able to shape this Society — growing and building an organization founded almost 100 years ago. I know SPJ will continue for another 100 years and want to know I played some role in its history.

Over the years, SPJ has given me friendships, contacts and a network of colleagues around the country. I enjoy the camaraderie and the connections SPJ provides.

If I lessened my commitment to SPJ, I feel I would be lessening my commitment to the journalism profession and to about 9,000 friends.

I understand what it’s like to be swamped and a little overwhelmed with a to-do list that seems to never end. Yet, I would urge all SPJ members to stay committed to the cause and to make SPJ involvement a priority — whether it’s taking five minutes to send in your renewal form, 15 minutes to check out what’s new at spj.org, an hour to attend a local chapter event or two hours a week serving on a committee.

We’ve all devote a great deal of time and energy to our jobs. Let’s funnel a little bit of that time and energy into an organization that will ensure this industry stays vibrant and relevant for years to come.

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Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789

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