Should SPJ change its name?

Hi folks,

Welcome to the web page of the SPJ name change task force.

John Ensslin here. SPJ National President Dave Cuillier asked me to chair this working group after the name change issue came up during our national convention in Anaheim.

Over the next few months, we’ll be assisting the national board as we work through the issues of whether to change our name from “Society of Professional Journalists” to “Society for Professional Journalism.”

The task force members are:

Sonny Albarado
Carl Corry
Paul Davis
Holly Edgell
Sue Kopen Katcef
Michael Koretzky
Hagit Limor
Donald Meyers
Andy Schotz
David Sheets

Starting this month, we will be trying several different approaches to assess the arguments pro and con on this issue. We’ll also be seeking your input.

Here are a few steps we will be taking:

-Several task force members will be conducting informal focus groups in their region to explore how our members view the name change.

-We’ll be doing a “Studio SPJ” broadcast on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. featuring a debate between Michael Koretzky and Andy Schotz on the issue.

-Hagit Limor will conduct a live chat on the issue with several former SPJ presidents.

-We’ll also be sending an email survey to all members seeking their views.

-Headquarters staff is researching what the costs of a name change would be in terms of signage, logos, etc.

Our last name change came in 1988 when delegates to the national convention voted to eliminate Sigma Delta Chi from the revised name “Sigma Delta Chi, The Society of Professional Journalists”)

We realize this is a major decision that will require a careful, deliberate and transparent process. Our goal is to present a report to the SPJ Executive Committee in time for their January meeting.

In the meantime, we can use your help. This page will serve as a forum for any member who wishes to express an opinion on the topic.

Send your thoughts to me at and I’ll post them to this site. And be sure to check back to this page for the latest news as we work through this process.

Til then,
John Ensslin

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  • alicia shepard

    Don’t see any strong reason to change the name. Changing from Soc of Professional JournALISTS to JournALISM. seems irrelevant. No one will notice the difference. You didn’t really make the point in this piece for members WHY there needs to be a name change? if there is, it should be a little more dramatic or noticeable.

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