Earning a degree in journalism and gaining experience in the newsroom are both important factors for getting ahead in your media career. However, if you don’t network, it may be difficult to climb the latter of success and solidify your dream job. If you’re a journalist or an editor, or hope to be in the future, these organizations can help with member benefits like special events, one-on-one career coaching, career development workshops and more. Here are 14 media and communication societies to join now:
Society of Professional Journalists
If you’re in the journalism industry, then you surely have heard of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). The society’s mission is to encourage “a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism and perpetuating a free press.”
This prestigious organization offers membership for all ages of journalists – the undergrad and post grad student rate is just $37.50 for national membership! And it’s well worth the price no matter what level you are in your career.
“Over the years, my involvement in SPJ has boosted my professional reputation, given me national speaking opportunities, connected me with future bosses and clients and taught me new tools and tips to improve my writing and my work,” said Robyn Davis Sekula in an e-mail, who is the president of the Louisville, Kentucky Pro Chapter and SPJ Chair of the Membership Committee. Sekula joined SPJ when she was in college in the 1990s and has found the experience incredibly valuable. “The biggest benefit I’ve received is the networking. I’ve met people who I would not have had the opportunity to get to know any other way. “
For more information on membership, visit the SPJ website.
American Society of News Editors
Founded in 1922, the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) prides itself on promoting fair journalism, protecting First Amendment rights and fighting for freedom of information. According to its website, membership is open to a wide variety of people involved in news, including “editors, producers or directors in charge of journalistic organizations or departments; deans or faculty at university journalism schools; leaders and faculty of media-related foundations and training organizations and other individuals at the board’s discretion. “ So if you meet any of these requirements and want more of your journalism career, you should apply now.
ASNE continually innovates and expands its membership to provide quality experiences. ANSE’s executive director, Teri Hayt, explained how the society has grown over the years.
“We are pursuing partnerships with other media organizations to provide training for emerging leaders in the digital environment,” said Hayt in an e-mail. “Last year we began a partnership with the Associated Press Media Editors. In October we will hold our second joint conference at Stanford University focusing on Digital, Diversity and Disruption.” So, as you can see, there is a lot of opportunity to meet new people and expand your skill set through becoming an ASNE member.
For more information on membership, visit the ASNE website.
American Society of Magazine Editors
The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) was launched in 1963 by Ted Patrick, the then editor of Holiday, and years later, it is going strong with top editors from publications such as The Atlantic, Wired, Slate and Bloomberg Businessweek.
While ASME membership is for “senior editors, art directors and photography editors employed by print and digital magazines edited and distributed in the United States,” ASME Next is another option for those just starting out in the world of print and digital magazines with titles such as editorial assistant, assistant editor, associate editor, online editor and web producer and corresponding titles in design and photography departments.” Plus, ASME Next membership annual dues are just $95.
For more information on ASME and ASME Next membership, visit www.magazine.org/asme.
New York Women in Communications, Inc.
While the first three organizations are open to men and women, I couldn’t help but add New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) to the list. Its mission is to empower “women in all communications disciplines at all stages of their careers to reach their full potential by promoting their professional growth and inspiring them to achieve and share their successes in the rapidly changing world of communications.” And when they say “all stages of their careers,” they aren’t kidding.
College students can join NYWICI as soon as they get on campus and retirees can join once their time at the office is complete. I personally joined my sophomore year of undergrad when I signed up to attend the organization’s Student Career Conference, which they still hold annually. Now that I am out of college, I plan to renew my membership as a “young professional.” Member benefits also include access to special events, career development opportunities, a members-only directory and so much more.
“All of our programming and benefits are guided by two pillars: the advancement of women at every stage of their career (from high school to seasoned professional) and keeping women abreast of the ever changing landscape of communications,” said Maria Ungaro in an email. Ungaro is the executive director for NYWICI and has seen the organization help women in a variety of ways.
“We offer professional development, networking, mentoring, coaching and volunteer opportunities that help our members make personal and professional connections while developing skills and careers,” she said. And NYWICI works to give every woman an experience that is a good fit for them and their career. “Every individual’s career is unique. I think one of the best benefits we offer annually is a free one-on-one coaching session with one of our coaches.”
For more information on membership, visit the NYWICI website.
Ten more notable organizations and societies for journalists, editors, writers and media professionals are listed below, with links for more information on what they offer through membership.
The Association for Women in Communication
American Society of Journalists and Authors
Writers Guild of America
National Association of Science Writers
North American Travel Journalists Association
American Copy Editors Society
Online News Association
Alliance for Women in Media
The Association for Women in Sports Media
Journalism & Women Symposium
Looking for even more organizations to join? Check out this list curated by the Pew Research Institute.