BY TAMMIE SLOUP, NINA PRESIDENT
This year’s board is off and running and there are some exciting things in store for NINA this year!
(1) STRAIGHT TO YOUR MAILBOX
Beginning last month, NINA launched its first e-newsletter, which will be sent monthly and include all sorts of articles such as personal reflections from journalists and training opportunities.
We’re very excited about this new venture, and being able to communicate with subscribers frequently. We look forward to growing our newsletter and extending our reach!
(2) CONTEST UPGRADES
One of NINA’s well-known programs is the annual contest. We consistently review our contest categories to ensure they’re relevant to today’s journalists. Most recently, we’ve streamlined some categories, such as social media, making it easier to enter, as well as added a couple categories.
The annual banquet is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 18, and we hope for an even better showing than last year’s program featuring Chicago Tribune columnist Rex Huppke. Trust us, it’s a fun way to spend a couple hours on a Thursday night! And make sure to bring your business cards.
(3) OUTREACH TO STUDENT JOURNALISTS
NINA’s focus isn’t just on professional journalists, we also strive to help guide students interested in pursuing the field.
First, our annual scholarship program awards money to two high school seniors who have done outstanding work on a student newspaper, as a freelancer for a professional publication or as a contributor to other student publications. The first-place winner takes home $1,000 and the second-place student wins $500.
The program seeks the best and brightest students in the region to compete for the title of 2017 Northern Illinois High School Journalist of the Year. (It’s a pretty cool achievement to have on your resume, too!)
We’re also excited to announce our first Journalist Drop-In Month. NINA is asking professional journalists to visit a local classroom to talk about their job and the industry. The hope is to provide a first-hand view of journalism to students, and allow them to establish at least one professional contact.
(4) JOB ADVANCEMENT AND TRAINING
Looking for a job or internship? NINA will be sharing such opportunities via our Facebook page. NINA also provides affordable training for journalists, and this year, our April workshop will focus on how journalists can provide compelling, accurate stories of faith and religion.
It’s a beat both reporters and editors struggle with, and our goal is for attendees to walk out with solid story ideas they can implement at most publications.
And just a note, if you have any suggestions for types of training you’d like to see, just let us know!
(5) NEW BLOOD, NEW IDEAS
NINA board members bring a variety of experiences to the table, from management to freelancing to education. All these voices come together on a regular basis to help journalists in a variety of areas.
NINA has been successful in helping guide professional and even potential journalists navigate this exciting field. And we want to be even better at it.
We have several board openings and ask that you consider being an active member. We all lead busy lives, believe us, we get it! But here’s a chance to not only network with others who love this business, but to share your ideas!
Help us move forward by volunteering some of your time and expertise. Those interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org.