SEJ Membership Categories
ACTIVE members must primarily:
i. Work as journalists for a news organization. A news organization is defined as a distinct corporate or operating entity dedicated to producing journalism and that does not lobby or conduct public relations other than on behalf of the interests of journalism itself. News organizations must also be transparent in their connections, financial and otherwise, to entities with a private interest in the issues being covered, and maintain structures and policies that protect their editorial independence from the influence of such entities.
ii. Be freelance journalists, the majority of whose work is for news organizations; or
iii. Be independent authors or producers who disclose their funding sources and retain editorial control over the majority of their work, consistent with the definition of journalism and news organizations.
ACADEMIC members are full-time faculty and students at a university or other accredited school with an interest in environmental issues or environmental journalism.
University writers and other university staff are not eligible for ACADEMIC membership, but may qualify for ASSOCIATE membership if their jobs do not involve public relations or lobbying.
Part-time faculty and students should apply for ASSOCIATE membership.
ASSOCIATE members are substantially engaged in journalism for news outlets or work in fields that closely relate to journalism, yet are ineligible for active membership, either because journalism is not their primary occupation or because their employers lobby or conduct public relations work on the environment (and thus are not news organizations).
Examples of potential ASSOCIATE members include:
- People for whom journalism is a secondary occupation
- Officials at journalism organizations
- Part-time faculty at universities
- Staff journalists who work for — or freelancers and authors who get most of their income from — non-media corporations, government agencies, environmental advocacy groups or universities
- Independent journalists who do not disclose their funding sources and/or who do not exercise substantial editorial control over the majority of their work.