The Society of Professional Journalists – What Is It?

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Posted Wed, Nov 12, 2014

MSU Denver Professor Shaun Schafer, English and journalism professor Kristi Strother of CCD Pose for a picture with Tak Landrock. Landrock and Colorado Pro Chapter president Ed Otte spoke to a class of journalism students and campus chapter members on Oct. 30. (Photo Provided by SPJ)

MSU Denver Professor Shaun Schafer, English and journalism professor Kristi Strother of CCD pose for a picture with Tak Landrock. Landrock and Colorado Pro Chapter president Ed Otte spoke to a class of journalism students and campus chapter members on Oct. 30. (Photo Provided by SPJ)

DENVER — What is SPJ? According to SPJ’s website, “SPJ, The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its nearly 10,000 members; works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through its advocacy efforts.”

On Thursday Oct.30, 2014 SPJ held an Auraria chapter recruiting meeting to offer students information on what SPJ is about and what it can do for them.

“The event was interesting and very informative,” said CCD student Cole Ordóñez. “The information I got out of it was great, and it will help me as I move along in my journalism career.”

As Cole pointed out, SPJ can provide opportunities in a lot of areas in journalism such as professional development, local connections and advocacy. SPJ holds national and regional conferences to help in the areas of cover writing, reporting and editing that help broaden professional skills.

SPJ’s updated web-based listing of media-related job openings, internships and fellowships. Auraria Campus student Steven McKenzie believes without SPJ helping him to find an internship, he wouldn’t be where he is today.

“I got my first internship about five years ago through SPJ,” McKenzie said. “Without being part of the society, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Lisa Wuertz, writer/editor at MÁS Magazine, also thanked SPJ for her success as she wrote about her views regarding SPJ in their brochure.

“My membership was a great investment!,” She explained. “I was able to get the student price because I only graduated this past June. So, it wasn’t too expensive and I got a job out of it. I recently accepted a position at MÁS Magazine in Bakersfield where I lived and went to school. The magazine only listed its job opening at the SPJ Job Bank. Being a member really paid off. Thanks SPJ.”

SPJ has been Improving and protecting journalism since 1909 (Photo Provided by SPJ)

SPJ has been Improving and protecting journalism since 1909 (Photo Provided by SPJ)

SPJ, which has over 250 chapters nationwide, brings educational programming to local areas and offers regular contact with other professionals from print, broadcast, online, freelance and trade publications. Its website is a powerful tool/resource a journalist can benefit from. The website provides a member only job bank, information on local and regional job opportunities and SPJ events.

As it did for McKenzie, Ordóñez, and Wuertz, SPJ helps out students nationally and locally. It provides guidelines to help journalists perform their work while following the highest ethical standards of behavior and decision-making. It also has resources to help reporters, writers and photographers bolster their source base to better echo their community. Maybe McKenzie, Ordóñez and Wuertz could become recognized through the Sigma Delta Chi awards that show off collegiate journalistic talent.

Discover 

If you missed the Oct.30 meeting, no problem. The next SPJ meeting is the annual regional conference that will be held in April 2015. It will provide future journalists with insight from experts in their field, networking with colleagues and provide help with creating a resume.

If interested about this next meeting please visit www.SPJ.org.

 

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Dylan Palm-Trujillo

About Dylan Palm-Trujillo

Dylan Palm-Trujillo is a Freelance Writer/Photographer for the Metropolitan and Metro Post -Telegraph. He has had work published by Westword Denver and Johnstown Breeze while being a student at Metro. Moreover, he has done a PR internship as well as a reporting Internship. Further, he is a Metro State Student currently studying Convergent Journalism and expects to graduate in the fall of 2015.

View all posts by Dylan Palm-Trujillo

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