Recognizing the importance of increasing diversity in journalism, NLGJA will expand its strategic partnerships to now include the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

For NSNC, this networking alliance is part of an diversity initiative started by NSNC President Jerry Zezima. “The partnership will strengthen both organizations,” Zezima said, “and provide its members with leads to jobs and freelance opportunities, the ability to participate in each other’s conferences and writing contests, and, among many other perks, a healthy dose of camaraderie.”

The NSNC was founded in 1977 and exists to promote professionalism and camaraderie among columnists and other writers of the serial essay, including bloggers. Membership is open to general interest, humor, items, op-ed, online or other columnists. Academics and student columnists also are eligible to join. The annual conference is NSNC’s primary event. The educational group also publishes a monthly newsletter, maintains this website and advocates for columnists and free-press issues.

“This networking partnership allows both organizations to share opportunities with a similar group of likeminded professionals and a shared interest in seeing excellence within the field of journalism,” said NLGJA Executive Director Adam Pawlus. “Both NLGJA and NSNC offer professional development, networking opportunities, scholarships, student programs and award recognitions.”

To kick off the partnership, both NLGJA and NSNC are offering reciprocal membership discounts until August 15, 2016. NLGJA members are offered NSNC membership for $35 and NSNC members can join NLGJA with a $25 discount off the one-year dues for basic, associate and ally memberships. To join NSNC, use the membership from and type the promo code “NLGJA” for the reduced rate.

Additionally, NSNC and NLGJA will be cross-promoting each organization’s events on their websites, email newsletters and social media portals. Coming in June, NLGJA is holding two events – The “New Ways: Reporting HIV & AIDS Today” workshop and “L.A. Exclusive: A National Benefit for NLGJA” reception – in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 23, followed the same week by NSNC’s upcoming 40th Annual Conference, June 23-26, also in LA.

The overlap of the three events was by coincidence, but organizers see this fluke as serendipity, and plan to take advantage of the opportunity to network in person. NSNC Membership Chair Amanda Beam will attend the NLGJA workshop, and Pawlus will attend NSNC’s LA conference.

“Tremendous progress has been made with LGBTQ rights the past few years. But it’s not enough… This exciting partnership between the NLGJA and the NSNC will allow our organizations to work together in educating our membership on these important issues,” Beam said. “We look forward to working with this great organization that promotes better tomorrows for all.”