About the Society of Professional Journalists
The Society of Professional Journalists is the oldest, largest and most broad-based journalism organization in the United States. We were formed in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi on a college campus as a journalism honorary. We have transformed ourselves into the most recognized and prestigious journalism organization in America with more than 8,000 members representing print, broadcast and multimedia branches.
SPJ has more than 150 local chapters, some professional which are tied to cities or states like the Washington, DC professional chapter or the Indiana pro chapter. We also have student chapters for college campuses as big as the University of Florida or as small as Harding University in Arkansas. Nearly one third of our membership is made up of students.
In September 2010 we will welcome our first international chapter, a student chapter connected to the Northwestern Medill School of Journalism in Qatar. We how have more than 50 international students in that upstart chapter. We do have about 100 international members of SPJ but no other chapters.
SPJ has three primary missions -- press rights and First Amendment advocacy, high ethical standards and diversity. We are also know in America for our professional development and offer more training and professional seminars than any other journalism group.
We have an international committee which is tasked with helping the Society understand and lend support to international efforts related to journalism. Currently that committee has six international members on it. But all have worked internationally. It is our hope to continue to expand on our international efforts, to learn and assist in way to improve and protection journalism globally.
Each year we hold an annual convention in changing cities. In October we will host more than 800 journalists in Las Vegas and next September we will join forces with the Radio, Television, Digital News Association for a convention in New Orleans.