A chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists has opened at UT, allowing journalism students such as junior Nidia Cavazos to feel a sense of community in the diverse world of journalism.
“You don’t really hear of a lot of Hispanics in journalism,” Cavazos said. “I think NAHJ can provide a small community within Moody where we share resources or opportunities that come up.”
Cavazos, a founding member of the chapter, wanted to create a group similar to other Hispanic associations on campus to allow student journalists the chance to meet top employers and journalists in the field.
“The majority of students at Moody are white, so if you gather up a community of Hispanic students, we automatically have something that we can use to connect with each other,” Cavazos said. “The more we get to know people within our own college, the more possibilities of networking that come up, and it’s a matter of helping each other out and trying to rise to the top spots in journalism.”
Cavazos worked with journalism junior Cat Cardenas to create the chapter, which held their first meeting Thursday. The chapter is in its early stages but plans to partner with similar minority associations, including the Austin NAHJ chapter, to give group members a wider range of event opportunities, Cavazos said.
About 30 students have joined the group so far, with many more showing interest on the chapter’s Facebook page.
The group has started planning activities for future meetings, including bringing in guest speakers, holding workshops and teaching members important journalistic skills.
Communications studies senior Audrey Browning, who attended Thursday’s meeting, said she hopes NAHJ can get more minority coverage and promote diversity in the media.
“Ever since I got to Austin, I was actually very surprised by the lack of Hispanic representation, especially at UT,” Browning said. “I think it can be a gateway to greater diversity on campus.”
Browning said she believes the chapter will help students combine their professional interests with their heritage.
“I think it would be really awesome just to see a bunch of people further themselves as journalists and also really hold onto their culture,” Browning said.
Journalism senior lecturer Robert Quigley, who helped spread the word about the chapter to other students, said groups such as NAHJ can help students go further in their field.
“I think it’s really important for students to be able to feel a sense of community as they’re working toward their professional goal,” Quigley said. “Minority journalists are underrepresented in media, so having some support and connections that they can make going into the professional world is super valuable.”
Cardenas is an associate Life&Arts editor at The Daily Texan.