This web site is by, about and for the members of the Society of Professional Journalists, Rio Grande Chapter. For information about membership, click here.

SPJ is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its nearly 10,000 members; works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through its advocacy efforts.

The Rio Grande Chapter was reorganized in 2009 after a lengthy hiatus and is dedicated to becoming a force in our state for responsible journalism in all media, including practitioners from print, broadcasting, corporate communications, and online “new media.” We welcome writers, reporters, editors, photographers, producers, on-air talent, commentators, and communicators of all kinds who recognize the value of membership in an organization that holds the profession to strict ethical guidelines while standing up for First Amendment rights. The chapter territory includes all of New Mexico and the El Paso region of Texas.

Mission Statement

The Rio Grande Chapter shares the objectives of the National Society, which describes its mission in terms of dedication to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty and continues:

To ensure that the concept of self-government outlined by the U.S. Constitution remains a reality into future centuries, the American people must be well informed in order to make decisions regarding their lives, and their local and national communities.

It is the role of journalists to provide this information in an accurate, comprehensive, timely and understandable manner.

It is the mission of the Society of Professional Journalists:

— To promote this flow of information.
— To maintain constant vigilance in protection of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and of the press.
— To stimulate high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism.
— To foster excellence among journalists.
— To inspire successive generations of talented individuals to become dedicated journalists.
— To encourage diversity in journalism.
— To be the pre-eminent, broad-based membership organization for journalists.
— To encourage a climate in which journalism can be practiced freely.

Programs and Benefits

Freedom of Information — SPJ is a leading provider of freedom of information resources and training for journalists and the public. The Rio Grande Chapter has established a Sunshine Committee to encourage transparency by governmental and other public institutions.

Career Help — The New Mexico Chapter has made a priority of serving as a source of job opportunities. Our “Jobs & Gigs” feature on the chapter web site will list employment and freelance openings.

Publications and Websites — National SPJ publishes The Quill magazine for members throughout the year. It includes feature articles, industry analysis and writing and reporting advice. SPJ also sends a weekly e-newsletter called SPJ Leads. You can visit the National web site at www.spj.org.

Training and Networking— The Rio Grande Chapter has set itself the goal of creating a statewide community of professional communicators. This chapter web site provides news, opinion, job listings, and resources. The chapter plans to organize or host at least four annual events, and is exploring opportunities to take advantage of the unique ambience and climate of the Land of Enchantment to attract national attendance at workshops and seminars.

Professional Responsibility — SPJ’s Code of Ethics is embraced by thousands of writers, editors and other news professionals. Developed over many years, the Code is a standard by which professional journalism is measured. The national SPJ Code of Ethics is available through this link.

Other Benefits — Membership in SPJ carries discounted fees for conferences and awards and discounted rates with national companies offering health insurance, travel services, office products and career development.

Membership — Anyone who joins the national organization and lives in New Mexico or the El Paso region of Texas is automatically a member of the Rio Chapter.