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The benefits of a professional association

We all know that the journalism industry can be a lot easier to navigate if you have the right connections. One way to build your network and connect with fellow journalists in your field is to join an association full of them. For business journalists that organization is the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) – which is also headquartered in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University alongside The Reynolds Center.

Here is why you should consider joining a professional association like SABEW.

More than just networking

In addition to networking and mentoring opportunities, there are a number of benefits to joining an association like SABEW.

Professional development: Seminars, workshops, panels, and courses are commonly offered by professional organizations allowing journalists to stay up on the latest developments in the industry while also learning from more experienced peers. So far this year, the training sessions provided by SABEW have included covering Silicon Valley and the tech business, covering the Fed, and covering crypto, all of which can be rewatched on their YouTube channel.

Job listings: Many professional associations maintain job boards that are not only geared and curated for their specific industry but are oftentimes published there first. Becoming a member may even allow you access to new opportunities that you may not be able to find elsewhere.

Student rates: If you’re a student, you are able to join SABEW (as well as most professional organizations) at a discounted rate. Take advantage of the discount while you can to begin building connections before you graduate.

The Best in Business Awards

Here at the Reynolds Center, we host the annual Barlett and Steele Awards for the best in investigative business journalism (submissions open June 1st!), but we understand that not all business journalists are also investigative journalists. 

This is where SABEW comes in. SABEW’s Best in Business Awards has a wide range of awards for all kinds of business writers. No matter your beat, there is likely a category that fits you. Some of the categories include finance, economics, health/science, real estate, explanatory, podcast/audio and even the business of sports. 

It’s important to note that the Best in Business Awards are only open to SABEW members and there are entry fees, but be sure to check out the 2022 winners and put the entry period (December – January) on your calendar for future consideration.

Other journalism associations to check out:

SABEW may have been created with business journalists in mind, but it isn’t the only organization for journalists you can join. There are a plethora to choose from, from the largest such as the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Journalists and Authors, all the way to the niche such as the National College Baseball Writers Association and the Society of American Travel Writers

In fact, The National Association of Black Journalists has a business journalism task force aimed at “increas[ing] the number of Black journalists covering business, and educat[ing] fellow NABJ members and the industry about these topics.”

Make sure to not only research the mission and goals of each professional group and what they have to offer, but also the leaders and the culture of the organization to find the one (or more) that works best for you and your career.


  • Julianne Culey

    Julianne is the Assistant Director of the Reynolds Center with expertise in marketing and communications and holds a master's in Sociology from Arizona State University.

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