As we get close to ending the year, I wanted to take this time to provide you with a
“NAHJ Year End Report” by sharing some important highlights of 2016 as well as providing more details of what you can expect from us in 2017 as we focus on the four key areas of NAHJ’s Pillars – 1) Next Generation Initiatives, 2) Training & Development,
3) Leadership Development and 4) Partnerships.
But first, I’d like to start by thanking our outgoing NAHJ national board (Mekhalo Medina, Francisco Cortes, Rebecca Aguilar, Ivette Davila-Richards, Barbara Rodriguez, Kenny Molestina, Yvonne Latty, Roque Planas, Joe Ruiz, Nate Olivares-Giles, Rafael Mejia, Bonnie Gonzales, Rosa Morales, Michelle Rindels, Eileen Truax, Suzette Laboy and Sid Garcia). Under the leadership of this board, NAHJ accomplished some significant successes in 2016.
Membership – We will be ending 2016 with NAHJ membership at nearly 2,100, a high from just five years ago when we closed 2011 with 821 members. That’s an increase of more than 2.5 times where we started from, and nearly 300 members from the end of 2015 to the end of 2016. Please see the Membership report provided by our Membership Director, Yaneth Guillen.
Job Fairs – We hosted, supported and/or participated in four local job fairs by our chapters in NYC, Chicago, Miami and the one who started it all, DC. These job fairs brought together more than 1,000 NAHJ members and allies and if you add the nearly 4,000 people who attended the job expo in DC, that makes over 5,000 journalism professionals who had a chance to meet with a recruiter and possibly secured a job, internship or began a new networking relationship.
NAHJ/NABJ National Joint Convention – This year’s national joint convention in DC was one of the most lucrative conventions NAHJ has seen in several years with nearly 4,000 attendees, a presidential candidate, 100 panels/workshops, 50 social events and the largest job expo we have seen in years. Because of this success, NAHJ’s convention revenue was also among the highest we’ve seen in years.
Fiscally Sound – Thanks to the success of our national convention and the fiscal support of our multi-year funders like Toyota, United as well as a new commitment for three years from the Knight Foundation for student projects, NAHJ will once again end the year in the black and will end with a surplus to begin rebuilding NAHJ’s reserve fund.
Chapters Growth – We now have 17 professional and 19 student chapters. That growth can be directly tied to the strength of our chapter leaders and their commitment to recruiting new members and providing them with networks and skills to keep them engaged.
Digital Media– Our social media numbers and engagement is at an all-time high, our website has been redesigned, and our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts have been verified, something that will continue to help our social media presence.
In addition to all of that, I personally focused on bringing in new partners, re-established relationships with former partners and have traveled the country to attend chapter events and speaking engagements that further increased NAHJ’s national visibility. Now, under the leadership of a new and energetic board, the NAHJ national board will begin to work on the development of a national visionary-long-term strategy that will help take NAHJ to new levels of success in the future and allows them to focus on advocacy, governance and new big picture initiatives. I’m excited to work with this new board and ensure our work is integrated and financially sustainable. That also leaves the NAHJ national team to focus on operational priorities that will help increase the viability and visibility of our members in the industry today. These operational priorities will take us through the next 18 months and will focus on helping our members increase their skill sets, expand their networks and increase the investment in the new generation of journalists. I introduced these four pillars in the August newsletter but here is a little more of what you can expect to see in 2017.
Next Generation Initiatives (NGI)
Staff Position – Leslie-Anne Frank will be moving from Programs to lead our (NGI) full-time. This investment in staffing will assure our work with students and young professionals gets the support it needs. Look for her interview about the changes to her job below.
Redesigned Scholarship Program – We will be reworking this program to help students interested in the field have more access to NAHJ professionals and networks.
New Internship Program – Starting fall of 2017, we will launch a formal NAHJ internship program that will leverage our NAHJ relationships with three components: 1) Placement 2) Supplemental Fiscal support and 3) mentorship.
Training and Development
More in-person trainings at our convention-while our panel discussions are valuable, we will shift to mostly training sessions at our conventions. We want to bring the best trainers to our convention to ensure you walk away from our convention with a new skill set that can help with your current and future jobs.
Online Training – for those who can’t attend training events in person, we hope to provide access to some of the trainings online and/or stream sessions live.
Training Partnerships – look for new partnerships with Facebook, universities and others that will give members in many of our local markets access to in-person training in English and Spanish.
Management Training Access – We will be looking to provide scholarships and/or leverage our relationships to help get NAHJ members into these type of trainings as well as partner with other groups to create training sessions of interest to our members.
NAHJ Led Leadership Program – we are exploring an NAHJ led leadership program
Partnerships – We are clear we can’t do any of this work on our own, and proclaiming partnerships as one of our pillars only solidifies our commitment to ensuring these are mutually beneficial.
Industry – We want to strengthen our relationships with industry leaders and companies and well as seek out new ones that will further give NAHJ members access to those job opportunities.
Funders – We will look to increase non-media funders that will allow NAHJ to sponsor member oriented trainings and events, such as job fairs and networking events.
Tech – We want to ensure we have more active partnerships with tech companies and/or social media allies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo and Google.
I know this all sounds like a lot, and it is, and it won’t all happen overnight, but with the support of you, our friends and allies, we will be able to make progress and accomplish a lot over the next 18 months. I will check back in with all of you in April, July and October on the progress of these initiatives and you can expect an annual report like this next December as well.
Before I close, I want thank our small, yet mighty team of staff members (Yaneth and Leslie-Anne) help from Vicki Adame and our partner like the Veritas Group led by BA Snyder. Lastly, I want to thank all of you for being members and supporting NAHJ. Without you, there is no NAHJ and I assure you we’ll continue to work towards retaining your membership and bring in new ones. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and look for more exciting updates in the months to come.