In high school, you have school newspaper or journalism clubs after school, but what happens when you go to college? Latino journalism students have a place of their own and it’s called college chapters of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. I attend the University of Texas at Austin and I happily report our group has activated a chapter thanks to the collaborative efforts students.
A college chapter of NAHJ provides its members with many opportunities to grow as a journalist. The chapter matches its members with a professional mentor from the city’s chapter of NAHJ. Members also plan various workshops to sharpen their members’ skills in various subjects, from photography to creating a podcast. Recently, my chapter hosted a multimedia workshop on online photography for students in any major. NAHJ also provides tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to students interested in becoming a journalist.
NAHJ’s college chapter president at the University of Texas at Austin Eduardo Gonzalez, is very passionate about the organization. “I started to meet different people who shared the same aspirations to grow professionally, [and] learn with people with whom we share culture and language with,” Gonzalez said.
Our chapter’s main goal is to get all of its members to attend the national convention of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists which has taken place in New York City, Washington D.C. and Denver, CO. Speakers at past conventions have included Hillary Clinton, former Mexican President Vicente Fox, and then Texas Governor George Bush. Activities at the convention include cyber labs to help journalists learn about new media, such as podcasting and blogging.
The national convention hosts hundreds of media outlets and young journalists like myself get an opportunity to meet future employers from newspapers, television stations, radio and more. It’s also a chance for an aspiring reporter like myself to meet veteran NAHJ members including John Quinones from TV’s 20/20 or Soledad O’Brien, CNN’s first Latina anchor.
For more information on your local chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists go to www.nahj.org.