The School of Journalism sponsors several student organizations, including chapters of national organizations. Our student organizations are quite diverse and give aspiring journalists the opportunity to learn, create and socialize with fellow students who share their interests. They gain knowledge about their future profession through hosting guest speakers, social events and hands-on experience.
The officers of these organizations do all of the footwork for bringing in guest speakers; these events are open to the public and university. The organizations host social events that foster communication with other students who share their specific interests. Meeting times listed below are subject to change. Please check the Web site listed or contact the advisor for any changes in meeting times or information about upcoming events.
Society of Professional Journalists, Austin Chapter
The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. The organization is the nation's largest and 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, works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists, and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.
Joining the SPJ Austin Student Chapter gives students opportunities to deepen their journalistic knowledge outside of the classroom, connect with professionals in the industry, and attend various events. The SPJ Austin Student Chapter is a Registered Student Organization at the University of Texas at Austin. For more information about the national organization, visit www.spj.org.
Connect with the Austin Student Chapter:
Advisor: Robert Jensen, Professor, BMC 3.304, 512-471-1990.
ORANGE, UT's student magazine, gives students a hands-on approach to magazine publication. The staff works on all sides of a magazine from advertising to editorial, production to writing, and finances to public relations. After working on ORANGE, the staff leaves with a strong portfolio and enough experience to tackle any one of New York's leading titles.
The Magazine Club (MAG)
The MAG Club in the School of Journalism is designed for those interested in a career in magazines. The club is a great place to begin, a low-pressure way to get your feet wet --- much more social than work!
Scheduled meetings are held each semester, usually once every three weeks with local professionals to discuss their experience in the field, bring in local magazine editors, often our own graduates to discuss magazine careers, and keep a running list of the latest internships and possible jobs.
MAG is one of the few UT Sponsored Organizations on campus, so it is much more than just a "club." We also have a working relationship with ED on Campus, the national college magazine club, founded by NYC magazine editors. We will show you how to tie into their national job bank and intern listings.
MAG can also help you, at an early stage here, gain valuable hands-on experience with ORANGE, the campus magazine produced by School of Journalism students. But most importantly, we are just a group of people all working together to achieve success in the magazine industry!
MAG also looks great on the resume. Check the display box for MAG (and ORANGE) on the 6th floor of the College of Communication Building) for more details.
National Press Photographer's Association
The National Press Photographers Association was founded in 1946. In the first issue of National Press Photographer (published in Boston, Mass. in April 1946), an editorial on the front page proclaimed, "With this issue is born a voice, one that has been mute much too long."
In the early years, the struggles included trying to get cameras allowed into the courtrooms and to improve government/media relations. And, in fact, many of the programs that NPPA has today including the "job bureau" as it was then called, an insurance program, "The Complete Book of Press Photography" and programs for "newsreel cameramen" had their start back in the late 1940s.
But they've grown as have many of NPPA's other programs. Today, NPPA hosts eight national and regional workshops of various types on everything from general photography and motivation to television photography and technology. Today, NPPA has a Job Information Bank that posts several job openings every week. Today, NPPA has an e-commerce store, an AV Library and publishes materials that are in demand by researchers, students, instructors and photojournalists all over the world.
Membership in NPPA is open to professional news photographers and all others whose occupation has a direct professional relationship with photojournalism. All members receive a monthly copy of News Photographer magazine, The Best of Photojournalism Yearbook and 2 Volume Television Winners' DVD, regional publications, access to the Job Information Bank, discounts on all NPPA programs and eligibility to enter all NPPA contests.
Advisor: Eli Reed
Kappa Tau Alpha
Kappa Tau Alpha (KTA) is a college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication. Membership must be earned through excellence in academic work at one of the colleges and universities that have chapters. Selection for membership is a mark of highest distinction and honor. Membership is by invitation only.
The seventh-oldest national honor society, KTA was founded at the University of Missouri in 1910 at the world's first school of journalism. It is one of 67 members of the Association of College Honor Societies. The national organization, the "Phi Beta Kappa of journalism," has more than 90 chapters, and sponsors awards for research, service and academic excellence.
In 1961, the University of Texas at Austin founded the Olin E. Hinkle chapter of KTA, named for the former newspaperman who taught in the Department of Journalism from 1946-1972.
The emblem of KTA is the key, the oldest symbol of knowledge and communication. The Greek letters mean "The Truth Will Prevail." The letters also suggest three English words: knowledge, truth and accuracy. The Society's colors are light blue, significant of truth; and gold, emblematic of worth and high standards.
Membership is only by invitation from one of the society's campus chapters and is based solely on scholarship and character. Chapters may set higher standards than those listed below.
- must rank in the upper 10 percent of their journalism class (i.e., juniors among juniors, seniors among seniors).
- must have completed at least five semesters of degree work.
- must have completed at least nine semester hours of credit in professional skills courses in journalism.
- must have at least a 3.0 GPA (on 4.0 system) in junior/senior level journalism courses.
- must count all college courses applicable to their degree in computing the overall GPA to determine rank in the upper 10 percent.
- masters students must rank in the top 10 per cent of those who have completed the equivalent of two semesters of full-time coursework in the degree program.
- doctoral students must have received no more than two course grades of B in their Ph.D. program, with A grades in all other courses, and must have completed all requirements for the degree but dissertation (ABD).
Initiates receive a membership card, certificate and key pin. There are no annual dues after the initiation fee for life membership.
University of Texas Hispanic Journalists
UTHJ aims to organize and provide mutual support for Hispanic student journalists and those interested in Hispanic issues in English, Spanish and bilingual media; to encourage the study and practice of journalism and mass communication by Hispanics; to further employment and career opportunities for Hispanic student journalists; to be the voice of the Hispanic community on campus; to encourage students to participate in the different media outlets at UT.
Members participate in a mentorship program with communication professionals, internships, multimedia workshops, professional development and have the opportunity of publishing their work on UTHJ's website. UTHJ organizes fundraising activities to send members to the National Association of Hispanic Journalist convention during the summer, a weeklong opportunity of journalistic workshops and networking with the field's most influential journalists.
Advisor: Dean Darrell Rocha