SPJ News http://www.spj.org/ SPJ Delivers Today's Media News en-us Copyright 2006 Society of Professional Journalists 1440 SPJ, JEA bring journalism into classrooms through #Press4Education initiative http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1545 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br> <br> Contacts:<br> Rebecca Baker, SPJ National President, 203-640-3904, <email address="rbaker@spj.org">rbaker@spj.org</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – The <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> and <a href="http://jea.org/">Journalism Education Association</a> are looking to match journalists and K-12 teachers in a nationwide effort to bring more journalism education to schools. <br> <br> <a href="https://www.spj.org/press4education.asp">The project, #Press4Education</a>, provides lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations and other resources to journalists who want to volunteer to share their knowledge about: <br> <br> • Reporting Basics<br> • Media Literacy/Identifying Fake News<br> • Ethics<br> • Editing<br> • Online Reporting<br> • Data Journalism<br> • Visual Journalism<br> • Broadcast Journalism<br> • Social Media<br> <br> “I’ve already spoken to more than 100 high school students across New York City. These young people not only were eager to understand what journalists do, but also how and why they do it,” said SPJ National President Rebecca Baker. “Any journalist who participates in #Press4Education will help the next generation become better informed citizens.”<br> <br> <a href="https://www.spj.org/com-jed.asp">SPJ Journalism Education Committee</a> Chair Becky Tallent explained that <a href="https://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1290">the Committee’s 2014 survey of high school journalism teachers</a> showed there was a real absence of journalism professionals in the classroom. The survey findings were published in the book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Still-Captive-History-Teaching-Journalism/dp/1581072767">"Still Captive? History, Law and the Teaching of High School Journalism."</a><br> <br> “We have been looking for ways to cure that issue,” Tallent continued. “Thankfully, this year [Baker] wanted to make outreach to K-12 education a priority, launching #Press4Education. We are hopeful this will lead to a renewed commitment for journalism education in the country as well as an improved understanding of our profession.” <br> <br> The goal for the project is to not only provide a great resource for scholastic journalism educators, but to strengthen the future ranks of journalism practitioners, said JEA President Sarah Nichols. <br> <br> “The <a href="http://jea.org/">Journalism Education Association</a> is thrilled to be part of SPJ's #Press4Education initiative and connect teachers and their students with professional journalists,” Nichols said. “Our students are among the best and brightest, and more than ever we need them to go out and pursue careers in journalism. What better way to nurture that interest and provide authentic connections than from industry professionals directly.”<br> <br> Journalists interested in sharing their passion for journalism and the First Amendment to students should <a href="https://www.spj.org/press4education-volunteer.asp">fill out this volunteer form</a>. Volunteers will then be matched with a teacher who has requested a journalist to visit their classroom. Educators who would like to request a journalist for their classroom should <a href="https://www.spj.org/press4education-educator.asp">fill out this form</a>. <br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <i>Founded in 1924, <a href="http://jea.org/">JEA</a> supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. </i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div><br> Thu, 8 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ enthusiastically endorses the Journalist Protection Act http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1544 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br> <br> Contacts:<br> Rebecca Baker, SPJ National President, 203-640-3904, <email address="rbaker@spj.org">rbaker@spj.org</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – The following statement regarding the <a href="https://swalwell.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/swalwell-introduces-journalist-protection-act">Journalist Protection Act</a> may be attributed to Society of Professional Journalists National President Rebecca Baker. <br> <br> “The <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> joins other journalism groups in supporting this legislation, which would make it a federal crime to attack or intimidate those reporting the news. <br> <br> “We thank Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) for introducing <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4366839-Journalism-Protection-Act.html">this legislation</a>, and we urge other lawmakers to support and vote for its passage. This legislation, if passed, will go a long way in protecting journalists who find themselves becoming targets because of the current climate. The rhetoric being spewed by some people in positions of power is dangerous to those covering the news — from small towns to large cities throughout our country and the world. It has to stop.” <br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div><br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i> Mon, 5 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Pulliam Fellowship supports IndyStar columnist’s worldwide investigation into child sex trafficking http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1543 Jan. 30, 2018<br> <br> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br> <br> Contacts: <br> Todd Gillman, Pulliam Editorial Fellowship Selection Chairman, (202) 661-8421, <br> <email address="tgillman@dallasnews.com">tgillman@dallasnews.com</a> <br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, (317) 361- 4134,<br> <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a> <br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – “More than 1 million children, according to the International Labour Organization, are exploited each year in the commercial sex trade,” Indianapolis Star columnist Tim Swarens writes in the first installment of a 10-part series called <a href="https://www.indystar.com/story/opinion/columnists/tim-swarens/2018/01/28/former-nfl-star-hunter-smith-records-song-usa-today-network-child-trafficking-project/962396001">“EXPLOITED,”</a> which begins today.<br> <br> Through the support of a $75,000 Pulliam Fellowship from the <a href="http://www.spj.org/sdx.asp">Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>, the educational foundation of the <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a>, Swarens spent more than a year investigating a lucrative business where children are abused with low risk to buyers or traffickers, despite tougher laws and heightened international awareness of the scourge. The series explores the cultural and economic forces that contribute to commercial and sexual exploitation.<br> <br> Reporting for the series involved Swarens traveling more than 92,000 miles to report on five continents about a business that treats children like a commodity. “More than 1 million children, according to the International Labour Organization, are exploited each year in the commercial sex trade,” Swarens writes in the first installment of the series.<br> <br> Swarens also brought in former Indianapolis Colt and University of Notre Dame punter Hunter Smith to write and record a song for the project. The Hunter Smith Band’s creation, “Take You Home,” is “a song that recognizes the depravity of child trafficking... But it’s also a song about hope. A song that speaks to the work many people around the world are doing to ensure that children aren’t forgotten in the dark places of exploitation,” Swarens writes. <br> <br> Columns and other content in the EXPLOITED project will include:<br> <br> •“Who buys a child for sex? Otherwise ordinary men,” posting at 6 a.m. EST today.<br> •“'The smile on our face is fake,’” posting at 6 a.m. EST Thursday.<br> •“The trafficking victim who needs training wheels,” posting at 6 a.m. EST Feb. 6.<br> •“Boys – the silent victims of sex trafficking,” posting at 6 a.m. EST Feb. 8.<br> •“'It lights up the brain like crack’: Why men buy sex,” posting at 6 a.m. EST Feb. 13.<br> •“These are the ‘choices’ that lead girls into sex work,” posting at 6 a.m. EST Feb. 15.<br> •“Where sex trafficking and toxic masculinity collide,” posting at 6 a.m. EST Feb. 20.<br> •“Animals don’t do to their offspring what we as humans do to our children,” posting at 6 a.m. EST Feb. 22.<br> •“In a Mumbai brothel, with a 5-year-old boy,” posting at 6 a.m. EST Feb. 27.<br> •“The police harassed me enough to save my life,” posting at 6 a.m. EST March 1.<br> <br> Content, once posted, can be found at <a href= https://www.indystar.com/series/theexploited/ >indystar.com/Exploited</a><br> <br> Swarens, opinion director/columnist at the IndyStar, is the 2016 recipient of Fellowship. The Fellowship awards $75,000 to an outstanding editorial writer or columnist to help broaden his or her journalistic horizons and knowledge of the world. The annual award can be used to cover the cost of study, research and/or travel in any field. The Fellowship results in editorials and other writings, including books. <br> <br> Google, Eli Lilly and Co., and Indiana Wesleyan University provided additional support for this project. <br> <br> The Society first offered the Fellowship in 1977, when Nina Pulliam provided funding for the program. It honors Mrs. Pulliam’s husband, one of the original members of the Society and publisher of The Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis News, The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix Gazette.<br> <br> <a href=https://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=1270>Farah Stockman</a>, former columnist and editorial writer for the Boston Globe, received the 2014 Fellowship and went on to earn a Pulitzer Prize for her series that explored race relations in her city and beyond. <a href= https://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=1537>Rochelle Riley</a>, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, is the 2017 recipient and is studying the effect of trauma and a toxic environment on children’s learning. <br> <br> <a href=https://www.spj.org/a-pulliamfellow.asp>Deadline for entrants</a> for the 2018 Pulliam Fellowship is June 21. <br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <i>The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation is a public foundation dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. The SDX Foundation supports educational and professional needs of journalists and journalism students. