Robyn Sidersky is the April SPJ volunteer of the month

Robyn Sidersky

Robyn Sidersky

SPJ’s Volunteer of the Month for April is Robyn Sidersky, a reporter and digital content producer for The Free Lance-Star, in Fredericksburg, Va., where she has worked for the past four years.

She covers government, education, and craft beer, and produces digital content for fredericksburg.com, and helps guide the newspaper’s digital strategy.

Prior to that, she worked at The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. as a fellow, also covering government, education and features.

In 2010, she graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in journalism and political science. She became involved in the Society of Professional Journalists her freshman year. She held several leadership positions in her college chapter and continues to serve on the leadership team of the Virginia Pro SPJ Board.

In addition to working for The Free Lance-Star, she volunteers and loves baking and visiting craft breweries.

Robyn was nominated by Paul Fletcher, SPJ president-elect and current SPJ secretary-treasurer. Here is what Paul says about Robyn:

“I nominate SPJVA Vice President Robyn Sidersky for Volunteer of the Month, based on her outstanding work on our chapter’s recent College Media Day program, held Feb. 14.

“Robyn was again chair of CMD, soliciting speakers and taking care of many details. She first came up with the idea of gathering collegiate journalists from across Virginia for a day-long program last year, and the initial CMD was a big success.

“For this year’s program, SPJVA partnered with SPJVCU, the campus chapter at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“Program sessions including how to get a job, alternative careers for journalists, how college journalists can use the FOIA and covering campus crime, among others.

“Attendance was not as strong as we had hoped (10-11 students, compared to 40 last year), but it wasn’t for lack of trying and reaching out. Throughout the planning and execution of CMD, Robyn showed great leadership and passion for her mission.

“I highly recommend her for this honor.”

Do you know an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate that person for Volunteer of the Month by contacting Susan Stevens, Membership Committee member, at Susanstevens@aol.com. Please tell us briefly why you are nominating the person and why your nominee is worthy of recognition. Nominations are due the 5th of each month and announced by the 15th.

 

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Building your local membership: Part 2

2015-03-27 15.17.02The regional conference season for SPJ is gradually winding down. I attend my regional conference (Region 5) nearly every year, and some years have the opportunity to help shape programming or give a presentation. I really enjoy all aspects of conference planning and presenting.

This year, my chapter, SPJ Louisville Pro, was the sponsor and it was held at the Galt House hotel in downtown Louisville. We decided to do something different to help boost SPJ membership: we offered the opportunity to join SPJ national, and our chapter, as part of conference payment.

In setting the prices for conference attendance, we set prices for each level of attendee. I noticed something: it would actually be cheaper to join SPJ and attend as a member, for students anyway. So, we folded the cost of membership into the pricing levels. It became levels five and six for attendance.

So, options for attendees became:

  • Student member
  • Student non-member
  • Student PLUS national SPJ membership
  • Pro member
  • Pro non-member
  • Pro PLUS national SPJ membership

We had about 105 attendees, and 13 (all students) also purchased membership in SPJ national. Ten attendees joined our chapter. Since our chapter has no dues, we didn’t have to do anything extra to add them. The other three new members are from other universities in Indiana. I have let them know that they can affiliate with a chapter near them, and what the options might be. Once the payments from the conference are in, we cut a check to SPJ national to cover the cost of those 13 SPJ national memberships.

The one flaw in my plan was charging for the local dues. I could not figure out a way to allow attendees to choose which chapter they wanted to join and set it up so those dues would be automatically added to their order. I contacted EventBrite, and they weren’t helpful. (If someone knows how to do this, let me know!)

So, our chapter added 10 student members due to hosting the regional conference.

I think this was a popular option for this simple reason: we made it easy to join, and gave our attendees a solid reason to do so – it was cheaper, in the long run. The key, though, will be keeping them as members. Our chapter needs to be sure to reach out to every person who joined and be sure they know about upcoming events, talk to them about what they’d like to see in our chapter, and continue to provide value.

What people want when they join SPJ depends on where they are in life and their goals and objectives. For students, that’s usually networking, awards, internships and, of course, a job.

It’s one thing to get members. It’s quite another to keep them.

How do you think SPJ can make it easier for people to join? I’d love to have your thoughts in the comments. 

