WTTW’s Brandis Griffith Friedman on Why the Chicago Headline Club Matters

Brandis Griffith Friedman of WTTW

Brandis Griffith Friedman kicks off our new membership drive, which we’re calling #WeAreTheHeadlineClub.

After conducting some research and combing through our recent survey of Chicago journalists, we discovered three very important data points:

1) Journalists valued our monthly trainings and events, such as FOIAFest and the Lisagor Awards, but they didn’t always connect them with the Chicago Headline Club.

2) We needed to do a better job making our members more visible, not only to celebrate their accomplishments, but to recognize why journalism and the Headline Club was important to them.

3) We needed to have a clearer value proposition for prospective new members, so journalists understood why joining the Headline Club was a valuable resource for providing community, training and protections for the First Amendment.

So now, we’re taking action. The #WeAreTheHeadlineClub campaign⁠—designed by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer E. Jason Wambsgans⁠—is the first effort to give our brand and our members more exposure. You’ll see these photos and questions across social media over the next few months, anchored to pages like these.

For now, let’s kick things off with Brandis:

Brandis Griffith Friedman,
correspondent & host for “Chicago Tonight” on WTTW-11
Q: Why is journalism important?
A: Journalism is important to hold our government and other institutions accountable, to inform and educate us, to record history and to tell stories of the human spirit.

Q: Why join Chicago Headline Club?

A: Because the Chicago Headline Club works for you, the journalist! Whether through advocacy, ethics advice or professional development, the Headline Club supports working (and budding) journalists in their efforts to report on stories that matter.

Support. Protect. Connect.
The Chicago Headline Club is the largest chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in the nation. We provide training, scholarships, awards and community for our members.

Our year-round programs include FOIAfest, the Lisagor Awards and tech workshops. Our professional members also provide mentorship, feedback and networking opportunities for student journalists and freelancers.

Since 1921, we’ve administered grants and scholarships to investigative and student journalists—$60,000 in the last five years alone.

Journalism is the only profession named in the Bill of Rights. We continue to protect the First Amendment through our lobbying and outreach efforts, holding those in power accountable. 

Each year, we celebrate the achievements of more than 300 Chicago journalists at our annual Lisagor Awards.

Join today. https://www.spj.org/joinapp.asp

Cost: $95 ($75 SPJ, $20 Headline Club)

Support. Protect. Connect.

Read other columns in this series
Robert K. Elder, from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Christine Wolf, author, columnist and freelance journalist
Maria Zamudio, from Chicago Public Media / WBEZ