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">Give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>. </i><br> <br> <div align"=center">--END--</div><br> Tue, 30 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ, SEJ and Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust announce $10,000 environmental reporting award http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1542 Contacts:<br> Rebecca Baker, SPJ National President, 203-640-3904, <email address="rbaker@spj.org">rbaker@spj.org</a><br> Christine Coridal, SPJ Program Coordinator, 317-920-4788, <email address="ccordial@spj.org">ccordial@spj.org</a><br> Teri Walker, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, (317) 231-9207, <email address="twalker@nmpct.org">twalker@nmpct.org</a><br> Chris Bruggers, Society of Environmental Journalists, (202) 558-2022, <email address="cbruggs@sej.org">cbruggs@sej.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS --- The <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> is thrilled to partner with the <a href="http://www.ninapulliamtrust.org/">Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust</a> and the <a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=0015US6WudXobBX-t_VuK1EGiKb4GKRqyWA2NtEvmrAylP6rAQLTGP2KW8UvEZ7SLRsBEyzg7Ud_5itp8H3nM0fIeKGsFK6HCG_2GgbQh-7RNY_bobOvYNn8A5Y5pbp1aPsdabmWsYmDHA=&c=MFiJ2X04ziFkKRO4A4QR_UFH9mEaJAQsPb0gtJ-t7XuYNk5ajShKEA==&ch=EoA-ZrzpvNteM4gTJhpVY0sBdhXPusuR-P3XEhrV36hOXQpyfeX1pA==">Society of Environmental Journalists</a> in announcing the Nina Mason Pulliam Award for Outstanding Environmental Reporting, to be presented for the first time in 2018. The award includes a $10,000 cash prize.<br> <br> The award will recognize the “best of the best” of environmental reporting. The winning entry will be chosen from among the first-place winners of SEJ’s seven award categories, and will be recognized at SEJ’s 28th Annual Conference in Flint, Michigan, in October. In addition to the cash prize, the award includes up to $2,500 to cover registration, travel and hotel expenses for the winner, or representatives of the winning team, to attend the annual SEJ conference.<br> <br> “SPJ is thrilled to partner with the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and the Society of Environmental Journalists. Scientific journalism plays a crucial role in informing and educating citizens about the global effects of complex environmental issues,” SPJ National President Rebecca Baker said. “Sharing information about the importance of protecting the environment is a challenge in any field, and journalists’ ability to craft a compelling story focused on these vital social issues is deserving of this level of recognition. This award perfectly exemplifies the truth-seeking, fact-driven and public-serving principles that define quality journalism.” <br> <br> The award is named in honor of Nina Mason Pulliam, a journalist, businesswoman and philanthropist, who with her husband, Gene, established Central Newspapers, Inc., a national newspaper corporation, in 1934. Upon her death in 1997, the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust was established to support the causes most important to Pulliam: helping people in need, especially women, children and families; protecting animals and nature; and enriching community life, primarily in her home communities of Phoenix and Indianapolis.<br> <br> “Recognizing great environmental journalism is one of the strongest means of ensuring credible and robust reporting -- which is critical if we want communities to be informed and engaged on environmental issues,” SEJ Interim Co-Executive Director Chris Bruggers said.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <i>The <a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=0015US6WudXobBX-t_VuK1EGiKb4GKRqyWA2NtEvmrAylP6rAQLTGP2KW8UvEZ7SLRsBEyzg7Ud_5itp8H3nM0fIeKGsFK6HCG_2GgbQh-7RNY_bobOvYNn8A5Y5pbp1aPsdabmWsYmDHA=&c=MFiJ2X04ziFkKRO4A4QR_UFH9mEaJAQsPb0gtJ-t7XuYNk5ajShKEA==&ch=EoA-ZrzpvNteM4gTJhpVY0sBdhXPusuR-P3XEhrV36hOXQpyfeX1pA==">Society of Environmental Journalists</a> was founded in 1990 by a small group of award-winning journalists, including reporters, editors and producers working for The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, Turner Broadcasting, Minnesota Public Radio and National Geographic. Today, SEJ's membership includes more than 1,300 journalists and academics working in every type of news media in the United States, Canada, Mexico and 27 other countries. SEJ's reputation for excellence, service, and integrity has been built upon annual conferences hosted by distinguished universities, scores of regional events, unique publications, its awards program, training sessions and an extensive membership network. As a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization, SEJ provides educational opportunities and vital support to journalists of all media who face the challenging responsibility of covering complex environmental issues.</i><br> <br> <i>The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust seeks to help people in need, especially women, children and families; to protect animals and nature; and to enrich community life primarily in metropolitan Phoenix and Indianapolis. The Trust has awarded more than $>292 million in grants and student scholarships since its inception in 1997. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.ninapulliamtrust.org/"> www.ninapulliamtrust.org</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Fri, 26 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Cast of 'West Wing' reunites for benefit reading of 'All the President’s Men,' with donations going to SPJ http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1541 Contacts:<br> Rebecca Baker, SPJ National President, 203-640-3904, <email address="rbaker@spj.org">rbaker@spj.org</a> <br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS --- National President Rebecca Baker will represent the <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> at a special, one-night-only reading of "All The President’s Men," at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, Jan. 27. <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">Donations made at and leading up to the event will benefit SPJ.</a><br> <br> <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0925966/">Bradley Whitford</a> (“The Post,” “Get Out,” “The West Wing”), <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0539651/">Joshua Malina</a> (“Scandal,” “The West Wing”), <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0771493/">Richard Schiff</a> (“The Good Doctor,” “The West Wing"),<br> <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000893/ ">Ed Begley, Jr.</a> (“Future Man,” “St. Elsewhere,” “The West Wing”) and <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0675114/">Jeff Perry</a> ("Scandal," "My So-Called Life") will head the cast of a special, one-night-only reading of <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001279/">William Goldman</a>’s screenplay for <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074119/">“All The President’s Men,”</a> presented by the award-winning <a href="http://www.fountaintheatre.com/">Fountain Theatre</a> in partnership with the City of Los Angeles and with exclusive permission from Warner Bros Entertainment and Simon & Schuster. <br> <br> The free event will be hosted by Los Angeles City Councilmember <a href="http://cd13.lacity.org/">Mitch O’Farrell</a> and will be at 7:30 p.m. PST Jan. 27 in the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/20/us/john-ferraro-76-president-of-los-angeles-city-council.html">John Ferraro</a> Council Chamber of Los Angeles City Hall. A catered reception will follow in the City Hall Rotunda.<br> <br> “We’re grateful to Councilman O’Farrell, the event’s organizers and the actors for recognizing the importance of a free press and hosting this fun, creative and important event to support it,” Baker said. <br> <br> “SPJ relies heavily on people willing to fight for the First Amendment through donations or by joining the Society as members. Their support makes it possible for SPJ to continue helping journalists who are wrongfully arrested, training journalists of all ages and educating the public about solid, ethical journalism through the SPJ Code of Ethics,” she said.<br> <br> Based on the book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the 1976 film tells the story of their Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of the Watergate scandal, which brought down the presidency of Richard M. Nixon.<br> <br> "This high-profile reading will be a statement asserting the First Amendment, advocating freedom of the press and honoring the tenacity of American journalism in a free society," said Fountain Theatre co-artistic director Stephen Sachs, who will direct the reading. "As the current administration is under investigation, the echo of Watergate rings loud and clear. Reporters from The New York Times and [The] Washington Post have been heroes, warriors for our democracy, as they were forty-five years ago."<br> <br> "All the President's Men is a reminder of the parallels between Richard Nixon and the corruption that brought his presidency to an end and the current state of corruption overshadowing the Donald Trump administration. I want to thank the Fountain Theatre for producing this live reading, which underscores the importance of art in its many forms that can illuminate the conditions that affect us as a nation and as a society," O’Farrell added.<br> <br> The Fountain Theatre is one of the most successful intimate theaters in Los Angeles, providing a creative home for multi-ethnic theater and dance artists. The Fountain has won over 225 awards, and Fountain projects have been seen across the U.S. and internationally. <br> <br> Admission for the event is free; however, seating is extremely limited. Please go to <a href="https://www.fountainfreepress.com/">www.FountainFreePress.com</a> or <email address="emailfreepress@fountaintheatre.com"><br> emailfreepress@fountaintheatre.com</a> to inquire about reservations. Due to high security at the venue, no walk-ups will be permitted.<br> <br> Those who cannot attend but would like to donate <a href="https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/store/34420/alldonations/28151">may do so here</a>.