New associations launch to fill a void in their sector. Here, newbies tell us what got them started, how they’re succeeding, and what they plan to do next.
The Mission. “There wasn’t a lot of military and veteran representation in newsrooms, and we just want to be the voice that supports veterans willing to pursue a career in journalism,” Garcia says. “We [veterans] have a lot of experience and skills that correlate with what journalism is about: integrity, accountability, commitment, courage, and teamwork.”
Early Successes. MVJ has been focusing on connecting veterans with job opportunities, offering networking with journalists, and providing advice tailored to veteran needs. “We also have a podcast called Sword and Pen where military vets who want to pursue a career in journalism talk about their experiences and what they learned in the transition process between the military and journalism,” Garcia says. “Veterans can be mentored by someone who has been in the industry for a while.”
What’s Next? MVJ will host an “immersion” event in April where veterans can shadow professional journalists. In the longer term, the organization wants to expand its reach. “There are still a lot more veterans who don’t know about us and need some assistance or support,” Garcia says. “They want the connection, or someone else who understands the frustrations and the grit it takes to be a successful journalist.”