Why Im a Member
2011 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute Participants
I am a member of SPJ because I want to learn about all the current news in the field of journalism. I also want to learn from fellow members currently reporting. The media in which journalism is presented is rapidly changing and I will be prepared to jump right in!
Meagan McGinnes, Ithaca College
The reasons that I joined the SPJ and have worked to establish this chapter at Campbellsville University is so that the journalism students have a strong resource at their disposal that can provide guidance, opportunity and real-world input on what is needed to make it in todays media frenzied society.
Richard Wilson, Campbellsville University
I decided to become the SPJ adviser when I was hired at Oklahoma State University because I wanted students to gain experience outside the classroom. Students can learn only so much in lectures and labs; I wanted them to meet professionals who could tell them about their real world experiences. I also wanted students to have the chance to network with professionals.
Ray Murray, Oklahoma State University
Years ago I interviewed for a job in another city and didn't get it. The city editor who interviewed me was a leader in his local chapter and had scolded me for not being a member. Aside from the lost job opportunity, I was embarrassed that nearly a decade into my career I had yet to give back to the profession I love. I've been trying to give back ever since, and our combined efforts are more important now than ever. Crying and wringing our hands about all the lost journalism jobs will not bring them back. But a strong organization advocating for the added value journalists bring to the glut of available information that could have an impact.
Judy Gibbs Robinson, University of Oklahoma
SPJ fights for issues I believe in: freedom of information, open government, ethics in journalism and others, while also providing helpful training workshops at regional conferences and plenty of opportunities to network with others in the profession.
Jane R. Primerano, New Jersey Pro
I am a member of SPJ because it is such a great resource for aspiring journalists as well as a significant networking opportunity for students. The conferences, training programs, and web-based tools divulge a wealth of knowledge, foster local connections with professionals, instill high standards of behavior and adherence to the Code of Ethics, and keep members informed of industry happenings. The value of SPJ is enormous.
Elena Faria, University of South Carolina
The world of journalism is shifting rapidly, and it may seem impossible for budding journalists to learn what are now viewed as necessary skills - video, photo, social media. SPJ teaches me those skills and how best to apply them. I'm connected to journalists who use them every day.
Mary Kenney, Indiana University
I wanted to represent my university, but most importantly I wanted to represent the career in journalism in a positive, protected way that shows my passion for what I do everyday.
Matthew Conde, University of Alabama
In the constantly changing, ever challenging field of journalism, the Society of Professional Journalists provides much needed support, guidance and inspiration. SPJ not only offers practical services, such as training and networking, but on a higher level it stands for the tenets of our profession.
Melissa Domsic, Mid-Michigan Pro
Society of Professional Journalists is an organization that shines it is beacon for lost journalists everywhere. Journalists in need of advice and support can depend on SPJ where they may not have it elsewhere. I am a part of SPJ because I believe in this message. Journalists have an important job, and no one can do such an important job completely alone.
Alicia Elkin, West Virginia University
I am a member of the Society of Professional Journalists because I believe the organization is an essential resource in the changing media landscape. However the means for journalism delivery may change, its the Code of Ethics that will guide responsible journalists for generations to come.
Gilbert D. Martinez, Texas State University-San Marcos
Im an SPJ member for the same reason I decided to major in journalism 20-plus years ago: because I believe strongly in the publics right to know and in the freedoms of speech and the press. I want to be an active participant in helping SPJ protect those rights.
Christy Scannell, San Diego Pro
I joined SPJ because I believe in what the organization stands for and the ideals it upholds. In todays changing media landscape, I am happy to know that I am part of an organization that understands the changing landscape and helps its members to be better prepared and more knowledgeable to enter and work in media today.
Ryan Broussard, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Journalism is my passion. There is no greater way to express that than to be a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. SPJ offers young journalists a chance to learn from current and notable professionals while gaining networking skills and a sense of leadership and confidence in the industry.
Isabel Garcia, Temple University
No other organization serves journalism as well as the Society of Professional Journalists. Im a member because of access to valuable resources, the camaraderie of networking with like-minded professionals and the opportunity to help an advocacy organization. The industry may be ever-changing, but the journalistic values and ethics espoused by SPJ remain steady.
Dennis Huspeni, Colorado Pro
I chose to become a member of the Society of Professional Journalists because I believe that a free press is an essential part of our democracy, and SPJ helps protect that freedom. The public needs access to accurate information, and it is the press's responsibility to produce that information. Without organizations such as SPJ, press freedoms would be greatly diminished.