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ: LA Weekly ownership should reveal identity http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1540 Contacts:<br> Rebecca Baker, SPJ National President, 203-640-3904, <email address="rbaker@spj.org">rbaker@spj.org</a> <br> Andrew Seaman, SPJ Ethics Committee Chair, 570-483-8555, <email address="as@andrewmseaman.com">as@andrewmseaman.com</a><br> Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="agutierrez@spj.org">agutierrez@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – It is an absolute outrage that the public doesn’t know who owns LA Weekly. No media outlet should hide who its owners are, especially one of such prominence in America’s second-largest city.<br> <br> The <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> is committed to supporting a high level of excellence and responsibility among news organizations. Those traits must emanate from the organization’s ownership and begins with disclosure of their identities.<br> <br> The Los Angeles Times <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-la-weekly-semanal-20171018-story.html">reported in October</a> that LA Weekly, an alternative paper in the city, was being sold to Semanal LLC, a company that was created for the purchase. None of Semanal’s backers were revealed at that time. David Welch, an attorney, was eventually reported as an investor. Brian Calle, a former opinion writer, also <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-la-weekly-brian-calle-20171109-story.html">said in the press that he’d manage the paper’s operations</a>.<br> <br> The sale of the paper closed Wednesday and <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-la-weekly-20171129-story.html">nine of the 13 editorial staff members lost their jobs</a>, according to The Los Angeles Times.<br> <br> SPJ is calling on the new owners of LA Weekly to disclose their identities and be transparent with their readers. The <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-la-weekly-20171129-story.html">community and the nine people they fired deserve to know</a> that information.<br> <br> “In an era of rampant misinformation and distrust, it’s especially important that we do not allow the owners and backers of news organizations to remain a mystery,” said Andrew Seaman, SPJ’s ethics committee chairperson. “We cannot allow this to become the norm.”<br> <br> SPJ’s delegates made a commitment to speak out in similar situations when a company backed by Sheldon Adelson and his family purchased The Las Vegas Review-Journal in late-2015 under the cover of darkness. <br> <br> As SPJ made clear <a href=“https://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=1401”>during the purchase of The Las Vegas Review-Journal</a>, people have considerable justification to question the quality and value of the information provided by an organization overseen by a shadowy company of anonymous financial backers.<br> <br> “There is no excuse for the owners of the LA Weekly to hide their identities, and they should be revealed immediately,” SPJ President Rebecca Baker said. “As SPJ has said before, to not reveal yourselves is to treat your readers with less dignity than humans deserve and with less respect than democracy should demand. It is appalling and offensive.”<br> <br> The new owners of LA Weekly – and all news organizations – should be transparent about their identities. SPJ demands it. The public demands it. Democracy demands it.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i> <br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div><br> Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Society of Professional Journalists promotes ethical journalism with #GivingNewsDay http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1539 Contact: <br> Rebecca Baker, SPJ President, (203) 640-3904 (EST), <email address="rebecca.baker.ny@gmail.com">rebecca.baker.ny@gmail.com</a> <br> Robert Leger, SDX Foundation President, 480-559-3656 (MST), <email address="rleger@spj.org">rleger@spj.org</a> <br> Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785 (EST), <email address="agutierrez@spj.org">agutierrez@spj.org</a> <br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – The <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> has joined <a href="https://www.givingtuesday.org/">#GivingTuesday</a>, a global day of giving that encourages philanthropy and celebrates generosity worldwide. <br> <br> Occurring this year on Nov. 28, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday season and inspire people to give back to the charities and causes they support. <br> <br> SPJ will celebrate this day as #GivingNewsDay to promote its mission to protect the First Amendment, foster excellence in journalism, encourage diversity and ethical behavior in the profession, inspire future generations of journalists and promote the free flow of information as a cornerstone of democracy. <br> <br> “SPJ is taking a leading role in creating a more informed citizenry by advocating for ethical journalism, media literacy and freedom of the press,” said Rebecca Baker, SPJ national president. “#GivingNewsDay is about raising awareness for how SPJ and its members are fighting against attacks on journalism – whether it be a school trying to censor its student journalists, or reporters being arrested for doing their work – SPJ has a number of resources and experts who can help protect journalists and the information they gather and report.” <br> <br> On #GivingNewsDay, SPJ will raise funds and awareness for the Society’s efforts to improve and protect journalism through the <a href="https://www.spj.org/firstamendmentforever.asp">First Amendment Forever Fund</a>, the <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">Legal Defense Fund</a>, and the <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate-sdx.asp">Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>. <br> <br> The SDX Foundation provides education and training to journalists across the United States to promote ethical journalism, press rights and the free flow of information. <br> <br> SPJ provides financial aid for journalists facing court battles to defend their First Amendment rights. The Legal Defense Fund gives thousands of dollars each year to dozens of journalists and their attorneys for defending press freedoms in court. <br> <br> The first of its kind, the First Amendment Forever Fund is a permanent endowment created to provide sustainable resources for protecting the freedom of speech and press through litigation and advocacy. <br> <br> “The #GivingNewsDay campaign makes it easy to promote the missions of SPJ and the SDX Foundation to improve and protect journalism,” said Robert Leger, SDX Foundation president. “This is a challenging time for journalism, and the more support we have the more support we can give the profession. I urge everyone who values press freedom and open government to donate whatever they can to help us continue the fight.” <br> <br> Since 2000, the SDX Foundation has granted more than $5.95 million to improve and protect journalism. <br> <br> Members and supporters are encouraged to share stories on social media about how SPJ has helped them become journalists and better-informed citizens using the hashtags #GivingNewsDay and #ProtectPressFreedom. Join SPJ’s #GivingNewsDay initiative by visiting spj.org/donate.asp. <br> <br> <div align"=center">###</div><br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i> <br> <br> <i>The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation is a public foundation dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. The SDX Foundation supports educational and professional needs of journalists and journalism students. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">Give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>. </i> <br> <br> <i>#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. This year, #GivingTuesday falls on Nov. 28. #GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. It inspires people to take collective action to improve their communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they believe in, and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday demonstrates how every act of generosity counts, and that they mean even more when we give together. </i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ highlights restrictions on journalists through public information officers, others via website http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1538 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br> <br> Contact:<br> Rebecca Baker, SPJ National President, (203) 640-3904, <email="rebecca.baker.ny@gmail.com">rebecca.baker.ny@gmail.com</a><br> Kathryn Foxhall, SPJ FOI Committee Member, (301) 779-8239, <email="kfoxhall@verizon.net">kfoxhall@verizon.net</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – In its ongoing push for government transparency, the <a href= "https://www.spj.org/index.asp"> Society of Professional Journalists </a> has launched a section on its <a href= "https://www.spj.org/pios.asp"> website </a> containing information highlighting the issue of local, state and national government agencies preventing critical information from being shared with journalists and the public. <br> <br> The page includes an interactive timeline, surveys, letters to the White House and published articles that explain the importance of journalists having access to public officials and experts. <br> <br> “For years, SPJ has led this fight against people in power forcing reporters to notify the authorities — often public information officers — before doing the most basic newsgathering. Now, SPJ presents a rich collection of background and history on these mandated clearance restrictions, one of the most important free speech issues of our time,” said Kathryn Foxhall, SPJ Freedom of Information Committee member. <br> <br> At its annual conference in September, SPJ delegates voted to call on journalists, journalism groups, publishers, editors, journalism schools and freedom of information groups to continue pressing for the elimination of restrictions on access to public officials and experts. The public’s need to know demands it, SPJ members say.<br> <br> “Over the last 25 years or so there has been a relatively rapid trend toward prohibiting staff members from communicating to journalists without reporting to some authority, often public information officers,” Foxhall said. “The restrictions have become, in great part, a cultural norm in the United States. They also have become an effective form of censorship by which powerful entities keeps the public ignorant about what impacts them.”