Over the weekend, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists emailed a promotion for its national convention. The announcement also contained the announcement that NAHJ is offering a free one-year dues renewal for members who have lost their jobs.
NAHJ's kind and caring offer comes as its membership might have hoped the worst economic news was behind them. It's not. It has been a rough first quarter of the year for journalists, especially print journalists.
BA Snyder, the head of the marketing group for NAHJ told me, "D.C., McAllen and Las Vegas have been some of the markets to experience recent layoffs and unfortunately, the reality is they won’t be the last. NAHJ isn’t a union. It can’t be expected to provide legal representation. What the association can do is facilitate opportunity to minimize any negative impact on our journalists and their families."
At The Denver Post on Monday, more than two dozen reporters, editors, photographers, videographers, page designers, digital producers and opinion staff will walk out the door. Our marching orders are to cut a full 30 by the start of July.
These heartbreaking instructions raise the question: Does this cut, which follows so many in recent years that our ranks have shriveled from more than 250 to fewer than 100 today, represent the beginning of the end for the Voice of the Rocky Mountain Empire?
Snyder said, "Alberto Mendoza, executive director of NAHJ, and the national board have made a commitment to members who have just been laid off or have been laid off for the last six months. It’s an initiative that falls directly under the mission to organize and provide support for Hispanic journalists and put more Latinos in newsrooms."
NAHJ, like other professional journalism associations, also is concerned that if journalists lose their job and do not stay connected to the organization, they may not reconnect, especially if they leave journalism. That is one reason NAHJ's offer does not just include a year of membership for jobless members, but it also grants access to the NAHJ national conference. Snyder said, "Not only does a scholarship to the 2018 International Training Conference and Career Fair grant access to recruiters, but invaluable training to keep those journalists competitive and at the top of their game."