Message from Region 2 Director Maria Burns Ortiz

I sent this message out to lapsed Region 2 members, but thought it might be of interest to all members:

You are receiving this message because your NAHJ membership has lapsed. Maybe you forgot annual membership expires on Dec. 31 or just haven’t had the chance to renew it yet.

2010 Membership Campaign LogoHowever, I’m also well aware that it might have been something you decided not to renew. Maybe you didn’t feel like you were getting much for it. Maybe you’re not happy with the way you feel things have been going – either with NAHJ or the industry in general. Maybe the financial shortfall NAHJ had last year made you feel uneasy about where your money was going.

Your concerns are understandable. I’m sure you’ve gotten dozens of e-mails from NAHJ asking you for money the last few months. You might have given then, you might not have, but either way, it’s possible that you’re asking yourself, “Why should I give NAHJ money now? Why should I be a member?”

If you’ve read this far, you’re at least entertaining the idea of renewing your membership, so here are my reasons why you should.

You obviously joined NAHJ for a reason. It might have been as simple as to get a break on the convention rate, but whatever it was, it means you saw something that you liked about the organization, something that you thought was a worthwhile reason to become a member. We’re still true to those fundamentals.

We’re working to help members be as well prepared as possible to succeed in our changing industry. We’re providing training so our members can learn new skills. We’re pairing employers with applicants. We’re giving scholarships to students that might not otherwise be able to afford school. We’re doing a ton of things – and we’re working to do more.

As far as bang for your buck, if you plan on coming to our convention in Denver (June 23-26) your membership will pay for itself when you receive the reduced rate. I’ve got two regional conferences in the works – one for Boston in mid-March and one for New York in late fall. New chapters have/are forming and holding meetings throughout the region. We’ve also worked – and will continue to work – with media and other organizations to help host and promote events to bring out members together.

Speaking of money … we’re not going broke. We’re not shutting down operations or folding into UNITY or anything else. We will be continually working to fundraise, but we’re still going strong.

NAHJ is not perfect. I know that some people have been let down by various decisions or blips along the way. I’ve spoken to former members who have very legitimate complaints and concerns. If you have reservations, I’d be happy to speak with you about what we’re doing in Region 2 and at the national level.

I truly believe NAHJ supports a good cause – increasing the number of Latinos in the media and making sure that we’re portrayed accurately and representatively. NAHJ will continue to do this – through scholarships, advocacy, training and networking opportunities.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Please renew today.

Maria Burns Ortiz

Region 2 Director
National Association of Hispanic Journalists


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