By Lisa Smith Molinari
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Recognizing the importance of diversity in American journalism — and that columnists come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders and orientations — the National Society of Newspaper Columnists is proudly partnering with the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association as of April 26, 2016.
“This networking partnership allows both organizations to share opportunities with a similar group of likeminded professionals and a shared interest in seeing excellence within the field of journalism. Both NLGJA and NSNC offer professional development, networking opportunities, scholarships, student programs and award recognitions,” stated NLGJA Executive Director Adam Pawlus.
Founded in 1990, NLGJA is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to foster fair and accurate media coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. NLGJA’s ranks include journalists, media professionals, students and educators in the news industry, a significant number of whom are also columnists.
This networking alliance is the culmination of an NSNC diversity initiative begun by President Jerry Zezima during his two-year tenure that ends June 30.
“The partnership will strengthen both organizations and provide its members with leads to jobs and freelance opportunities, the ability to participate in each other’s conferences and writing contests, and, among many other perks, a healthy dose of camaraderie,” Zezima said.
To kick off the partnership, NSNC and NLGJA are offering reciprocal membership discounts until Aug. 15, 2016. NSNC members who want to join NLGJA can go to its membership sign-up page and type in the promo code NSNC2016 to get a $25 discount off the one-year dues for basic, associate and ally memberships.
NLGJA members are being offered the annual NSNC membership for $35 until the deadline. They should head to the society’s entry form and use the promo code NLGJA where indicated after clicking the red Join or Renew Now button.
Additionally, NSNC and NLGJA will be cross-promoting each other’s events on their websites, email newsletters and social media portals. NLGJA will inform its members about NSNC’s upcoming 40th Annual Conference, June 24-26 in Los Angeles.
And NSNC will help to promote NLGJA’s “New Ways: Reporting HIV & AIDS Today” workshop and “L.A. Exclusive: A National Benefit for NLGJA” reception, both in Los Angeles and both on Thursday, June 23. [This paragraph has been clarified.]
The overlap of the events was by coincidence, but organizers see this fluke as serendipity and plan to take advantage of the opportunity to network in person. NSNC Membership Chair Amanda Beam will attend the NLGJA workshop, and Pawlus will attend our LA Conference.
“Tremendous progress has been made with LGBTQ rights the past few years. But it’s not enough. This exciting partnership between the NLGJA and the NSNC will allow our organizations to work together in educating our membership on these important issues. We look forward to working with this great organization that promotes better tomorrows for all,” Beam said.
And in the spirit of one of NSNC’s infamous traditions, Zezima said, “Welcome, NLGJA! See you in the hospitality suite.”
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The association’s announcement is “NSNC Joins NLGJA’s Diverse Network of Partners.”