Join the Chicago Headline Club

Make a solid investment in yourself and your profession by joining the Society of Professional Journalists’ Chicago chapter.

The Headline Club’s annual chapter dues are $10 for students and retirees, $20 for working journalists and $30 for associate members who support our mission.  Please note that CHC members must also be members in good standing with the Society of Professional Journalists. National SPJ dues are $37.50 for students and retirees, $75 for working journalists, and $94 for associate members.


Please contact executive director Aimee DeBat with questions about joining the Club.

Ready to become a member right now?



What the SPJ & CHC can do for you:

Freedom of Information

SPJ is a leading provider of freedom of information resources and training for journalists and the public. The Headline Club successfully lobbied for a public access counselor in Illinois, who now serves as ombudsman in all disputes over public records and open meetings.

Defending Your Rights

When the Chicago Police Department proposed fingerprinting all reporters, when the Chicago Transit Authority approved pension benefits for key executives in an unannounced executive session, when the Chicago Park District insisted its volunteers sign a media “gag order,” the Headline Club stepped in and got results.

Legal Help

SPJ is the only journalism advocacy group that maintains a Legal Defense Fund to support individuals and organizations facing First Amendment legal battles. Headline Club members are also entitled to free, local advice on media law and access issues.


Quill magazine is published for members throughout the year. It includes feature articles, industry analysis and writing and reporting advice. SPJ sends a weekly e-newsletter called SPJ Leads. The Headline Club keeps you up to date on our local advocacy efforts and programs with frequent e-newsletters.

Recognizing Excellence

Our annual Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism attract more than 800 nominations in some 61 contests. Our Lifetime Achievement Awards salute Chicago’s most respected journalists. SPJ’s flagship Sigma Delta Chi Awards are complemented by other national First Amendment honors.


SPJ’s annual national convention, regional conferences and local workshops teach new skills, help you refine techniques and connect you to other journalists who share your interests and concerns.


Our JobFile is the Midwest’s most current and comprehensive source of journalism job listings. Our popular brown bag lunches with editors, publishers and newsmakers allow members to make contacts and compare notes with journalists from all disciplines. We list 450 Chicago-area journalists in our membership directory, giving members an opportunity to widen their professional circle.

Online Resources

Serving as home base for our many members, offers a comprehensive calendar of local journalism events and serves as an all-hours gateway to resources, training, career information and the best of Chicago-area journalism.


We work to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists. Each summer, we award $2,000 scholarships to unpaid editorial interns.

Professional Responsibility

SPJ’s Code of Ethics is embraced by thousands of writers, editors and other news professionals. From it, we have developed prestigious awards, training programs, the free Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists and other tools to help you identify ethics issues and resolve dilemmas.

Specially-trained staff at Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Ethics and Social Justice listen and respond to your ethics questions. Their goal is not to provide all of the answers or settle every dispute, but to teach journalists how to make clear, defensible decisions.


SPJ provides an open forum for discussion of diversity issues in journalism. The Rainbow Sourcebook is SPJ’s exclusive online database searchable by news topics. There, journalists find qualified experts from demographic groups underrepresented in the news. SPJ’s online Diversity Toolbox offers essays and links to resources that will help you broaden the perspectives and voices in your work.

Other benefits

Other benefits of membership include discounted fees for conferences and awards and discounted rates with national companies offering health insurance, travel services, office products and career development.