<br> <br> The Society’s national convention delegates voted to approve <a href="https://www.spj.org/res2017.asp#2">Resolution No. 2: Calling on Journalists to Oppose the Mandated Clearance Culture</a> last month.<br> <br> “SPJ has made fighting these restrictions a priority, in part because many public officials and journalists are silent about them, making the rules particularly potent,” said SPJ National President Rebecca Baker. “Censorship by Public Information Officer works in tandem with other assaults on free speech including restrictions on public records, threats and physical assault on reporters, prosecution of whistleblowers and threats of prosecution against reporters.” <br> <br> Leading dozens of journalism and free press groups, SPJ sent letters to President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama demanding attention to this issue. In addition, <a href="https://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1402"> SPJ led a delegation of 53 groups</a> in a meeting with the President Obama’s press secretary at the White House in December 2015. The delegation of journalists — from SPJ, the Society of Environmental Journalists and the American Society of News Editors — was promised a response to their concerns but never received one. <br> <br> The resolution says journalists should resist official efforts to make reporters nothing more than stenographers and openly oppose restrictions on access.<br> <br> SPJ has more than anecdotes about the trend; seven surveys of journalists and public information officers, sponsored by SPJ and done by Carolyn Carlson of Kennesaw State University, have shown how pervasive these controls have become, including:<br> <br> – Three-quarters of reporters who cover federal agencies said they must get approval from public affairs officers before interviewing an agency employee. <br> <br> – Seven of 10 journalists said they considered the government controls over who they interview a form of censorship.<br> <br> – Forty percent of public information officers in public agencies at various governmental levels said there are specific reporters they block from talking to staff because of “problems” with their past stories.<br> <br> – Over half of political and general assignment reporters at the state and local levels said interviews must be approved at least most of the time. A majority of those reporters said officials monitor interviews at least some of the time. A majority also said agencies or PIOs have prohibited them from interviewing employees, at least some of the time.<br> <br> – Almost a third of education reporters said they had been prohibited by the PIO from interviewing school, department or institution employees.<br> <br> “These restrictions have become an illustration of the inevitable corrosiveness of censorship. Millions of people are silenced about how their workplace affects people. Managers use the control mechanism to keep everything from the public except the story they want people to hear,” Baker said. “SPJ and other organizations will keep fighting for more government transparency because we feel the fight is crucial for a safer, more informed society that holds government offices and officials accountable.”<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href=" http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href= "https://www.spj.org/donate.asp"</a>give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div><br> Mon, 30 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Rochelle Riley of the Detroit Free Press receives $75,000 Pulliam Fellowship in Editorial Writing http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1537 Contacts:<br> Todd Gillman, Pulliam Editorial Fellowship Selection Chairman, (202) 661-8421, <email address="tgillman@dallasnews.com">tgillman@dallasnews.com</a><br> Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, <email address="agutierrez@spj.org">agutierrez@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS --- Rochelle Riley, a columnist for the <a href="http://www.freep.com/">Detroit Free Press</a>, has been chosen for the 2017 Pulliam Editorial Fellowship. Riley plans to spend the next year studying the effect of trauma and a toxic environment on children’s learning.<br> <br> The judges were impressed by Riley's long-standing commitment to putting a spotlight on problems afflicting the community she serves, and the <a href="http://www.freep.com/search/rochelle%20riley/">powerful voice</a> she has brought to the daunting task. <br> <br> Robert Huschka, former Detroit Free Press executive editor, said Riley is a strong advocate for the state’s children, a crusader for equality and a community leader. <br> <br> She spent the last year, with the Detroit Free Press, on a <a href="https://www.solutionsjournalism.org/">Solutions Journalism</a> project that found nearly 14 children per day are victims of crime in Detroit; the average age of the victim is 13; and the most common crime is assault. Riley and her newspaper worked for more than a year trying to understand the children’s experiences.<br> <br> “She is fearlessness and persistence as she fights to ensure Detroit’s renaissance sticks and its children benefit. She dares anyone to get in the way of ‘the new Detroit’ and the future this city deserves,” Huschka said.<br> <br> Riley said the Free Press has been writing about the problems and programs to help the symptoms of “toxic stress,” but said in her cover letter she wants to dig deeper and look at how that trauma and a toxic environment affect how children learn and what we should do about it.<br> <br> “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what that might feel like and what that means for children in urban schools, whose underachievement is reported every year without enough context or care,” Riley said. “I want to change that.”<br> <br> “Riley’s passion for exploring the connections between experiencing trauma, living in a toxic environment and a child’s ability to learn stood out among all the entrants," said Jay Evensen, member of the judging panel and senior editorial columnist at Deseret News. "This is a vital concern that tears at the fabric of communities and families, and she has what it takes to move the needle. While her work will center on Detroit and Wayne County, I have no doubt she will uncover valuable information that will be applicable nationwide.”<br> <br> She plans to work with <a href="https://wmich.edu/traumacenter">Western Michigan’s Children’s Trauma Center</a> and a dedicated resource agency to study a classroom at a single school in one of Detroit’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods. She also plans to document what happens when traumatized children try and fail to learn, and then document what happens when they get the help they need to overcome ‘the trauma obstacle.’<br> <br> “Children are not problems to be solved; the challenges in their environment are,” Riley wrote in her letter. “If we don’t take it seriously, then we risk losing our next generation of leaders, taxpayers, teachers and responsible parents. But solving their circumstances requires not only innovation, but a willingness to expand our horizons to create or find solutions.”<br> <br> Todd Gillman, chairman of the judging panel and Washington bureau chief of The Dallas Morning News, said Riley's body of work is impressive.<br> <br> “Her skills and passion are superior. Her instinct for finding the right stories to tell in order to grab the attention of the public and policymakers is apparent,” Gillman said. “She cares about children, and we're glad to provide the time and resources to allow a deep dive, and to spur results.” <br> <br> Tim Swarens and Sonya Ross were also members of the judging panel. Swarens <a href="https://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=1463">received the award</a> last year. <br> <br> The award will be presented to Riley by Robert Leger, SDX Foundation National President, on Oct. 23 in the Detroit Free Press newsroom.<br> <br> The $75,000 fellowship is awarded annually by the <a href="http://www.spj.org/sdx.asp">Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>. Learn more about the award and see a list of previous winners <a href="http://www.spj.org/a-pulliamfellow.asp">here</a>.<br> <br> <i>The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation is a public foundation dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. The SDX Foundation supports educational and professional needs of journalists and journalism students. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">Give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>. </i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div><br> Mon, 18 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Resolutions passed at Excellence in Journalism 2017 http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1536 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br> <br> Sept. 15, 2017<br> <br> Contact:<br> Rebecca Baker, SPJ National President, 203-640-3904, <email address="rebecca.baker.ny@gmail.com">rebecca.baker.ny@gmail.com</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> ANAHEIM, Calif. – Each year, <a href=" https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> delegates vote on <a href="https://www.spj.org/res2017.asp">resolutions</a> submitted by members on topics of importance to the society. These resolutions are voted on by delegates during the closing business session at the <a href=" http://excellenceinjournalism.org">Excellence in Journalism</a> annual conference. <br> <br> Here are the resolutions that were approved during EIJ17 in Anaheim, Calif.: <br> <br> <B>Resolution No. 1<br> The Trump Administration and the Press<br> Submitted by Resolutions Committee <br> Delegate Action: Approved</B><br> <br> WHEREAS the role of the news media in a democratic society requires journalists to question authority and hold the powerful accountable to the people;<br> <br> WHEREAS journalists and media organizations routinely reported on actions of previous presidents, including Barack Obama and George W. Bush, that put them in unflattering lights and drew criticism of their administrations from editorial writers and opinion columnists;<br> <br> WHEREAS President Donald J. Trump has described the news media as an <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/26/world/europe/trump-enemy-of-the-people-stalin.html?mcubz=1&_r=1">“enemy of the people”</a> and has said journalists <a