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Building your local chapter membership: Part 1

2015-04-03 12.04.21I am President of my local pro chapter, SPJ Louisville Pro, a role I’ve held on and off for a few years. I’ve always sought to build membership, but some years, it’s been tougher than others. Media layoffs took some members from us as they changed professions or simply didn’t have the funds to continue their membership. It was hard watching folks go, but equally as difficult to figure out what to DO about it.

This year, though, I discovered a trick that’s changed things for our chapter, and I want to share it with you in hopes that it will help your chapter, too. We eliminated local dues. 

This is how it came about.

I have fairly regular conversations with Linda Hall, who is the membership coordinator at SPJ headquarters. Linda is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. She mentioned in the fall of 2014 that we could get a list of all members in Kentucky and see who is in our area that we might be able to entice to join our chapter. As you probably know, you can join national SPJ without joining a chapter. Sometimes people move here and transfer into our membership area or sometimes they don’t know we exist.

I read through the list and found a number of folks who are here in Louisville but aren’t members. I asked them to join, and while many said they would, they never paid the $10 local chapter dues to join officially. It was discouraging, but understandable. We do not have a separate way to pay us electronically, and no one mails checks anymore, which is what I was asking them to do.

Linda volunteered that if we did away with chapter dues, all someone would have to do is say they wanted to join our chapter, and they’re in. Several chapters, including Cincinnati and SPJ Rio Grande (New Mexico), she said, had done away with local dues and it has helped them build membership. Many more either never had dues or did away with them years ago.

*OH*

So, if I e-mailed someone and asked if they wanted to join our chapter, and they e-mailed back a yes, I could forward that to Linda, she puts it in SPJ database, and they’re in.

I took it to our chapter board for a vote. We were sitting at about 54 members as of September 2014, and our dues were $10 per person per year. (Local dues are on top of national dues.) That’s about $540 per year we’re collecting if they’re all pro members and not students. Student dues are $5 per person per year. The board very easily and quickly voted to eliminate local dues.

I looked through the Kentucky list, looking specifically for folks in the Louisville area. There is also a Bluegrass Pro chapter in Kentucky, which covers Lexington, so I’m only looking for folks in my area. I began e-mailing folks, and the responses were quick and happy. Yes! Of course, they’d love to be a part of our chapter. I picked up about 8 members just through these e-mails. As of December 2014, we were up to 62, and seeing more interest in our chapter as our events picked up speed and our contest time approached.

We also did something else that brought us more membership in conjunction with hosting the spring Region 5 conference, which was March 27 and 28. I’ll post about that in my next blog post.

Does your chapter charge dues? I’d love to hear from our members about how you draw members to your chapter.

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Bethany Bella is the March volunteer of the month

Bethany Bella

Bethany Bella

SPJ’s Volunteer of the Month for March is Bethany N. Bella, an Ohio University student who is a huge help SPJ’s Digital Committee as well as to her campus chapter. Thanks very much, Bethany!

Bethany is an undergraduate student in her first year at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. In addition to Strategic Communications, Bethany is also pursuing Political Science and Environmental Studies, from which she intends to become involved in international environmental policymaking or environmental media relations. She fell in love with the written word in elementary school, after narrating her first creative fiction story, but it wasn’t until high school when she combined her love of writing with her video-editing skills and her incurable passion for the environment.

In her freshman year at Ohio University’s noteworthy journalism school, Bethany has written for two student publications, created an Online News Association student group, and joined the Society of Professional Journalists. She’s an active member in the OU student chapter, while also contributing blog posts and social media assistance for national SPJ Digital initiatives. In her spare time, she stays active with biking, practices yoga, and reads National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines.

Bethany was nominated by Alex Veeneman, acting chairman of SPJ’s Digital Community and SPJ’s community coordinator.

Here is what Alex says about Bethany:

Bethany is a student representative for SPJ Digital, as well as a blogger for Net Worked, our blog.

Bethany expressed interest in one of the student representative positions in December 2014, as part of SPJ Digital’s 2015 strategy to enhance outreach to student chapters across SPJ, and was appointed to take on that role. Since her appointment, she has been a creative force in leading our student strategy, as well as making suggestions for moving SPJ Digital forward.

In addition, as part of our communication strategy, I was trying to incorporate more voices into Net Worked’s writings. When no one else would, Bethany stepped up and took the role on, contributing some insightful work on top of what she is doing at not just the student rep role, but also her classwork and work in The Post, the newspaper of Ohio University.

Even though she has been with SPJ Digital for a very short time, Bethany has gone above and beyond what is expected of her. Her work with SPJ as well as Ohio University shows her dedication to the future of the profession. In light of her hard work and leadership on such crucial matters to us, I nominate her for this well deserved honor.

