Sarah Bauer Jackson: SPJ Member of the Month

Ever judged a journalism contest? If you have, thank you! Hundreds – probably thousands — of you deserve those thanks. The Sigma Delta Chi awards. Mark of Excellence awards. Local chapter competitions for the best journalism in their communities. We can’t thank you enough!

But we can deliver thanks to one member whose name pops up time after time when contests are mentioned and judges are sought. She is Sarah Bauer Jackson of Minneapolis. Congratulations, Sarah. You are SPJ’s Member of the Month!

Here is Sarah’s take on SPJ:

I have been involved with SPJ since I was a sophomore in college. I had just declared journalism as my major and wanted to get more involved. I became president of the University of Minnesota’s student chapter, and soon after graduation joined the board of the Minnesota Pro Chapter. In 2010, I was president of the Pro Chapter, and over the years, I’ve worn many different SPJ hats … local contest coordinator, chair of the national membership committee and today, I’m serving as co-chair of the national awards and honors committee. What first brought me to SPJ is what has kept me paying dues for more than a decade: its steadfast commitment to journalism, FOI and the First Amendment. Today, that mission is more important than ever before.

When I’m not busy “working” for SPJ, I am the Program Director for the Minnesota Newspaper Association, the trade association representing the interests of more than 325 daily and weekly newspapers across the state.

SPJ has provided me with lots of training, leadership development experience, friendships and countless memories. I’ve been able to travel across the country for Excellence in Journalism conventions, the Scripps Leadership Institute, and have had the opportunity to tour newsrooms and meet journalism heroes, all the while spreading the good news of the good work of SPJ. I’ve been honored to dedicate time and talent to SPJ over the years and commend others for doing the same. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our volunteers, members, leaders and staff!

Next time you are asked to be a judge, please say “yes” – just as Sarah does!

Do you know an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate that person for Volunteer of the Month by contacting Susan S. Stevens, Membership Committee member, at 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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