Alabama Media Professionals is a 501(c)(6) organization governed by a member-elected executive committee. We serve the interest of professional communicators in many different fields. Some of our members are in the news media, some are in marketing, some are in advertising, and some are professors, while others are authors. We welcome photographers, linguists, writers, and broadcast professionals. Most of our members work in more than one area of communications.
As technology changes and print media declines, our organization is providing much-needed guidance through professional development programs and opportunities to learn from each other. We promote high standards of performance and professionalism, including through our AMP Annual Communications Contest.
As has been the case since the 1990s, most of our members are independent professionals who work on a freelance or contract basis. Thus, much of our efforts are to advocate for and provide assistance to these professionals.
AMP is the Alabama affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women.
In 1959, a group of Alabama women with news-related jobs formed a local affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women. The goal of the NFPW was to advance women in news media as a national professional organization.
In the early days, women were excluded from the crime, politics, and other real journalism topics. They were relegated to what was called "the women's pages," which was the lifestyle sections of newspapers. Also, professional organizations for journalists did not allow women. We've come a long way since then.
The efforts in Alabama in 1959 were mostly in the Mobile area. However, apparently there was confusion as to the goals of the group. Some thought it was more of an effort to form a union. Also, Civil Rights issues were causing tension in news rooms. The Alabama group disbanded in 1961, just 1.5 years after it formed.
Skipping to 1980, interest in forming an NFPW affiliate returned to Alabama. The name "Alabama Media Women" was chosen. This time, the founding members were from parts of the state. The members were news reporters, journalism professors, or worked public relations, marketing, or advertising. The service to members at that time was mostly state conferences that included recreation and training.
By the 1990s, women in the news media were more and more gaining respect as true journalists. The needs and concerns of female media professionals came to match that of their male peers. In the 1990s, our affiliate changed its name to "Alabama Media Professionals" to reflect our embracing both genders in membership and programs. Also, our group attracted more indie communications professionals who did work by contract instead of as salaried employees. Services changed to monthly meetings in the Birmingham area instead of state conferences.
Membership has gone up and down through the years depending on the efforts of the leadership of the time.