Any AWJ member can volunteer to help with any event or committee any time during the year. We've included a list below of committees open to volunteers. Feel free to reach out to the chairs for more information. We'd love to hear from you!
The most important part of the job is what happens in your head between the end of collecting material and the moment when the first word is written. You need to think and decide what the article will be about and how to write it.
It doesn't matter how successful you are at writing flamboyant phrases and wise remarks: if you don't have a clear idea of what you want to say, it will definitely come out.
Plots can be complex, not as strong as we would like, or long, touching on various aspects. Here you have to think hard about how to write amazing literature reviews and what your material is about. The answer doesn't always lie on the surface.
It would help if you also worked out a decision in which form you are going to submit the article. Will this be a purely informational message? What story writing techniques to use here? An article on a domestic topic or material of an entertaining nature?
Imagine that you have to tell the reader about basic journalist education requirements. The way the material is presented affects the design, the main contours of which must be presented before starting to write. In a simple informational message, the plan will not take long and will form in your mind. But for long or complex articles, it's better to jot it down on paper. Do not be afraid of this scholasticism. This is not done by an inexperienced beginner but by a serious person who wants to achieve maximum quality. It is not at all necessary to make the plan detailed - it is enough to arrange the main blocks on the shelves, perhaps with small notes on how to connect these blocks.
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- Clarity. Any text should be clear in thought, composition, and language. If this is not the case, you need to analyze it and/or rewrite it again.
- Fresh language. The main task of a journalist is to give the reader what they did not have before: information, explanations, observations, analysis, and so on. Therefore, the presentation of this new language, worn out from frequent use, will turn into a huge waste of time. If you do this, your material will not produce the expected effect, and even the latest news will sound like well-known to the readers.
- Accuracy. Journalism should be the enemy of imprecision. Articles should answer readers' questions, not provoke new ones.
- Honesty. There is something in journalism that gets in the way of complete truthfulness. The eternal lack of time to check everything and write a completely understandable message, the inaccessibility of sources and information, a given volume, sometimes too small - all this often does not allow us to make the material as complete or accurate as we would like it to be.
- Efficiency. All phrases should either convey new information or move the story forward in some way. If some phrase of the article does not fulfill this function, cross it out.
- Adequacy. It is the correspondence of style, tone, and tempo of presentation to the topic of the article. Not all topics require the writer to know how to write in a journalistic style. Only part of them need a special approach, but others should be developed carefully and accurately.
Programming - oversees AWJ events like the annual meeting, summer picnic, panel discussions and trainings for established journalists. We need members to help us scout great AWJ event spaces, survey members on program ideas and score engaging panelists for our programs. Contact Alison Bowen [email protected]
Scholarships - administers AWJ scholarship offerings, networks with college journalism professors and departments in the Chicago area. Scholarship committee members serve as judges for the scholarship competition. It's a chance to review the work of young journalists and help them take the next steps in their careers. Contact Anne Johnsos [email protected]
Website/Communications - updates AWJ's website and manages social media and communications about events and programs. Looking for members who can post regularly on our social media outlets and listserv about news and events of interest to our members. Committee members write and post wrap-up articles of our events and special articles (such as our AWJ Member Spotlight feature) to put on our website.
We hope you will consider joining one of these lovely committees to get more involved in the Chicago Journalism Community.
Now more than ever, journalism matters and we hope you'll continue to support AWJ with your membership, your presence and talents, and with your social media networks.