What we do

logo_cornerThe Society for Collegiate Journalists has a lot to offer its members. SCJ helps to build leadership skills among student journalists. It also offers budding journalists the opportunity to have their work judged by professionals in the field during its annual national contest. Check out all of the benefits below.

Annual Awards and National Contest

The Society annually recognizes outstanding leadership and achievement through its national awards that include:

  • Sheridan Barker Award for Adviser of the Year
  • Edward E. McDonald Award for Outstanding National Chapter
  • Outstanding New Adviser
  • Outstanding New Chapter
  • Art Barlow Award for Student Journalist of the Year
  • Ingelhart Award for Freedom of Expression
  • MaryBeth Earnheardt Service Award

The Society also offers certificate and medal of merit awards to select student media leaders or alumni who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of student media on their respective campuses. Advisers or other community members are encouraged to nominate student journalists whose contributions or leadership have impacted the community in demonstrable ways.

Finally, SCJ annually sponsors a national collegiate journalism and student media contest, the only one of its kind judged exclusively by professionals in the field. The contest is designed to celebrate and recognize outstanding student work across all platforms of media. All chapters are eligible to participate, and individual students may participate if they are members of the Society. Rules and regulations are simple and easy to comply with, and information about the contest is sent to the local chapters prior to the contest deadline, which is January 31.

National Meeting

The chapters of SCJ meet biennially to conduct the business of SCJ, to discuss chapter activities and participate in journalism seminars and workshops. Delegates from each attending chapter form the governing body of SCJ and meet during the conference to decide SCJ national policy, to establish goals for the next biennium, and to elect its national officers.

College Media Days

Universities that have an SCJ chapter and wish to host a conference that focuses on student media issues are eligible for a $250 stipend. In order to qualify for the stipend the chapter must complete a form that can be downloaded. The $250 stipend will be awarded at the discretion of the National Executive Director.

Chapter Projects

Each local chapter should develop a number of projects that it annually supports or that it promotes for the betterment of its membership and its college or university community. The following is a list of suggested projects:

  • Sponsor a banquet or awards program on SCJ Founders’ Day, Dec. 11.
  • Sponsor an event to celebrate National News Engagement Day in October.
  • Cooperate with nearby high schools to interest prospective college students in journalism.
  • Bring outside speakers of prominence to address the chapter or student body.
  • Host a College Media Day.
  • Conduct a journalism clinic for freshmen working on campus publications and media.
  • Direct the publishing of student directories, handbooks, and calendars for the year.
  • Conduct an advertising survey of the campus.
  • Conduct reader interest surveys on the campus.
  • Urge the creation of a media board to help encourage campus student media.
  • Sponsor a campus visual arts club.
  • Set up journalism exhibits for special campus occasions such as homecoming.
  • Establish and maintain a journalism laboratory.
  • Promote more journalism courses in the college curriculum.
  • Offer prizes for freshman and sophomore journalists.
  • Arrange inspection and field trips to newspaper plants, publishing houses, and local radio and television stations.
  • Send out an annual publication to the high schools in the area, promoting the college and its publications.
  • Eliminate undergraduate politics from the elections for staff positions on campus publications.
  • Conduct regional meetings and/or workshops for high school publications.
  • Establish and maintain a journalism library.
  • Launch a campus chapter SCJ newsletter.
  • Set up an SCJ electronic bulletin board.
  • Invite local professional journalists to serve on the chapter’s advisory board.
  • Form a regional or special interest group of SCJ chapters and exchange papers.

Social Media and Blog

SCJ has an active web and social media presence on which representatives contribute chapter news, images, and project ideas.