Joining a journalism association: benefits & considerations

Joining a journalism association can have a number of great benefits for journalists at every stage of their careers. Journalism students can seek mentorship, professional journalists can grow their networks, and veteran journalists can give back to their professional community by sharing their experiences.

If you’ve thought about joining a journalism association but you’re not sure if it’s worth it, read on. We’ll discuss the benefits of a journalism association like the National Newspaper Association, and help you learn more about how to choose the right association for your needs.


From networking, to self-discovery, to story ideas and access to training, the benefits of joining a journalism association are plenty.

Network & Make Connections

The most well-known benefit is networking, which can help foster lifelong friendships and connections that will have a positive influence even outside your journalism career. Being part of a journalism association lets you network with other media and writing professionals. Not only does the association provide opportunities to learn from others, it can also foster ways to discuss the profession, career paths, tips & tricks, and the state of the industry. Through the association, a professional journalist can learn how to overcome the unique challenges facing the industry in the 21st century, like the constantly changing media landscape.

Discover & Discuss Story Ideas

You can learn more about the latest stories and big news from members of your association. Staying informed and ahead of news trends can help with story ideation. You can even access exclusive databases from some journalism associations, which can aid you when ideating and writing stories.

Access to Training

Many journalism associations offer training, workshops, guides, templates and other resources that are only available to members, or available to members at a special discounted rate. NNA offers a free training webinar monthly, covering tops such as election advertising, filing federal FOIA requests, advertising budget-busters, tackling social media and more…. Non-members may join for a fee of $30.

Members may also share information about outside training opportunities with each other directly.

Mentoring and Mentorship

Being mentored by a more experienced journalist can be very helpful as you take your first steps in your career. And if you’re a more experienced journalist, you’ll benefit by becoming an integral part of the community, and mentoring those who are just entering the industry.

Employment Opportunities

A journalism association can be a great way to find jobs and opportunities which may otherwise be hard to find. Often, the best positions will be shopped around in journalism associations before being opened to the public. You can also get access to member directories that can help you connect with specific companies and individuals.

With NNA membership, you will also connect with journalists from around the country. This is critical, since many journalists move between jobs and cities, and an opportunity can be waiting in a completely different state.

Stay Current on Industry Trends

Many journalism associations have their own members-only publications with exclusive content that can help you stay updated on industry trends and changes. NNA members receive the monthly trade newspaper mailed through USPS’ Periodical postage, Publishers’ Auxiliary. Discussions with other journalists with varying backgrounds and levels of experience can also help you learn more about what’s to come in your career and industry.


From mentorship to job opportunities, to updates on industry trends, training courses and more, joining a journalism association has a lot of benefits. Make sure you understand how you can benefit from joining – and keep the above considerations in mind when choosing the right journalism association for you. If you join, it will be sure to have a positive impact at any point in your career.

Click here to see more reasons to join NNA.

This post was written in partnership with Ashford University, which offers 80+ degree programs, including a bachelor’s in journalism and mass communication. Visit their website to learn more.