href= "https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/08/23/trump_some_reporters_dont_like_our_country_dont_want_to_make_america_great_again.html">“don’t like their country”</a>;<br> <br> WHEREAS the president and members of his administration persistently characterize members of the media as dishonest and crooked;<br> <br> WHEREAS as recently as September 3, 2017, the president’s Environmental Protection Agency personally <a href=” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/epa-slams-reporter-over-story-on-flooded-toxic-waste-sites-in-houston”>attacked</a> the credibility of reporters for the Associated Press;<br> <br> WHEREAS the president and several of his advisers use pejorative descriptions of journalists and news media to undermine the legitimacy of the press and its role in civil, democratic society;<br> <br> WHEREAS demagogues throughout modern history have worked first to destroy the credibility of news media to enhance their power and execute their agendas;<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists in convention in Anaheim, California on September 9, 2017, condemns in the harshest possible terms the corrosive actions and words of the Trump administration toward the news media and journalists;<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society asks members of Congress and other public officials to remind the administration of the vital role the First Amendment and the press play in our system of government;<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society encourages journalists not to rise to the social media bait distributed by President Trump and others who choose to mislead the public about the news media and to refrain from responding in kind. <br> <br> <B>Resolution No. 2<br> Calling on Journalists to <br> Oppose the Mandated Clearance Culture<br> Submitted by: FOI Committeemember Kathryn Foxhall<br> Delegate action: Approved</B><br> <br> WHEREAS the Society of Professional Journalists has <a href=" https://www.spj.org/pios.asp">decried</a> the harmful cultural norm of prohibiting public employees and private experts from communicating with reporters;<br> <br> WHEREAS SPJ recognizes that public information officers play an important role and often provide critical assistance to journalists;<br> WHEREAS the Society recognizes the legitimate need for organizations to withhold certain information for legal or proprietary reasons;<br> WHEREAS, nevertheless, SPJ has clearly stated in <a href="https://www.spj.org/pios.asp">previous resolutions</a> its concerns regarding the harm done by restrictions on access, including mandates that reporters always go through PIOs;<br> <br> WHEREAS SPJ has demonstrated its leadership on this form of censorship in letters to President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump signed by scores of journalism organizations and other groups, by meeting with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest in 2015 and in a letter to the New York Times in 2016;<br> <br> WHEREAS former SPJ president and Kennesaw State University professor Carolyn Carlson has conducted, with SPJ’s sponsorship, seven surveys over five years that show “Censorship by PIO” has become pervasive;<br> <br> WHEREAS these surveys reveal both a lack of concern about the consequences of enforced silence and a chilling assumption by officials that this is appropriate; <br> <br> WHEREAS these controls on public access threaten the free flow of information essential to a democratic society;<br> <br> WHEREAS these restrictions on access pose a grave risk to the public welfare;<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in Anaheim, California, on September 9, 2017, calls on journalists to put the public’s need to know above the professional desire not to anger official sources.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that journalists should resist official efforts to make reporters nothing more than stenographers and openly oppose restrictions on access.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SPJ calls on all journalists, journalism groups, publishers, editors, journalism schools and freedom of information groups to start and continue discussions on eliminating these restrictions and to explain to the public the hazards to society posed by these restrictions.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 3<br> In praise of New Voices<br> Submitted by: Resolutions Committee<br> Delegate action: Approved</B><br> <br> WHEREAS the Student Press Law Center has since 2015 created volunteer coalitions across the United States called New Voices to expand the free press guarantees of the First Amendment to student journalists and the student press at the high school and college level;<br> <br> WHEREAS, as SPLC noted in its grant report to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, “the need for New Voices has grown more urgent after the heated anti-media rhetoric of the last national political campaign;<br> <br> WHEREAS the New Voices effort yielded resounding success in 2017, resulting in freedom of the student press being guaranteed by law in Nevada, Vermont and Rhode Island;<br> WHEREAS North Dakota expanded the protections of its 2015 free student press law by enacting another law adding protection for student media advisers from retaliation;<br> <br> WHEREAS the 2017 legislative action in these states followed similar laws in Illinois and Maryland and brought to 13 the number of states with statutes or education codes that protect student journalists’ right of free expression;<br> <br> WHEREAS the American Bar Association House of Delegates unanimously endorsed support for the movement for prohibiting the censorship of student journalism;<br> <br> WHEREAS these victories could not have been accomplished without the organizing and legal expertise of the Student Press Law Center and its grassroots volunteers;<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in Anaheim, California on September 9, 2017, commends the work of the SPLC and its former executive director Frank LoMonte for their untiring efforts to undo the ill effects of the 1988 Hazelwood decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society endorses the continued efforts of the SPLC and its new executive director, Hadar Harris, to take the fight for student free expression to all 50 states.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 4<br> Commending journalists covering hurricanes Harvey and Irma<br> Submitted by: Resolutions committee<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS Hurricane Harvey has been a record-setting storm that caused catastrophic damage to the fourth-largest city in the United States;<br> <br> WHEREAS Hurricane Irma promises to be another devastating storm to U.S. territories and states;<br> <br> WHEREAS journalists based in Houston and Miami and from other outlets around the country leapt into action to cover the story; <br> <br> WHEREAS the men and women of print, broadcast and online outlets stayed on the job in the face of some danger, as <a href= "https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/08/27/as-a-houston-tv-station-flooded-this-reporter-kept-broadcasting/?utm_term=.126dcd1e00fe:">even their own offices, studios</a> <a href=" https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/27/us/hurricane-harvey-houston-a-reporter-disaster.html?mcubz=0">and homes flooded</a>; <br> <br> WHEREAS much work remains to be done, reporting on the aftermath of the storms and how affected cities and states will recover over the course of the coming days, weeks and years;<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in Anaheim, California, on September 9, 2017, commends the extraordinary journalists covering the impact of these dangerous storms for their fortitude, integrity and bravery in the performance of their duties.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 5<br> Recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act<br> Submitted by Alex Veeneman, Ethics Committee member, blogger<br> Delegate Action: Approved</B><br> <br> WHEREAS The Public Broadcasting Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on November 21, 1967; <br> <br> WHEREAS Johnson <a href=" http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=28532">said that the Act</a> would help enrich the spirit of the United States;<br> WHEREAS The Act created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; <br> <br> WHEREAS the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has been crucial in the development of public media; <br> <br> WHEREAS federal funding for CPB is<a href=" https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/arts/design/donald-trump-arts-humanities-public-television.html"> less than one-tenth of one percent</a> of the United States’ federal budget, <a href=" http://www.cpb.org/pressroom/statement-patricia-de-stacy-harrison-president-and-ceo-corporation-public-broadcasting-0">or $1.35 per citizen</a>;<br> <br> WHEREAS the people of public media, from member stations to organizations including PBS, NPR, Public Radio International, American Public Media and the Public Radio Exchange have made a positive contribution to the cultural and civic life of the United States; <br> <br> WHEREAS public media has had a significant impact on the educational goals and prospects of American children;<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in Anaheim, California, on September 9, 2017, hereby recognizes the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Public Broadcasting Act.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society recognizes the dedication of all those who work in public media, including SPJ members employed by public media, and the valuable contributions public media have made to American life.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society believes continued federal funding for public broadcasting is necessary to the enhancement of the democratic and cultural well-being of the United States.