Do you know of an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate that person for Volunteer of the Month by contacting Susan Stevens, Membership Committee member, at Susanstevens@aol.com. Please tell us briefly why you are nominating the person and why your nominee is worthy of recognition. Nominations are due the 5th of each month and announced by the 15th.

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Congratulations to Monica Guzman, SPJ’s Volunteer of the Month

Monica Guzman

Monica Guzman

Monica Guzman, president of the Western Washington Pro Chapter, is SPJ’s Member of the Month for February. Congratulations, Monica, and thanks for all of your hard work!

Monica is a technology columnist for The Seattle Times and GeekWire and an ethics columnist for the Columbia Journalism Review. In addition to being board president of the Western Washington chapter, she is vice-chair of the SPJ Ethics Committee and a contributor to the 2013 Poynter book “The New Ethics of Journalism.”

Monica was the online reporter for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer when the paper closed in 2009, and continued with the all-digital seattlepi.com before working two years with tech startups. She has won regional SPJ awards for her Times and GeekWire columns and was a Commentary juror for the 2014 Pulitzer Prizes.

Athima Chansanchai, vice president and treasurer of the Western WA Pro Chapter, nominated Monica. They met several years ago when they both worked at The Seattle Post-Intelligencer as reporters.

Quoting Athima now: “She helped recruit me to serve on the local SPJ board a few years ago, after we’d both left the P-I (or, it left us) and after I’d served on various local and national AAJA boards for more than a decade. But rather than getting burned out, working with her on the SPJ board has been invigorating. She is a bottomless source of encouragement, energy and empathy. She is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever known and won’t hesitate to take on the tough tasks. I’ve seen her organize events and social campaigns, outline long-term strategy and corral a very challenging regional contest.

“She does all this and more consistently while also being a mom to two young children and balancing a packed professional schedule. Monica is thoughtful, enthusiastic and a good leader who has really motivated us to work together as a board that’s come up with innovative, fresh programming and helped introduce SPJ to more people. I’m proud to work with her and can’t be happier with her leadership by example.”

Athima is a news reporter writing for the Microsoft News Center. Her first book just came out: “100 Things to do in Seattle Before You Die.”

Do you know of an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate that person for Volunteer of the Month by contacting Susan Stevens, Membership Committee member, at Susanstevens@aol.com. Please tell us briefly why you are nominating the person and why your nominee is worthy of recognition. Nominations are due the 5th of each month and announced by the 15th.

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Alex Veeneman is SPJ’s volunteer of the month

Alex Veeneman

Alex Veeneman

SPJ’s Volunteer of the Month for January is Alex Veeneman, who serves as acting chair of the SPJ Digital Community as well as the SPJ’s Community Coordinator.

Chicago-based Veeneman is media editor and contributing writer for Kettle Magazine, an online publication based in the United Kingdom. He oversees coverage of the British media scene, as well as writes on UK media trends and UK current affairs. Veeneman is also a member of the UK Student Publication Association, which aims to support and promote the work of student journalists and publications across the UK.

Veeneman graduated from Lewis University, double majoring in print journalism and multimedia journalism. You can interact with Veeneman on Twitter.

SPJ President Dana Neuts nominated Alex, saying, “He has been an outstanding volunteer in every sense of the word.”

More from Dana: “Alex first came to me this summer, curious about SPJ communities and wanting to start one for digital journalists. He agreed to take charge and within a week or so had 20 new community members lined up to gain official status as an SPJ community. Since then, he has led the digital community in being an active one, creating a Google + account, blogging on the NetWorked blog, tweeting from @SPJDigital and a Facebook page. He has held virtual meetings and found volunteers to oversee each of the social media channels, so it is a true team effort.

“He has graciously accepted my direction as communities have taken shape, offered his assistance and followed through on every promise he’s made. He’s helpful and responsive, but even more than that, he sees the potential communities have to reach SPJ members and beyond. He has helped develop the SPJ Digital landing page, written blog posts and been available every time I needed to run an idea or problem past him.

“He has also gone above and beyond as I sought a community coordinator to help me manage the communities. I’d been looking for three months with no luck. Alex tried to find a volunteer and sent two people my way, hoping they could help. One turned me down, and the other didn’t follow through — so Alex stepped up and said he’d be happy to serve as community coordinator through my presidential term. He is also running for the chair of SPJ Digital now that nominations for the first election cycle are open.

