NAHJ email to supporters: We need your financial assistance urgently

Even though we tried to outrun the recession, it has caught up to us.

We trained hundreds in multimedia journalism just last month alone. Scholarship checks for students are going out now for the fall. With counseling, training and job referrals, every day we help Latino colleagues keep alive their dreams of staying in journalism. But it’s clear that NAHJ’s programs and services are now in jeopardy unless we all do our part.

Like many other organizations in today’s economy, cuts in funding and in attendance at our excellent annual convention in San Juan have left NAHJ with a $300,000 budget shortfall. We’re facing that challenge head on with our Count Me In.

We know times are tough, but can you make a donation to NAHJ? Can you raise money for NAHJ? Maybe you can do both. Either way, you are a crucial part of NAHJ’s resolve to help Latino journalists reinvent themselves and prevail in this new media landscape. Here are some recent examples of how we are helping Latinos in journalism.

– The convention featured 33 multimedia-related training sessions, including the new CyberLab@NAHJ, where hundreds of journalists learned a myriad of skills – everything from how to use Twitter to find and promote stories to video editing with Final Cut Pro.

 – $100,000 in scholarship checks for 25 students will be sent in August, bringing to $1.6 million the scholarships NAHJ has awarded to 575 aspiring journalists since 1988. This year’s Student Projects at the convention were also the first to truly converge into intensely-focused multimedia training.

– Our Parity Project has helped community members in Phoenix and San Diego organize to beat back the use of derogatory terms to describe Latinos, paving the way for more advocacy for fair coverage of Latinos in other cities.

– Recent multimedia journalism training sessions in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. are just a taste of more to come throughout the country.

Despite huge shortfalls in convention revenue, we broke even by drastically cutting costs. We’ve also decided to forgo this year’s Noche de Triunfos Journalism Awards Gala held in Washington, D.C. to save money and focus on growing our membership.
But we need to raise $300,000 before December 15th to continue: giving scholarships to Latino students, training more Latinos in multimedia journalism via regional conferences, bringing the Parity Project’s advocacy for fairness in coverage to more cities, and boosting the sheer numbers of Latino journalists with new skills to stay in journalism and collectively have more impact on news media than ever before.

Can you raise at least $200 for NAHJ? Can you do more? We can all certainly do this, together. For example, if every current member of NAHJ (1,400) raises $200, that adds up to $280,000. Imagine what we could do together if some people raised more.

Please consider giving an amount that is significant to you.  We can accept donations online, http://www.nahj.org/supportnahj/CountMeIn.shtml in a single payment or installments, via phone (202.662.7482), or by sending a check to: NAHJ, 1000 National Press Building, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20045. All donations are tax deductible.

– Tell your friends (especially those on your Facebook page and other social networking sites) and family to support this organization that you believe in or have benefited from. They can also indicate on the donation form that you referred them.

CAN WE COUNT ON YOU?

O. Ricardo Pimentel
NAHJ President