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 6:<br> Thanking SPJ Associate Executive Director Chris Vachon<br> Submitted by: SPJ Resolutions Committee<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS during the past 14 years, Associate Executive Director Chris Vachon has offered <br> SPJ members and staff consistent encouragement, cooperation and reminders to “make good choices”;<br> <br> WHEREAS Vachon has produced countless conventions that went off without a hitch (OK, so maybe one or two hitches but not many); <br> <br> WHEREAS the SPJ community can always count on Vachon to provide the best dance moves at the EIJ dance every year;<br> <br> WHEREAS she has helped build fantastic partnerships with other journalism organizations, such as the Google News Lab training that has been shared with journalists around the country;<br> <br> WHEREAS Vachon has successfully organized and recruited trainers for Google tools programs, perhaps without a total understanding of what data viz even is; <br> <br> WHEREAS Vachon has been a calming, mother hen presence at headquarters while still kicking butt;<br> <br> WHEREAS Vachon has been the primary force behind the smashingly successful SPJ Day of Giving program, which raised oodles and oodles of dollars;<br> <br> WHEREAS Vachon frequently watches her son’s college basketball games on whatever mobile device will pick up a signal; <br> <br> WHEREAS Vachon has been a dedicated Society of Professional Journalists employee, always helpful to members and the board and she will be greatly missed;<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates of the Society of Professional Journalists meeting in convention at Anaheim, California, on September 9, 2017, thank Chris Vachon for her dedicated service to the Society during her term as associate executive director of the nation's oldest and most broad-based journalism organization.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the journalists in attendance at EIJ17 stand to give Chris a rousing round of applause and a hearty hear, hear for a job well done.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 7:<br> Thanking SPJ Executive Director Joe Skeel<br> Submitted by: SPJ Resolutions Committee<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS Executive Director Joe Skeel’s leadership since 2009 has led the Society to become more strategic and focused in its mission;<br> <br> WHEREAS Executive Director Skeel has helped SPJ remain financially sound in a time when money for journalists and news organizations has been in flux;<br> <br> WHEREAS Skeel has accomplished financial solvency by pursuing innovative ideas that have paid off; <br> <br> WHEREAS Skeel has been a rock that the Society’s presidents, boards, members and staff can really lean on; <br> <br> WHEREAS Skeel can provide thorough explanations to all board questions, whether they are about Robert's Rules of Order or the technical options about how the board has to proceed; <br> <br> WHEREAS Skeel has shown exceptional vision; <br> <br> WHEREAS Skeel has built a tremendous team at the Society’s headquarters; <br> <br> WHEREAS he has shown the foresight to then stay out the team’s way; <br> <br> WHEREAS Joe’s wife Becky has shown great patience with his never-ending project to finish their second story;<br> <br> WHEREAS Joe has continued the tradition of the late Terry Harper as an unofficial ambassador for Maker’s Mark -- there might even (wink, wink) be a bottle in his office; <br> <br> WHEREAS he has led the Society and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation to create a healthy financial reserve that will benefit the organizations for years to come; <br> <br> WHEREAS he has performed wonderfully (and sweat-ily) in a gorilla suit for the sake of Day of Giving; <br> <br> WHEREAS Joe’s professional conduct while representing SPJ and American journalists in North Korea in 2007, did not cause an international incident and likely prevented an SPJ officer from almost certain incarceration;<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates of the Society of Professional Journalists meeting in convention September 9, 2017, in Anaheim, California, thank Joe Skeel for his dedicated service to the Society while acting as executive director of the nation's oldest and most broad-based journalism organization.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the journalists in attendance stand to give Joe a rousing round of applause and a hearty cheer for an excellent near-decade as SPJ’s executive director.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No.8:<br> Thanking SPJ staff<br> Submitted by: SPJ Resolutions Committee<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS the headquarters staff of the Society of Professional Journalists makes it possible for SPJ to provide strong professional development programs, defend the public’s right to know through First Amendment advocacy, and guide journalists to act ethically; <br> <br> WHEREAS the staff created a superlative national journalism conference in collaboration with the Radio Television Digital News Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Native American Journalists Association while dealing with the impending loss of their managers and colleagues, Executive Director Joe Skeel and Associate Executive Director Chris Vachon; <br> <br> WHEREAS the inspiring display of “talent, truth and energy” of Excellence in Journalism 2017 would not be possible without the SPJ staff’s deep knowledge, tireless energy, two-way radios, running shoes and Twitter #hashtags;<br> <br> WHEREAS the SPJ staff continues to expand the technical capabilities of SPJ in exciting new ways; <br> <br> WHEREAS the SPJ staff’s high level of professionalism, skill, ingenuity, nimbleness, and ability to keep the EIJ17 events running smoothly on very little sleep.<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in Anaheim, California, on September 9, 2017, thanks the SPJ staff for all its work and urges them to move quickly to prepare for EIJ18 in Baltimore, Maryland.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that journalists in attendance at EIJ17 give the SPJ staff a rousing round of applause and loud “thank you.”<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 9: <br> Thanking SPJ President Lynn Walsh<br> Submitted by: SPJ Resolutions Committee<br> <br> Delegate action: Approved</B><br> <br> WHEREAS during the past year, President Lynn Walsh represented the Society of Professional Journalists with professionalism, passion and outstanding poise;’<br> <br> WHEREAS President Walsh joins the ranks of legendary broadcast journalists who have led the Society in its mission to protect and preserve the First Amendment;<br> <br> WHEREAS President Walsh has endured many transcontinental airline flights in service to the Society;<br> <br> WHEREAS President Walsh has acted as a leader who cherishes inclusiveness and acts on that value;<br> <br> WHEREAS President Walsh has worked diligently and energetically with the Governance Task Force to bring about historic change in the way the Society governs itself;<br> <br> WHEREAS her commitment to openness and collaboration made the internal workings of the SPJ Board more transparent; <br> <br> WHEREAS her public advocacy has fostered greater recognition of SPJ’s role in safeguarding a free press and transparency in the government’s relationship with citizens; <br> <br> WHEREAS President Walsh, who lives on Pacific Time, has nevertheless reacted to calls for help and advice no matter the hour;<br> <br> WHEREAS under her leadership, EIJ17 has once again proven the value of cooperation among journalism organizations such as RTDNA, NAHJ and NAJA; <br> <br> WHEREAS President Walsh has set a high bar for future national presidents through her inclusive and considerate management style;<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates of the Society of Professional Journalists meeting in convention September 9, 2017, thank Lynn Walsh for her dedicated service to the Society during her term as president of the nation's oldest and most broad-based organization of journalists.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="https://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href=" https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div><br> <br> Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Bruce W. Sanford receives Wells Memorial Key, SPJ's highest honor http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1534 Contacts:<br> Christine Cordial, SPJ Program Coordinator, 317-920-4788, <email address="ccordial@spj.org">ccordial@spj.org</a><br> Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="agutierrez@spj.org">agutierrez@spj.org</a> <br> <br> ANAHEIM, Calif. — Bruce W. Sanford has been awarded the <a href= “http://www.spj.org/a-wellsmem.asp”> Wells Memorial Key</a>. Sanford received this award, the highest honor for a member of SPJ, at the President’s Installation Banquet tonight during the <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism</a> Conference in Anaheim, California.<br> <br> Awarding Sanford with the highest honor is an honor that is far overdue, said David Carlson, SPJ President 2005-06 and 2013 Wells Key recipient.<br> <br> “We needed him a lot more than he needed us, that’s for sure,” Carlson said.<br> <br> Sanford has been SPJ’s attorney since November of 1980. Before attending law school, Sanford was a reporter at the Wall Street Journal. Now, he’s one of America’s leading media lawyers at BakerHostetler (B&H), a name every SPJ leader knows well.<br> <br> Sanford stayed with SPJ for 37 years and worked to keep the Society’s interests at heart, despite our ability to pay the firm’s hourly rate. He has represented SPJ through First Amendment, FOI, employment contracts, tax law, real estate and much more. <br> <br> “He has brought us much prestige, and seats at many important tables,” Carlson said. “He has provided invaluable legal advice at key moments in the Society’s history, including a libel suit over our ethics book and both of the largest bequests ever made by the Legal Defense Fund, Vanessa Leggett and Josh Wolfe.”<br> <br> Sanford only received two raises in his time at SPJ – each at least 17 years apart – while B&H was providing over $100,000 per year of pro bono work for the Society. <br> <br> “There were times when things got tight that we were forced to scrimp on his fees. I don’t believe he ever scaled back in his advocacy on our behalf,” said Kelly Hawes, SPJ President 1995-96.<br> <br> Jim Plante, SPJ President 1987-88, said he valued his counsel as president and throughout his years on the board.<br> <br> “I know he spent many hours working for us when he could have been billing much more lucrative hours for clients with much deeper pockets,” Plante said. <br> <br> Sanford attended every convention and many committee meetings for many years. He always remained involved with SPJ, even as our work was passed along to more junior lawyers at B&H. <br> <br> Named after Sigma Delta Chi’s second national president, Chester C. Wells, the Wells Memorial Key was first awarded 99 years ago. Each year, it is given to a member who has performed outstanding service to the Society in the preceding year or through a period of years.