Join Now!

GET INVOLVED IN NJ-SPJ.

Our chapter is run completely by volunteers, and we need people who can help us organize events and continue our outreach. Here are four ways you can help support journalism in New Jersey:

  • Become a full-fledged member of NJ-SPJ. To do this, you’ll need to join our parent organization, the  Society of Professional Journalists as a professional, student or retired journalist, and then pay the $10 annual dues to become a member of our chapter.
  • Become an SPJ supporter. (Please note: SPJ supporters are not eligible for the member discount for the NJ-SPJ contest.)
  • Sign up for the NJ-SPJ newsletter to keep up with what’s happening in our chapter.
  • If you’d like to learn more about our organization, serve as a volunteer judge in our annual contest or get updates about upcoming board meetings, email chapter president Miriam Ascarelli at prez@njspj.org.

We are the New Jersey chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, a national organization that has been improving and protecting journalism since 1909.

We’re an active chapter, and we are proud of our work supporting journalists, defending the First Amendment and advocating for open government here in the Garden State. The 2016-17 year was a particularly busy one: we closely monitored the First Amendment prior restraint case involving Isaac Avilucea of The Trentonian (which he won); objected to a search warrant issued against New Brunswick Today and waged a vigorous campaign against a bill in the state legislature which would have eliminated the requirement that legal ads run in newspapers.

We also testified at a state Assembly budget hearing on behalf of a legislative proposal to create an NJ Civic Information Consortium that promises to strengthen local journalism and benefit civic life, and continued to work closely with our sister organization, the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government, to monitor and advocate for transparency in government in the Garden State.

On-going education for journalists is an important part of our mission, especially given the rapid technological changes that are happening in our industry. This year, we organized two training events: one, a partnership with Google Labs at Brookdale Community College in February, and another in April at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Our chapter also launched a New Jersey registry of historic sites in journalism; sent a letter of support for journalist Amy Goodman when she faced potential jail time after a “riot” charge was leveled against her for her reporting at Standing Rock (the charge was later dismissed); and continued to organize our annual Excellence in Journalism contest to recognize the best of New Jersey journalism.

However, if we are to continue this work, we need your help. Join us as we fight the good fight to make journalism in New Jersey better for everyone!

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