Sunday, October 9, 2011

Get involved!

Me and Rachel Huggins (@HugginsRachel) in Philly for NABJ '11! I'm going to use pictures from the trip for posts as often as possible!

Over the past few months, I have made it my business to become more involved with my local NABJ chapter. I am on the executive board for the chapter at my school and I regularly attend events and meetings hosted by the professionals. I have never left an AABJ event dissatisfied and I always encourage other students to come. Sadly, I think this advice tends to fall on deaf ears.

In April, I wrote an article for my school paper urging journalism students to get involved with student media and professional organizations.

Here's an excerpt:
There are probably hundreds of journalism students on campus, yet, when I have asked students if they are involved in student media, I usually get a blank stare. I usually get the same reaction if I ask someone if they are involved in professional organizations like the Atlanta Press Club or the National Association of Black Journalists.
It seems like that message has fallen on deaf ears. Trying to get people to come to meetings and events can be like pulling teeth. I can make the prettiest flier and talk about networking until I am blue in the face but as the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Only a few horses are drinking.

I didn't write this post to complain or make myself look good. I want this platform to promote student involvement in NABJ and other journalism organizations. Students, we literally have hundreds of opportunity at our finger tips and in our backyards and we're not using them as much as we should. The professionals want to help. They like seeing us at events and speaking up at meetings. After all, they were in our place at one point. They know how hard it is for someone to get into the journalism industry, especially as a person of color. But, the can't help us if they don't know us. We need to get involved.

If you have an NABJ chapter at your school, go to the meeting and show up to the events. If not, get some people together and start one. If you need help, let someone know! Reach out to your NABJ family.

If you're ever in Atlanta or we happen to pass by each other at a convention, speak! I won't bite you and I won't side-eye you. I'm sure there are plenty of other members that have the same open door policy.

As yet another saying goes, a close mouth don't get fed.

How you you get and stay involved?

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