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Sun, 10 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Rebecca Baker installed as 2017-2018 SPJ President http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1535 Contacts: <br> Rebecca Baker, SPJ National President, (203) 640-3904, <email address="rebecca.baker.ny@gmail.com">rebecca.baker.ny@gmail.com</a><br> Anna Gutierrez, Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="agutierrez@spj.org">agutierrez@spj.org</a><br> <br> ANAHEIM, Calif. – Rebecca Baker became the 101st president of the <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> during the President’s Installation Banquet at the 2017 Excellence in Journalism conference in Anaheim, California. She is the first SPJ national president from New York City in 35 years. <br> <br> Baker is the deputy head of news at the New York Daily News in New York City. Previously, she was the deputy editor-in-chief of the New York Law Journal, the largest daily legal newspaper in the country.<br> <br> “SPJ is in a unique place to help build the public’s trust in journalists,” Baker said. <br> <br> Baker challenged each member of SPJ to hold a discussion with the public about journalism. Outreach has never been more important, she said. <br> <br> “Our goal is to send SPJ members into at least 100 schools by this time next year,” Baker said, while announcing a Press for Education campaign. “If we can reach kids, we can reach the future consumers of our news.”<br> <br> She takes the reigns from Lynn Walsh, investigative executive producer at NBC 7 San Diego, who served as SPJ president for the past year. <br> <br> “It’s talking to non-journalists that’s been a favorite of mine throughout the year. We need to engage the public and talk to them,” Walsh said. “The threat against the First Amendment is very real. We need to continue to act and let the public know what these freedoms mean and what it would be like without them.”<br> <br> Baker joined SPJ in 2000 and currently serves on SPJ’s finance committee, membership task force and the SDX Foundation Board of Directions, which supports the educational mission of SPJ. She previously served as president-elect. In addition, Baker was named outstanding member of 2010-2011 for her work as the president of The Deadline Club, SPJ’s New York City chapter. <br> <br> Her work as a courts/crime reporter led to appearances on several cable network television shows, including "American Greed," "On the Case with Paula Zahn" and "Nancy Grace." She also was a regular guest on “Crime and Justice with Dan Schorr,” a New York-based radio program and podcast.<br> Baker graduated magna cum laude in journalism from Quinnipiac University in 2003, summa cum laude in communication from Carlow University (formerly known as Carlow College) in 1995 and was the valedictorian of the 1991 graduating class of Jeannette High School in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. <br> <br> Coverage of the <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">2017 Excellence in Journalism</a> conference is available from <a href="http://eijnews.org/">EIJ News</a>. EIJ17 is a joint conference between SPJ, <a href="http://rtdna.org/">Radio Television Digital News Association</a>, the <a href="http://nahj.org/">National Association of Hispanic Journalists</a> and the <a href="http://naja.com./">Native American Journalists Association</a>.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Sun, 10 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ delegates approve smaller board, changes to regional director positions http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1533 Contacts: <br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> ANAHEIM, Calif. – The <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> voted to change the way SPJ governs itself, including shrinking its Board of Directors to nine positions and removing regional directors from the national board. <br> <br> Voting delegates approved the changes during the closing business session at the Excellence in Journalism 2017 annual conference. <br> <br> The national board recommended the <a href= https://www.spj.org/governance.asp>bylaws changes</a>, in an effort to attract qualified leaders without barriers such as geography, job title, etc. In addition, a smaller board will be more nimble.<br> <br> “These changes will help SPJ better execute its mission and serve its members,” said SPJ National President Lynn Walsh. “A smaller board will be best suited to produce shared short- and long-term strategies for SPJ’s vitality and viability into the future. This is just a first step toward those goals, but it is an important one.”<br> <br> The vote comes after a year of self-examination by the current Board of Directors and a Governance Task Force that was charged with studying the issue. <br> <br> With the approved bylaws changes, SPJ will be governed by a board of nine members, down from 23, to include:<br> • Three officers, including a president, president-elect and secretary-treasurer, each to be elected for one year.<br> • Four at-large directors, each to be elected for two years with staggered terms.<br> • Two appointed directors, each to be selected by the board to serve one-year terms, to provide specific expertise. <br> <br> Regional directors, meanwhile, would continue to serve in the same capacity, but as non-board members to be known as regional coordinators.<br> <br> Under this new structure, the SPJ board will <a href=“https://www.spj.org/pdf/governance/board-responsibilities.pdf”>continue to implement long-standing board responsibilities</a>, as laid out in existing bylaws. Additionally, it will:<br> • Draft and enact a strategic plan for three to five years, setting annual goals to ensure that work toward planned priorities remain on track.<br> • Adopt a new <a href=“https://www.spj.org/pdf/governance/organizational-flow-chart.pdf”>organizational chart</a> to ensure fruitful communication between board members and SPJ’s many constituencies, including chapters and communities.<br> <br> The task force invited members to provide feedback and ask questions in various ways in the weeks and months leading up to the vote at EIJ17. It also created an online <a href= “https://www.spj.org/governance.asp#faq”> Frequently Asked Questions </a> about the proposals.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div><br> Sat, 9 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Ohio University named SPJ’s Outstanding Campus Chapter for Second Consecutive Year http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1531 Contacts: <br> Chrystal Parvin, SPJ Membership Coordinator, (317) 361-4132, <email address="cparvin@spj.org">cparvin@spj.org</a><br> Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, <email address="agutierrez@spj.org">agutierrez@spj.org</a><br> <br> ANAHEIM, Calif. – Ohio University has been selected by the <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> to receive the Outstanding Campus Chapter award for the second year in a row. The Outstanding Campus Chapter award honors chapters for their commitment to SPJ’s mission and the profession of journalism. <br> <br> The <a href="https://ouspj.wordpress.com/">Ohio University SPJ chapter</a> is being honored for its dedication to providing educational opportunities for members. In the last year, it staged 30 successful events with its 53 members. <br> <br> Under the leadership of adviser Nerissa Young and President Hayley Harding, some of the events the chapter hosted were a birthday party for James Madison, a First Amendment Free Food Festival, a campus-wide Grammar Smackdown contest and Q&A sessions with SPJ National President Lynn Walsh and other influential journalists. <br> <br> Young also worked with the chapter to provide a session focused on social media and suicide coverage which attracted about 50 students. <br> <br> In addition, with attendance of more than 100 people, the chapter had Freedom Sings, a nationally known group, perform “banned” songs to highlight the power of the First Amendment and free speech. <br> <br> The chapter was honored tonight at the Student Union during the <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism 2017</a> conference in Anaheim, California. <br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Lincoln Journal Star awarded MOEy Best in Show http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1532 Contacts:<br> Christine Cordial, SPJ Program Coordinator, 317-920-4788, <email address="ccordial@spj.org">ccordial@spj.org</a><br> Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="agutierrez@spj.org">agutierrez@spj.org</a><br> <br> ANAHEIM, Calif. – Marcella Mercer and Calla Kessler of the <a href="http://journalstar.com/">Lincoln Journal Star</a> received the MOEy Best in Show award for their story <a href="http://journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/a-mom-for-all-ages-hours-from-whiteclay-caring-for/article_903df44a-45a3-5bea-9a7e-02efdb286aa8.html">"A mom for all ages: Hours from Whiteclay, caring for kids with fetal alcohol disorders."</a><br> <br> Each year, student journalists compete regionally in print, TV, radio and online categories. Mercer and Kessler are the regional winners in Feature Writing, Large School Division. <br> <br> First-place winners advance to compete nationally and are eligible for the MOEy. The best in show award is chosen from more than 4,000 entries in the <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> 2016 Mark of Excellence Awards competition.<br> <br> The story and photos by Mercer and Kessler profile a South Dakota mother who adopted nine Native American children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.<br> <br> The judges said, “This story is a masterpiece. I see evidence of in-depth reporting. It takes time to get this sort of detail. Lead choice is perfect.”<br> <br> At the national level, judges said, “Beautifully written narrative about a complex topic. You can tell the reporter spent time with the family to understand the ‘day in the life.’ This story kept my interest from beginning to end.”<br> <br> The award was announced during the Student Union at <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism 2017</a> in Anaheim, California.