Cassie Stone, Northern Kentucky University
I'm an SPJ member because I believe its important to fight to protect the rights of journalists. It also provides a community of professional journalists to turn to for support, training and encouragement and helps students who will become the next generation of journalists.
Paula Horton, William O. Douglas Pro
I love being a journalist and I knew being a member of the Society of Professional Journalists would help me succeed. Being a member has allowed me to make connections with other journalism majors at other colleges in my area and has helped me network with professionals.
Krista Thresh, The College at Brockport
As a journalist, I've typically been a loner and not a belonger not to civic groups, social organizations or professional groups, including SPJ. But when I learned that some journalists were trying to revive the Madison professional chapter of SPJ, I became interested in joining and helping shape the group's future. That's because journalism here and in the country is at a crossroads, and I believed SPJ could be a group that 1) fosters camaraderie among professional journalists at a time when everyone in the industry is under time, budget and credibility pressure 2) provides professional development that newsrooms are abandoning and 3) helps the public better understand what journalists do. I want to help our chapter accomplish those goals.
Mark Pitsch, Madison Pro
SPJ supports freedom of information issues essential to understanding the First Amendment. SPJ also helps members understand how converging media is transforming todays journalism into a shared pursuit of news where the mandate to serve the public unites readers/viewers and journalists.
Paulette Kilmer, University of Toledo
I am an SPJ member because it is a great way to network with professionals in the field. SPJ fights for openness in government and the people's right to know, which is the cornerstone of this nation.
Cary Berry-Smith, Wyoming Pro
Membership in the Society of Professional Journalists has enable me to interact with passionate students and inspiring professionals who have become essential to my growth as a journalist. SPJ's mission and initiatives to promote watchdog journalism and press freedom constantly reaffirm the reason I decided to pursue a career in journalism.
Taylor Mirfendereski, Ohio University
I firmly believe that journalism is the immune system of democracy. For us to be that strong immune system, we must band together. SPJ provides us with a much-needed camaraderie and learning opportunities. I joined SPJ to get the tools I need to be part of that immune system.
Andrew Sheeler, Farthest North Pro
SPJ keeps me informed. I am able to connect and learn from some of the best reporters in the industry while offering my own thoughts about what the future of news may look like. I get advice and tips and most importantly I can become a better journalist.
Lynn Walsh, Houston Pro
SPJ offers students like me the opportunity to network with journalists of all ages, but particularly with other student journalists. It also aids in preparing students to enter the field of journalism through lessons you dont learn in a classroom setting.
Heather Perry, Pacific Lutheran University
As a graduate student, I was one of the founding members of the Lincoln Collegiate Chapter. The reasons I was given by our group's first adviser professional development and invaluable networking opportunities still hold true, and are the same reasons I am still a member today.
Wanda Peters, Lincoln Collegiate Chapter
I belong to SPJ for the chance to talk with friends, colleagues and students about journalism with a capital J. Its an opportunity to network, talk shop and share best practices off deadline and away from the office. Its a way to make another difference in the profession that prides itself on making a difference. Journalists get better by trading ideas with one another.
Alex Coolidge, Cincinnati Pro
I am a member of SPJ to learn more about the first amendment, how we can protect it, and how to let others more aware of what it provides for us. The friends I will make being a part of SPJ.
Frances Bailey, McNeese State University
SPJ has long been my link to the larger world of journalism. In college, I won scholarships from SPJ chapters, won local and national Mark of Excellence Awards, and attended a national SPJ conference. There, I met journalists working for a range of media outlets. Then, SPJ was my foot in the door of well-respected offices. Today, as a freelancer, SPJ keeps me connected not only to the national world of journalism but to local journalists working every day in newsrooms. SPJ keeps me current and connected.
Robyn Davis Sekula, Louisville Pro
I joined SPJ because I wanted to be involved with other students and professionals who are working hard to uphold the values and ethics of journalism. Joining has been indispensable in enhancing my school work and career.
Jeremy Hoover, Metropolitan State College of Denver
I joined SPJ because I believe in, and am inspired by, its mission to promote only the highest level of excellence, accuracy and credibility within todays ever-changing world of journalism. Because of my Iranian heritage, I am uniquely alert to the critical role that a functioning free press plays in a just and open society, and I know first-hand what its lack engenders. As such, I am particularly honored to play a vital role in a professional organization that regards the First Amendment as sacrosanct. Serving on the board of SPJ/LA has ushered in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to foster ethical journalism and a healthy and vibrant free press.
Navid Nonahal, Los Angeles Pro