Professional Journalism Groups and Organizations
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Last Updated: May 1, 2021
The AAJA boasts over 1,500 members from the United States and Asia and promotes people of color as journalists and also as they strive to move into management positions in the industry. The AAJA was created in 1981 thanks in part to a trio of reporters from the Los Angeles Times.
The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists is focused on promoting the interests of editorial cartoonists and political cartoonists in the United States. The AAEC sponsors a Cartoons for the Classroom program and produces an annual convention in June to give member cartoonists an opportunity to meet and consider issues through panel discussions and guest speakers.
Professional medical journals and resources like Elsevier ClinicalKey, ScienceDirect, UptoDate ($499 annual value), American Journal of Public Health ($200 annual value), and Health Affair ($125 annual value) are included in a membership to this highly respected organization. The AHCJ offers more than a healthy dose of conferences, workshops and webcasts as well for its members in this vitally important area of journalism.
For over three decades CPJ has worked on behalf of the hundreds of journalists who are attacked, imprisoned or worse each and every year. CPJ boasts a network of about 40 experts around the world to track, monitor and then act on press freedom violations as they occur. CPJ’s research staff buffers the action taken via strict documentation of such attacks.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., The Fourth Estate endeavors to contribute to healthy societies by fostering, supporting, and incubating a sustainable and vibrant free press. The Fourth Estate promotes public interest journalism as a resource and force of good in a democratic society. The organization boasts thousands of members working to advance and advocate for a strong and responsible free press and the public’s right to trustworthy news and information.
In just a decade, INN has strung together a network of nearly 200 nonprofit media organizations in North America. Public interest and investigative journalism are the thrust of INN, which ranges in membership from local to global entities.
Coming up on nearly a century in existence, the IFJ has become a global voice of journalism for the nearly 600,000 media professionals in its membership. The IFJ is known as a “fighter” for journalists in how it strives for strong unions and fair pay along with gender equality.
Female and minority journalists are a crucial part of maintaining a free press and the IWMF recognizes this through its efforts in the areas of training, offering fellowship and providing funds for various reporting opportunities. The IWMF also has numerous resources, including blogs, campaigns, reports and research.
Formed in 1973, this grassroots nonprofit organization based out of the Missouri School of Journalism is known for creating a worldwide “space” for journalists to share story ideas, news-gathering tips and news sources to bring it all together. The organization’s website includes job postings, fellowship and event listings. The IRE umbrella also covers the National Institute for Computer Assisted Reporting (NICAR), which has a strong emphasis on data journalism.
Local news is at the heart of journalism and LION is working to keep its pulse going strong. LION fosters journalism from the bottom up, in small towns and neighborhoods, while championing independent publishers so they can make digital news that serves the public interest.
What began as a group of 44 men and women in 1975 has blossomed into an organization of over 4000 members worldwide. The NABJ “advocates for and on behalf of black journalists, and for fair and balanced coverage of communities of color.” The NABJ is still creating new ways of positively impacting journalism, with its first-ever “reporting mission” to China in 2018.
The NAHJ is entering its 35th year of impacting the careers of Hispanic journalists with a base of about 2,000 members, including students, educators and other media professionals. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NAHJ represents it members throughout the U.S. and Caribbean.
The NASW has 2,380 members and 361 students who “fight for the free flow of science news” according to the organization’s website. NASW, created in 1934, is all about promoting strong science journalism by giving its members access to a vast array of scientific journals including Elsevier’s ScienceDirect, American Physical Society journals, Annual Reviews, Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"The Place Where News Happens" lives up to that moniker as working journalists utilize the Washington, DC headquarters each and every day. The National Press Club boasts over 3500 members, offers over 2,000 events a year and has over a quarter-million folks enter its doors each year to its amazing facility.
The NPPA calls itself “the voice of visual journalists.” In addition to training and advocacy, the NPPA promotes the work of its members through a number of competitions throughout the year.
Students, teachers and media advisers from all levels of education benefit from the resources of this powerhouse, which was formed in the roaring 20’s.The Minneapolis-based organization has more than 1,500 member publications and has a global impact on the profession while celebrating the importance of student journalism through events like its annual conference.
The NLA is a newly formed merger (late 2018) between the American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors. The ASNE, founded in 1922, was about to celebrate a century in the industry while the Associated Press Media Editors is just eight years “younger”. It will be interesting to see how these combined forces collaborate on issues affecting today’s journalism profession.
The Nieman Lab is an outgrowth of the the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard which administers the oldest fellowship program for journalists in the world. The Nieman Lab encourages a collaborative exchange of ideas to explore innovative ways to help journalist and journalism organizations adopt to changes in the industry. The Nieman Lab was founded in 2008, while the Nieman Foundation itself has been at work since 1938.
Media members who cover the many aspect of the travel industry have an ally in NATJA, which promotes this sector of journalism like no other group. The organization brings together travel writers, photographers, editors, bloggers and tourism professionals through a variety of programs including annual conference and marketplace.
Digital Journalism is the wave of the present and future of the industry and ONA is a leading force behind it. ONA creates “programs focused on training and networking, leadership development, diversity in newsrooms and honoring excellence.”
This global journalism force includes in its mission “(to)fortify journalism’s role in a free society” and it strives to do so by learning from the past while keeping an eye on the future with its many programs and massive outreach. Poynter is particularly on point when it comes to truth in journalism by creating the International Fact-Checking Network and Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact.
Formed in 1988, the Regional Reporters Association represents newspaper, wire service and broadcast reporters who cover local and regional stories from Washington, DC.
Formed in 1964, SABEW is an independent, non-profit organization with the mission to promote superior coverage of business and economic news. Based at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, “SABEW advocates for full access to financial and economic data, including information collected and distributed by governments.” To promote excellence in business reporting, SABEW offers continuous education to its 3,400 members as well as annual events and competitions.
SEJ provides critical support to journalists of all media in their efforts to cover complex issues of the environment responsibly. The organization connects scientists and journalists to educate on emerging issues and build networks of credible sources. SEJ also acts to raise awareness among philanthropists, editors, news managers, publishers, and other key decision-makers in the media on the value and importance of environmental news reporting. Non-members are welcome to participate in SEJ programs, especially the annual conference.
Boasting a strong national presence in the United States with a network of local chapters, SPJ was established over a century ago and is a trusted resource with over 7,500 members. The SPJ offers programs and contests galore, helping journalists at every level of the craft to succeed. The organization, known for promoting ethics in reporting, has also teamed up with Google in recent years to positively impact journalism in classrooms and newsrooms across the nation.
WAN-IFRA, in existence since 1948, works to protect journalism and a free press. Its global network consists of 3,000 news publishing companies and technology entrepreneurs, and 80 member publisher associations representing a remarkable 18,000 publications in 120 countries.