“Relatively new to SPJ, Alex has passion, enthusiasm and a desire to help other journalists. He’s joined the International Community and is eager to work with others. He is a true team player, and the type of volunteer SPJ needs to help us build a sustainable future.”

Do you know of an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate that person for Volunteer of the Month by contacting Susan Stevens, Membership Committee member, at Susanstevens@aol.com. Please tell us briefly why you are nominating the person and why your nominee is worthy of recognition. Nominations are due the 5th of each month and announced by the 15th.

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Congratulations to Julie Asher, December Volunteer of the Month

Julie Asher

Julie Asher, now three-time president of the Washington, D.C., Pro Chapter, is SPJ’s Volunteer of the Month for December. Congratulations, Julie!

Here is how Julie found herself D.C. Pro president once again, in her words:

In late November, our D.C. Pro chapter board found itself without a president. Joe Cirone, elected last spring, resigned, citing increasing duties at work, another major volunteer commitment and other issues. So Region 2 Director Andy Schotz asked me if I could consider finishing Cirone’s term. I’m a former chapter president (2011-2013). I agreed. At our December 1 meeting, the board approved me stepping in, along with three others to fill vacancies on the board. We now have a full board for the first time in a long time.

Among my goals:

  • To keep the momentum going on the good programs we have had so far this year.
  • Support the major membership renewal drive/new member drive we’ve just launched. I want to see the SPJ chapter in our nation’s capital get some new life with more members. Out of that will come more volunteers. Getting more people involved in the work of SPJ at the chapter level -– on the board or on committees — is a main priority for me.
  • Encourage our chapter board be more proactive in issuing a statement when needed to remind lawmakers in this town — at all levels of government –- of their obligation to the public and the press to be transparent.

As for my “day” job, I am national editor at the Catholic News Service, an international daily religion news service for Catholic and other publications around the world. I am also the intern coordinator at CNS. I am a former Region 2 director for SPJ and besides being chapter president have been chapter vice president and once upon a time was chapter treasurer. Last year, I was chair of our Dateline/Hall of Fame dinner.

Julie was nominated by Bill McCloskey. Here’s what he says:

D.C. Pro Chapter former President Julie Asher stepped up when the 2014-15 chapter president abruptly resigned in late November and agreed to fill out his term. She was elected at a chapter board meeting. Julie had served two previous terms as president. She has been on the board for well over a decade. A number of senior board members rotated off the DC Pro board in recent years and the chapter will benefit from her institutional knowledge and willingness to serve.

Julie has always been a hands-on board member. By tradition, the D.C. Pro immediate past president has two punishing jobs — chairing the nominating committee and putting together the annual Hall of Fame/Dateline awards dinner. This, of course means plundering the roster for willing and not-so-willing candidates, then herding the contest coordinator, leashing the Hall Fame committee, and labeling, stamping, mailing the invitations and coordinating the RSVPs. That’s all cool until dinner afternoon when people want to add people to their table, try to bail out and get a refund or just try to show up and worm their way in. Julie’s done it all and with admirable civility.

McCloskey himself could be a nominee for Volunteer of the Decades. He is currently at large director of SPJ and is also a member of the Executive Committee, Bylaws Committee and the Finance Committee. He is past president of the D.C. Chapter and was the Society’s Region 2 director. He has been recognized three times with SPJ’s “President’s Award” for distinguished service to the Society. In 2008 he was awarded the Wells Key, SPJ’s highest honor for a volunteer. He is the retired Washington, D.C.-based Director of Media Relations for AT&T, formerly BellSouth Corp. Before joining BellSouth in 1987, Bill worked for The Associated Press, WASH-FM and Metromedia, all in Washington.

Do you know of an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate that person for Volunteer of the Month by contacting Susan S. Stevens, Membership Committee member, at Susanstevens@aol.com. Please tell us briefly why you are nominating the person and why you think they are worthy of recognition. Nominations are due the 5th of each month and announced by the 15th.

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Program ideas that ‘tingle journalists’ toes’

WAVE3-TV's team at the SPJ Louisville Pro chapter's annual trivia night.

WAVE3-TV’s team at the SPJ Louisville Pro chapter’s annual trivia night.

Last month, I wrote a blog post asking who is responsible for engaging members. I asked a few of the regional directors on SPJ’s board to chime in and tell me what they thought in the comments, and I got some terrific responses.

