Current Events

NINA Changes Its Name

The Northern Illinois Newspaper Association has changed its name to fit the times.

In an announcement made Thursday (Oct. 27, 2022) at NINA’s 60th anniversary event at Altgeld Hall on the Northern Illinois University campus, NINA Board President Patricia Szpekowski said the organization is now the “Northern Illinois News Association.”

“For the third time in its 60-year history, NINA has changed its name to reflect its commitment to Northern Illinois journalism and the changes in our exciting industry,” she said. “By changing the name from ‘newspaper’ to ‘news,’ we recognize that print is no longer the single or necessarily the primary way information is disseminated and that our commitment is not to a particular medium but to the integrity of news in any form.”

Szpekowski said the name change allows NINA to maintain its acronym, as well as the value of branding that it has built over the past half-century.

Founded on Dec. 1, 1962, as the Northern Illinois Editorial Association, under the leadership of Northern Illinois University Journalism Department Director Dr. Donald Grubb, the organization initially included 47 newspaper editors dedicated to a free and responsible press.

In the fall of 1974, the NIEA changed its name to the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association. Today, its mission is “to advance the quality, integrity and credibility of journalism and journalism education in northern Illinois.”

During a brief speech at the 60th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Banquet, Szpekowski acknowledged the difficulties the organization has faced in maintaining membership and momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the challenges facing any organization that supports journalism – a profession that has been under siege by “fake news” conspiracy theorists and hard economic times.

“The reality we have faced is that in order to succeed and grow, there must be a positive changing of the guard to support the next generation of journalists,” she said. “As we focused on our 60th anniversary tagline, ‘Forged in Print. Focused on the Future,’ we set the path. It’s time now for NINA to embrace a positive change.”

To join the organization, please register online or contact communications coordinator Shelley Hendricks at 815-753-4239 or Annual membership is $25 for individuals, $75 for single, non-daily newspapers and online-only publications, $150 for daily and weekly-newspaper groups with circulation up to 20,000 and $250 for dailies and groups with circulation of more than 20,000.