By Dana Neuts | October 9th, 2011
Thanks to everyone who was able to attend this year’s annual SPJ conference. For those who didn’t, here are the highlights of the Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference (i.e., EIJ 2011).
For the first time, SPJ combined its conference with RTDNA, a move that boosted attendance from 800 to about 1,300! Held at the Sheraton in New Orleans, the mood at the conference was enthusiastic, and NOLA greeted conference guests with wonderful music, fabulous food and friendly hospitality.
Instead of the sometimes overdone “future of journalism” panels, this conference focused on all of the great things going on in the media world today including video storytelling with Al Tompkins of The Poynter Institute and Les Rose of CBS News LA Bureau; mobile tools for journalists with Damon Kiesow, Boston.com; ethics, diversity and social media programs; a supersession with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien; keynote with Jeff Fager of CBS News; awards programs and more.
And, as always, SPJ held its usual committee meetings, business meetings, leadership sessions and diversity mentor program. SDX also held its semiannual board meeting and subcommittee meetings.
Of particular note are the following changes to how SPJ operates:
- The one-member, one-vote bylaws amendment passed, granting ALL active members of SPJ the right to vote for candidates running for SPJ office.
- Effective January 1, professional dues increase to $75 from $72. Student and graduate dues increase to $37.50 from $36. Click here for additional information regarding the increase.
- SPJ membership voted to condemn the use of the terms illegal alien and illegal immigrant.
- The national SPJ board voted in favor of replacing the chapter Star Ranking system in favor of a simpler ranking system. Note: I will provide more info. on these changes to chapter leaders once the final language has been approved.
- The Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award will remain retired.
- Award Winners include
- The following officers were elected to serve the SPJ national board and SPJ membership:
President: John Ensslin
President-Elect: Sonny Albarado
Secretary-Treasurer: David Cuillier
Vice President for Campus Chapter Affairs: Neil Ralston
At-Large Director: Bill McCloskey
Campus Adviser At-Large: George Daniels
Region 2 Director: Brian Eckert
Region 3 Director: Michael Koretsky
Region 6 Director: Amanda Theisen
Region 10 Director: Dana Neuts
Region 11 Director: Teri Carnicelli
Region 12 Director: Kelly Kissel
Student Representatives: Gideon Grudo and Taylor Mirfendereski
We held a Region 10 business meeting on Sun., Sept. 25 to hold the RD election (I ran unopposed), discuss the regional contest and spring conference and hear updates from the chapters represented (W. Washington Pro, Snake River Pro, Montana Pro and William O. Douglas). We also talked about how chapters might work together in terms of support and sharing programing ideas.
Up next: The 2012 Excellence in Journalism Conference (EIJ 2012) will be held at the Harbor Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, FL Sept. 20 – 22.