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500 2017 SPJ Pro Chapters of the Year named at Opening Business Session http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1530 Contacts:<br> Chrystal Parvin, SPJ Membership Coordinator, (317) 361-4132, <email address="cparvin@spj.org">cparvin@spj.org</a><br> Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, <email address="agutierrez@spj.org">agutierrez@spj.org</a><br> <br> ANAHEIM, Calif. – The <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> annually selects professional chapters to honor for their commitment to SPJ’s mission and the profession of journalism. <br> <br> Large Chapter of the Year is open to chapters with 75 or more members and Small Chapter of the Year is open to chapters with fewer than 75 members. <br> <br> <b>Large Chapter of the Year</b><br> <br> The <a href="http://www.spjflorida.com/">Florida Pro</a> chapter is honored as the Large Chapter of the Year for the second consecutive year for their dedication to education and continued commitment to the mission of the Society. <br> <br> Florida hosted five major programs that, judges said, went beyond simple panel discussions. It offered national grants to other chapters and journalists who wanted to host events. The Drone Tour covered five states and received a matching SDX grant. The Femme Freelance Fest – hosted by and for women – ranged on topics from contracts to copyright, and happened before the end of the fiscal year. The chapter matched 80 freelancers with 16 employers. The Fake News Game Show was accepted as a featured program at the nation’s largest college media convention in Dallas this October. <br> <br> Florida was also the only chapter to have multiple sessions accepted at EIJ and launched the Student Chapter Development network to support and help create campus chapters in Florida. To put it simply, this chapter did a lot, and did it well. <br> <br> The finalist for Large Chapter of the year is <a href=“http://www.mnspj.org”>Minnesota Pro</a>.<br> <br> <b>Small Chapter of the Year</b><br> <br> The <a href=“http://www.cincyspj.blogspot.com”>Cincinnati Pro</a> Chapter was named the Small Chapter of the Year for the second year in a row for its dedication to involvement, awards and diversity events. <br> <br> This is the third time the Cincinnati chapter has won this designation in the past four years because it continues to offer robust and relevant programming for members. <br> <br> Cincinnati Pro made an effort to get involved in the community. The chapter hosted three post-election events that attracted 160 people, including 12 high school students. It hosted a debate between three candidates running for Cincinnati mayor, with an audience of 125 people. <br> <br> The chapter also worked to provide training and support for members. Cincinnati Pro hosted sessions with journalists to teach them how to use the new Cincinnati Police Department online records request portal. It also hosted 10 “Lunch with the Pros” sessions by sending working journalists to the University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University, in addition to supporting two UC internship programs and a Kentucky Press Association event for students. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Cincinnati Pro chapter. <br> <br> The finalists for Small Chapter of the Year are Bluegrass Pro and Las Vegas Pro. <br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div><br> Thu, 7 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ announces outstanding campus chapter regional honorees http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1527 Contacts:<br> Chrystal Parvin, SPJ Membership Coordinator, (317) 361-4132, <email address="cparvin@spj.org">cparvin@spj.org</a><br> Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, <email address="agutierrez@spj.org">agutierrez@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS — The <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> is pleased to honor a select group of campus chapters for their outstanding work in supporting the Society’s missions, members and journalism.<br> <br> SPJ’s 12 regional directors select a campus chapter in their region that has shown overall excellence. At-large directors review nominations and select the winning campus chapter. <br> <br> Outstanding Campus Chapter finalists are:<br> Region 1 – Ithaca College<br> Region 2 – George Mason University<br> Region 3 – University of Florida<br> Region 4 – Ohio University<br> Region 5 – DePaul University<br> Region 6 – n/a <br> Region 7 – Lindenwood University<br> Region 8 – University of Texas at Arlington<br> Region 9 – Colorado State University<br> Region 10 – Western Washington University<br> Region 11 – San Diego State University<br> Region 12 – University of Arkansas, Little Rock<br> <br> The overall winner will be announced during the Student Union at the <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism 2017</a> conference in Anaheim, California. To see a map of the regions and a list of campus chapters, <a href="http://www.spj.org/chapters.asp">click here</a>.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Finalists for SPJ Pro Chapters of the Year announced http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1528 Contacts:<br> Chrystal Parvin, SPJ Membership Coordinator, (317) 361-4132, <email address="cparvin@spj.org">cparvin@spj.org</a><br> Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, <email address="agutierrez@spj.org">agutierrez@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS — The <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> annually selects two chapters to honor for their commitment to SPJ’s mission and journalism. Winners of Large Chapter of the Year and Small Chapter of the Year will be announced during the <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/spj-leaders/#1”>Opening Business Session</a> at the <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism 2017</a> conference in Anaheim, California.<br> <br> This year’s finalists are:<br> <br> <b>Large Chapter of the Year</b><br> Two finalists for Large Chapter of the Year are <a href="http://www.mnspj.org/">Minnesota Pro</a> and <a href="https://spjflorida.com/">Florida Pro</a>. <br> <br> <b>Small Chapter of the Year</b><br> Three finalists for Small Chapter of the Year are Las Vegas Pro, <a href="http://www.cincyspj.com/">Cincinnati Pro</a> and Bluegrass Pro. <br> <br> Large Chapter of the Year is open to chapters with 75 or more members, while Small Chapter of the Year is open to chapters with fewer than 75 members.<br> <br> The <a href="http://www.pcli.org/">Press Club of Long Island</a> and <a href="https://spjflorida.com/">Florida Pro</a> were both honored as the 2016 Professional Large Chapters of the Year. <a href="http://www.cincyspj.com/">Cincinnati Pro</a> was named Professional Small Chapter of the Year. Read more about the selection process and past winners <a href="http://www.spj.org/a-chapters.asp/">here</a>.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ honors outstanding chapters with Circle of Excellence awards http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1529 Contacts: <br> Chrystal Parvin, SPJ Membership Coordinator, (317) 361-4132, <email address="cparvin@spj.org">cparvin@spj.org</a><br> Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, <email address="agutierrez@spj.org">agutierrez@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS — The <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> has distinguished eight of its professional chapters with Circle of Excellence Awards, a collection of awards that recognize outstanding work in First Amendment/Freedom of Information, professional development, chapter communications, diversity and campus relations.<br> <br> Chapters with 75 or more members are eligible for Large Circle of Excellence Awards and Small Circle of Excellence Awards are for chapters with fewer than 75 members.<br> <br> Congratulations to this year’s winners: <br> <br> <b>Large Circle of Excellence</b><br> <br> Chapter Communication: <a href="https://spjflorida.com/">Florida Pro</a><br> Campus Relations: <a href="http://www.spjsandiego.org/">San Diego Pro</a><br> Diversity: <a href="https://spjflorida.com/">Florida Pro</a><br> First Amendment & FOI: <a href="http://www.pcli.org/">Press Club of Long Island</a><br> Professional Development: <a href="http://www.mnspj.org/">Minnesota Pro</a><br> <br> <b>Small Circle of Excellence</b><br> <br> Chapter Communication: <a href="http://www.nmspj.org/">Rio Grande Pro</a><br> Campus Relations: <a href="http://www.cincyspj.com/">Cincinnati Pro</a><br> Diversity: Arkansas Pro<br> First Amendment & FOI: <a href="http://www.nmspj.org/">Rio Grande Pro</a><br> Professional Development: Middle Tennessee Pro<br> <br> The winning chapters will be honored during the <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/spj-leaders/#1">Opening Business Session</a> at <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism 2017</a> in Anaheim, California. Read more about the selection process and past winners <a href="http://www.spj.org/a-circle.asp">here</a>. <br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Society of Professional Journalists executive director to leave after 12 years http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1526 Contacts: <br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com</a> <br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – Joe Skeel, executive director of the <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a>, will be leaving his position, effective Dec. 1, to assume the executive director role at the Indiana State Bar Association. <br> <br> Skeel has been the top staff person for SPJ and the supporting <a href="http://www.spj.org/sdx.asp">Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a> since 2009. He edited the association’s magazine, Quill, for four years before being promoted to executive director. <br> <br> “I will be forever thankful for the opportunity to work for SPJ and the SDX Foundation,” said Skeel, who intends to remain an SPJ member. “The accomplishments we have had, and the friendships made, will stay with me forever. It’s not easy to leave, but the decision was made easier by knowing how far we have come, and what we are on the verge of becoming.”<br> <br> SPJ President Lynn Walsh said Skeel’s leadership and support will be missed. <br> <br> “Joe moved SPJ to financial stability, delivered on leadership’s vision and built the bridges that help us get to where we want to be,” she said. “We wish him great success in his new role.”<br> <br> SPJ will launch a national search for Skeel’s successor. Details will be finalized in early September after the SPJ and SDX Foundation boards meet during the <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism 2017</a> conference in Anaheim, Calif. <br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div><br> Wed, 9 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0500