One that has stuck with me is Region 3 Director Michael Koretzky‘s comment that we need programming that keeps members coming back and draws in new members – both at the national, regional and chapter levels. I agree with him completely.

It is a struggle sometimes for chapters, and our national organization, to figure out how exactly to program. Do we serve the faithful members who have been with us for years and perhaps want to see in-depth presentations on media ethics but want nothing to do with social media? Or do we provide programming that appeals to non-members and might draw folks in who haven’t joined us previously, such as social media primer or a how-to on Twitter? (Or far more amazing ideas… keep reading!)

I say both. 

We need to serve our membership base, absolutely. But we also need to appeal to a whole new generation of journalists, and lead those who are still in the field to learn new skills and improve their work.

Thanks to a terrific board of directors, my chapter, Louisville (Kentucky) Pro, often has what I think are great programs. We held a panel discussion in October on how Louisville media covers issues of race, and it was well-attended and provided a great platform for discussion. We also hold some programming that’s a little less weighty, including a December 4 program planned called Meet the Meteorologists and an annual media trivia event each April.

I was feeling pretty good about all of this until I saw a handout that Koretzky provided recently on program ideas. His ideas for programs, executed well through his leadership and with strong support from local chapters, blow pretty much everything I’ve ever done out of the water.

To his credit, he knows his ideas are big and at times difficult to execute, but damn if I don’t want to do every last one of them.

You can download it here: spj programs. It’s a PDF.

Death Race, 2013. Photo courtesy SPJ Florida.

Death Race, 2013. Photo courtesy SPJ Florida.

A few of the ideas:

First Amendment Free Food Festival: offer people a free meal in exchange for signing away their First Amendment Rights. Then, mess with them. When they sit together in groups and chat, break up the groups and make them move. Tell them they can’t discuss certain topics. I LOVE THIS IDEA. Perhaps I just like the idea of having a license to mess with people, but whatever. It’s a great idea.

SPJ Death Race: Attendees get a 30-minute crash course on how to write an obituary from a local obituary writer. Then, they have one hour to cover a memorial service (staged just for this purpose) and another hour to write the obituary. A trophy is awarded to the person who writes the best obit. This year’s Death Race is set for Dec. 6 and is for students only. The Death Race “trophy” is a funeral urn engraved with the words, “SPJ DeathRace First Place.” It contains the ashes of three local newspapers. Info here.

There are many, many more in the document. Download it, read it and get ready to be inspired.

What have you seen lately that you loved? What do you want to do with your student or local chapter? What programming do you feel will help SPJ increase its membership and support existing members?

The comments are all yours – let’s hear it.

 

Note: I’m planning another blog post soon on ideas that specifically discuss diversity. I’m collecting examples of great SPJ programs. If you have any to share, e-mail me at robyndsekula@gmail.com.

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Congratulations to Pashtana Usufzy, SPJ’s November Volunteer of the Month

SPJ-MEMBERofMONTH-Usufzy

Pashtana Usufzy of Las Vegas is SPJ’s Volunteer of the Month for November. Congratulations, Pashtana! You more than earned this honor.

She is a breaking news reporter for the Las Vegas Sun. She studied journalism at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is now pursuing a biology degree. She has been an SPJ member since 2009. Prior to joining the board of the Las Vegas professional chapter as a student representative, she led the campus chapter for three years.

Pashtana was nominated for Volunteer of the Month by Gregan Wingert, President of Las Vegas Pro Chapter, who has more to say about Pashtana than the nominee herself. Here is what Wingert tells us:

Pashtana leads by example and is therefore a tremendous volunteer. She always attends meetings for SPJ and she’s always offering to help in any way possible. Any time I need help setting up for a professional chapter meeting, she offers to bring anything we may need, including orange juice one early Saturday morning. Pashtana also encourages students and colleagues to attend all chapter events. She’s been an active member of SPJ for as long as I can remember. She’s served as the UNLV student representative of the Las Vegas Pro Chapter of SPJ and has also been a president of the UNLV student chapter. She remains active in both chapters. As president of the university’s chapter, Pashtana was never afraid to set up hard-hitting and informative panels. She has been amazingly effective at approaching local media professionals to sit on those panels as well as organizing her classmates to accomplish community volunteer work. As a truly dedicated member of our organization I was never surprised to see Pashtana travel to several regional and national conferences. At those events she volunteers information to other chapters on the successful panels and activties she’s involved in. A volunteer is someone who dedicates their time to a cause they believe in, and I believe Pashtana is a true volunteer. As the current president of the Las Vegas professional chapter I would be honored if you would please accept my nomination of Pashtana Usufzy for SPJ volunteer of the month.

