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FAQ: Community and Supporting Community Membership

As of December 2013, Advocate Members of EWA became part of a new category called Community Members. Here’s a brief explanation of the change.

Why are we now called “Community Members”?

“Community Member” better captures the diverse types of education writers, educators, communicators and others who have joined EWA in recent years. The new name also better reflects the primary reason why these members have joined: to gain access to high-quality information and training as part of a community committed to advancing education coverage. Moreover, the term “Advocate Member” was sometimes confusing for those not working in advocacy positions.

How did this name change come about?

In fall 2013, EWA conducted interviews, surveys and other research into its membership. The new name and definition of Community Members was one outgrowth of that research. The EWA Board of Directors approved the changes at its November 2013 meeting. In accord with a provision of the EWA bylaws requiring that bylaw amendments be approved by at least two-thirds of those voting, the broader EWA membership voted on the changes in December 2013. The amendment passed with an overwhelming majority.

How much of an overwhelming majority?

Ninety-five percent of those voting.

What’s the reason for Supporting Community Membership?

During our membership research project, we found many common themes in our members’ reasons for joining, in their advice, and in their aspirations for EWA. Non-journalist members consistently expressed a wish to become more involved in furthering education journalism. They suggested meaningful ways to contribute to our mission and provided insight into how we’re doing. We listened. We used our members’ feedback as the basis for this new membership category. By creating this new category, we aim to foster a core group of dedicated supporters. We believe creating this membership tier is an important way to identify and engage those willing to become more involved in furthering our mission.

Why is Supporting Community Membership now a requirement for National Seminar registration?

Because we are a membership organization dedicated to advancing education journalism, we reserve the better part of registration slots for journalist members. EWA’s non-journalist members have always played key roles in the event, both as speakers and participants. We want to ensure that Community Members enrich the National Seminar with their expertise and experiences, however, registration for non-journalist members is limited. In 2015, we are pleased to offer a special track for Supporting Community Members featuring the kind of high-quality training that members requested in surveys and interviews. We invite you to become a Supporting Community Member and to learn more about the 2015 National Seminar

Why a $95 yearly dues/required contribution?

One reason for the new membership category is to build funding for new initiatives. Most of our limited funding is currently dedicated to programs and services primarily or exclusively serving journalists. We aim to broaden our efforts to serve and involve Community members in our mission. To do so, we need both support and funding. We also believe that the contribution level for Supporting Community Membership is reasonable and in keeping with other journalism associations. You will receive a renewal notice approximately 30 days before your Supporting Community Membership expires.

Will other Community Members remain valued members of EWA?

Definitely. We are committed to an open EWA community. Indeed, our belief in this community was a major motivation behind dropping membership dues for all members four years ago. We believe all EWA members can play vital roles in advancing our mission.

I have questions about membership. To whom should I address those?

Feel free to contact our Chief Operating Officer, George Dieter. 

I’d like to become a Supporting Community member. Where do I sign up?

Simply click here to start the easy process of registering as an EWA Supporting Community Member or upgrading your Community Membership.