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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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Members of the organization have the opportunity to attend leadership conferences and are eligible for several awards. Members of the organization have the opportunity to attend leadership conferences and are eligible for several awards.

Student Organization Spotlight: SPJ

The Society of Professional Journalists is working to build the great reporters of tomorrow.
By Alyson Faucett

The Society of Professional Journalists is a national organization that has been in existence for over a century. The San Diego State University chapter focuses on promoting ethical journalistic practices such as avoiding conflict of interest and always reporting the truth.

The organization's president, Elisse Miller, is excited about the prospect of networking and receiving advice from San Diego journalism professionals at their meetings this semester.

What made you want to join this organization?

Getting involved with the largest organization of my desired industry was a no-brainer. Being a member of SPJ has a ton of benefits such as leadership conferences and eligibility for several awards. Plus it looks great on a resume!

What motivated you to get involved once you were a member?

I was voted in as the social media officer pretty soon after joining. I was really eager to collaborate with the other officers in order to present the journalism industry in the most accurate and interesting ways. I wanted to make sure that members actually gained something from joining.

What has been the highlight of your time with your organization?

The highlight of my SPJ experience so far was when I went to Memphis this past summer to attend the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute. At the institute there were other students from all over the country who were involved with their local SPJ chapters. We were only there for three days, but we truly inspired one another, sharing ideas about how to improve our individual chapters. I made great connections all in the name of ethical journalism.

What kind of activities does your organization plan/attend?

We have bi-weekly meetings on Thursdays at 1pm that typically feature a guest speaker and a specified topic for the day. In the past we’ve collaborated with the SPJ San Diego chapter to host panel discussions.

Are there any faculty members that have been fundamental in the success of your organization?

Amy Schmitz-Weiss is our advisor, and she is the glue that holds our organization together year after year, graduating class after graduating class. Ultimately, she has the vision and the wisdom to guide the officers in any and all endeavors.

Is your organization open to all majors or is it major specific?

It is major-specific to those majoring or minoring in journalism, but this does include advertising and public relations students as well.

When it comes to finding new members for your organization, what type of students are you looking for?

We look for and admire passionate students. We want members who truly care about preserving ethical journalism in a world where almost all forms of media are changing. We also look for students who are dedicated to SPJ and aren’t afraid to get involved.

Is there a membership fee?

The fee is $10 a semester for students, and $40 a year for national membership.

Does your organization have any events coming up?

We’re hosting a student mixer on February 19 from 6-9pm in the Tula center. This mixer is intended for journalism or undeclared students who are interested in getting involved in journalism, advertising or public relations. There will food, games and fun!

To keep up with the Society of Professional Journalists, follow them on Twitter.