Do you know of an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate them for Volunteer of the Month by contacting Susan Stevens, Membership Committee member, at Susanstevens@aol.com. Please tell us briefly why you are nominating the person and why you think they are worthy of recognition. Nominations are due the 5th of each month and announced by the 15th.

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Lee Anne Peck of Colorado is our October Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to Lee Anne Peck of the Journalism and Mass Communications Program at the University of Northern Colorado. For her contributions to high school journalism research, she is being honored with our Volunteer of the Month award!

She was nominated by Becky Tallent, who told us that Lee has been the backbone of the Journalism Education Committee‘s research on high school journalism. Becky teaches at the School of Journalism and Mass Media at the University of Idaho. Both are members of the Journalism Education Committee.

Here’s what Becky had to say in her nomination:lee_anne_peck

For the past three years the J-Ed Committee has been investigating the state of high school journalism in America. It all started when (former SPJ president) John Ensslin asked if we had heard some high schools were closing their journalism programs.  Last winter, Lee Anne wrote a survey that we sent to 600 high school teachers across the country. Very few of us on the committee had ever conducted this type of research, and it was Lee who kept us on-track and fought really hard to keep the survey and its results pristine. She worked with the statistician to tease out the results.
In addition, she wrote or co-wrote six chapters, a hard look at the survey (how we did it) and results (it took two chapters to give the results), a chapter on legal issues plus the intro, conclusion and the annotated bibliography. She tried to get us a grant and did find for us a spectacular graphic artist who crafted our graphs. She also made the entry with the Journalism Education Association for us, which was no small feat, and got them to sell us their mailing list for the survey.  The book will be published by New Forums Press in January.
She did all this while teaching full time, carrying on her own research load and advising students at the University of Northern Colorado.
It is not an understatement to say we could not have finished the book in a timely manner without her work on the survey. While I handled all the other details of the project, Lee was my right hand tackling the most complex issue, which was the survey.

Here’s Lee Anne’s biography from the University of Northern Colorado web site.

Lee Anne Peck has taught English, journalism and communication courses since 1988.  Before coming to the University of Northern Colorado in 2003, she was an assistant professor of international communications at Franklin College Switzerland, an American college in Lugano. Over the years, she has advised three student newspapers.

Peck’s professional experience began in 1976 as a correspondent for the Moline (Ill.) Daily Dispatch. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she edited then managed the regional Choice Magazine of the Front Range. In the mid-1980s, she edited and wrote for publications in Indiana and Delaware. She has worked for the Fort Collins Coloradoan as an editor, a columnist and a writing coach, and worked for the former Rocky Mountain News as a copy editor.

While pursuing her master’s in journalism studies in Florida, she worked at the Tampa Tribune’s online product, Tampa Bay Online, one of the first online newspaper sites in the United States. In 1998, before moving to Ohio to do her Ph.D. coursework, she worked for Microsoft’s online publication, Denver Sidewalk.  Peck began freelancing in the late 1970s and continues to do free-lance editing, writing and public relations work.

In 2007, she was awarded a Fulbright grant to teach at the University of Dubrovnik, Croatia.  While there, she researched the status of the news media in the former Yugoslavia, a topic that continues to be a research interest.  Her main research focuses on all aspects of media ethics. She recently co-edited a book with Guy Reel of Winthrop University titled Media Ethics at Work: True stories of young professionals, published by CQ Press, an imprint of Sage. She has contributed chapters to media ethics textbooks and has presented and published paper on the subject.

At UNC, Peck teaches public relations, magazine and news writing courses, and the media ethics course.

Congratulations to Lee! Lee was a member of SPJ’s ethics committee, international committee and currently serves on the Journalism Education committee. She is one of five ethics consultants who answers calls with the Chicago Headliner Chapter’s national Ethics Adviceline for Journalists (http://ethicsadvicelineforjournalists.org/)

Lee is a member of the Colorado Pro chapter. She has been a member of SPJ since 1992.

Do you know of an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate them for Volunteer of the Month by contacting Susan Stevens, Membership Committee member, at Susanstevens@aol.com. Please tell us briefly why you are nominating the person and why you think they are worthy of recognition. Nominations are due the 5th of each month and announced by the 15th.

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