Students revive Hispanic Journalism Association

By Ashley Yeaman

After two years of inactivity, two Baylor students are trying to bring the National Association of Hispanic Journalists back to campus.

Heading the effort to re-establish the chapter are Baytown senior Carmen Galvan, a journalism major, and Dallas senior Janette Artea, a journalism and film and digital media major.

Dr. Brad Owens, senior lecturer in the journalism, public relations and new media department, came to Galvan and Artea with the idea of reviving the organization, Galvan said.

“Dr. Owens really gave us the confidence that we could do it,” Galvan said. “And then just researching, learning more about the organization and seeing all that it offers – I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists recognizes and provides professional advancement of Hispanics in the media industry, creating a “national voice and unified vision” for Hispanic journalists, according to its website.

The organization is for both Hispanics as well as others interested in the cause.

Artea hopes bringing back the Baylor chapter will help Hispanic journalism students realize all the opportunities available to them.

“Baylor is not that big of a school, and Waco itself is not that big of a city, so it’s good for them to see what’s out there,” Artea said. “I know we’d like to get some speakers out here to tell their stories, and how they got into the field.”

Hispanics need a stronger presence in the professional media world, Galvan said, and a chapter at Baylor can help foster that.

“Hispanics represent one of the largest populations in America, and that doesn’t really reflect in journalism,” Galvan said.

“We’d really like to create a voice for Hispanics, and hopefully that’ll lead to better representation as far as the media is concerned,” she continued.

The association is unique because of its specific goal, Galvan said.

“It’s something of a motivational organization,” Galvan said. “Hispanics [may think] they’re not going to have opportunities because of financial status or language barriers. So it’s just something to motivate them, encourage them, inspire them to be something greater. It’s more for a higher cause.”

Galvan said chapter will provide many benefits for members.

“There are lots of opportunities that are available for scholarships just for NAHJ members,” Galvan said. “Once you become a member, you gain access to a job bank. From there, you can submit your resume, have it checked over and sent to various places. You have access to internships. You can go to conferences. It’s a great source for networking.”

Artea said the organization also gives members the chance to have direct contact with professionals.

“There are many Hispanic journalists that are actively involved in the organization,” Artea said. “So not only is there networking in terms of jobs, but it also allows you to kind of touch base with [journalists] and kind of learn the real side of [the field].”

Artea and Galvan are currently working on reaching out to potential members. They will be holding an interest meeting 6 p.m. today in 245 Castellaw Communications Center. Hispanics and non-Hispanics are invited to attend.

Artea hopes that re-establishing NAHJ at Baylor will have a lasting impact and reach out to Hispanics interested in journalism.

“[For Hispanics], the mentality is that there’s not a lot out there for you,” Artea said. “Opportunities are kind of diminished because of where you come from, or your economic status and all that. So you know, it’s something that we definitely want to change the thought aspect of, because a lot of people come in with that mentality from childhood, but it’s not true.”