The Association of Hispanic Journalists at Texas State seeks to diversify the mass communications field. Club president Greg Arellano said that the club is based in networking with other mass communication professionals.
“We attend a lot of mixers, workshops and seminars,” Arellano said.
Arellano said that the club started as an idea as they noticed a lot of other networking-based clubs such as Women Communicators of Austin and PRSSA, and feeling that the school lacked a counterpart club for Hispanic students.
“The previous chapter had been disbanded a long time ago,” Arellano said. “I felt it was needed.”
Sponsored by senior lecturer Gilbert Martinez, the club focuses on not only networking opportunities, but projects that the club collaborates on as a whole. Vice-president Dyhanara Rios says that the club wants to work with other campus media groups in the future.
“We have talked about running our own WordPress blog,” Rios said. “We had our two trips where we as a group got to spend time getting to celebrate together as well as learn about journalism and media.”
One of the reasons that Arellano and Rios felt compelled to restart the Texas State chapter was because they felt that helping other Hispanic communicators was important in order to introduce new and intriguing stories into the media.
“Diversity in the mass communication field, especially journalism, is extremely important,” Arellano said. “It is crucial in order to be truly informed, to explore topics that may seem unconventional because they haven’t been given a voice yet.”
Rios also elaborates on diversity in mass communications, saying that the advent of the Internet was a major influence in her becoming an electronic media major.
“The Internet gives nearly everyone the opportunity to express their views, which increases the visibility of minority groups in our society,” Rios said. “It puts the power in my hands to say what I want to say.”
The organization was recently rewarded for by San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists for being the first student affiliate of the association at the SAAHJ holiday party on December 10, 2014.
“Once [Texas State] joined, several other schools took interest and joined as well,” Rios said.
— Francisco Vara-Orta (@fvaraorta) March 7, 2015
The club recently attended a media workshop on March 7, hosted by the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists. There, they visited the Univision studios and attended panels that discussed immigration reform, pitching to public relations, women in the workforce,
“I went to the women panel and I really enjoyed it,” Rios said. “They really believed in the ‘we’re all in this together’ mentality, which is important because sometimes, women feel like they have to hurt other women in order to get ahead in the field.”
Arellano watched journalist Maria Antonieta Collins speak about her background in journalism at the workshop and noted his admiration for her.
“She is a legend,” Arellano said. “She’s fearless; she’s older, yet she’s down there in the cartel tunnels. No matter what caution people gave her, she went on anyways.”
— Gilbert D. Martinez (@gmartinez51) March 7, 2015
When Arellano and Rios created the club, they wanted to help other Hispanic journalists, but they also created an inclusive community.
“I love seeing our members’ enthusiasm about our organization,” Arellano said. “It’s great to see that because before, I felt like there weren’t any people who were excited about mass communication.”