What We Discussed at the NAHJ Board Meetings in Houston

I attended the NAHJ Board meetings in Houston last weekend and wanted to give everyone an update on all things NAHJ.

We talked about the future of NAHJ, our fundraising efforts, the upcoming Denver convention and ways we can provide skills, training and resources to our members at a regional level.


A major discussion at our meetings was fundraising. As I’m sure you know, NAHJ is working to raise $300,000 by Dec. 15, 2009.

To clear up some misunderstandings, I think it’s important to note that we are not $300,000 short due to any kind of mishandling of funds. NAHJ operated under the assumption that it would bring in $330,000 from our annual convention. This is was a considered to be a reasonable expectation given what NAHJ traditionally brings in from the event.

However, given the economic situation facing the industry, we did not meet those projections. We did, however, turn a profit from our convention – and not every organization can say that. We also realize that going forward we need to continue to tighten our budget and diversify our funding sources so we are not in this situation again.

In addition to the day-to-day expenses of running the organization, NAHJ has funded:

– $110,000 in student scholarships in 2009 alone.

– 76 journalists from across the country received convention assistance, many of those receiving funds had been laid off from their job and would not have been able to attend otherwise.

– 63 students and 33 student mentors were able to attend the convention and take part in the Student Projects/Student Campus programs.

We’re doing good things, and we’re working to continue to serve our members. Please consider giving to the Count Me In campaign: http://www.nahj.org/supportnahj/CountMeIn.shtml

Anything you can give is greatly appreciated. Donations are tax-deductible.


A major focus going forward is going to be providing workshops and training at the regional level.

At the moment, I am working to set up two regional conferences in the next 12 months. We will be holding a conference in Boston, put on with the NAHJ New England chapter, in early 2010, and tentatively a conference for New York to be held in the Fall 2010 – as a follow up to the Denver convention for those of you that attend and a way to share what we learn in Denver for those that can’t make it out to Colorado.

We also have a few other smaller events in the works, and I will send information on those events as soon as details are confirmed.


Also, we’re really looking to build up our chapters – both at the student and professional level. We think that having local groups within each region will really help us provide those essential non-convention networking opportunities.

Each chapter receives half of its members’ dues to host chapter events each year. If you’re interested in creating a chapter, please let me know. I will work to help you set it up. For more information on chapter requirements please visit, http://www.nahj.org/chapters/chapters.shtml

The North Jersey and New England chapters both have several events in the works – I will be sending out the details as they’re finalized.

We also have several student chapters. Syracuse, continues to be a strong student presence within the organization, while Stony Brook and Columbia (a chapter for students and alumni) are newly formed chapters.

We’re also looking to reestablish our presence at Brooklyn College and Lehman College.

With this in mind, I would LOVE to establish a New York City chapter. If anyone is interested, please contact me, and I will work to put interested parties in touch and with all the signature verification, paperwork, etc.


NAHJ is really trying to ramp up its career center. Please check it out: http://nahj.ihispano.com/

If you need your membership number, contact me or Paulo Luizaga (PLuizaga@nahj.org).

We’re really encouraging you to post your resume in the resume bank. You can keep your name and other identifying information confidential – prospective employers will be able to contact you through the site. Employers are searching the resume banks, and NAHJ uses it as well when they’re asked for suggestions.


NAHJ members can now renew their membership for 2010. Membership is $75 for professional, academic and associate members; $35 for students.

To renew, go to: http://www.nahj.org/membership/membership.shtml

I will continue sending out information on upcoming events, job openings, internships, etc. as well updating our Region 2 Facebook page and blog. If you have any information you think would be of interest to other members (i.e. stories, blog links, resources), please send it my way.

If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, anything, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks so much!

Maria Burns Ortiz

Region 2 Director
National Association of Hispanic Journalists


Become a fan of NAHJ Region 2 on Facebook:



Like many other organizations in today’s economy, cuts in funding and in attendance at our excellent annual convention in San Juan have left NAHJ with a $300,000 budget shortfall. As a result we need to raise $300,000 before December 15, 2009.

Can you make a donation to NAHJ? Can you raise $200 for NAHJ?

Please visit http://www.nahj.org/supportnahj/CountMeIn.shtml for more information and to donate.


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