Archive for the ‘National SPJ Conference’ Category


Excellence in Journalism Recap

Greetings Region 10!

The annual Excellence in Journalism conference wrapped up in Anaheim on September 9. Region 10 had a handful of journalists from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in attendance for the four-day conference. SPJ was joined by RTDNA (Radio Television Digital News Association), NAHJ (National Association of Hispanic Journalists), and NAJA (Native American Journalists Association). Headquarters reports that there were more than 1,800 people in attendance.

Two well-known journalists were honored at EIJ—RTDNA celebrated Lester Holt’s remarkable career with the Paul White Award. Holt had planned to accept the award in person, but duty called and he spoke to attendees from Florida, where he was covering Hurricane Irma. In addition, RTDNA presented the John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award to CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent, Jake Tapper, who gave an inspired acceptance speech defending journalism. In addition to the honors, EIJ put on dozens of excellent talks, programs, demonstrations, committee meetings, and more, plus two fascinating Super Sessions (21st-Century Reality: Covering Immigrant and Refugee Communities is for Every Journalist and Work in Progress: Pressing the President).

One of the bigger happenings at EIJ was the vote to restructure SPJ’s national board. By fall of 2019, SPJ’s national board will shrink from 23 members to nine. The streamlined board will consist of three officers, four at-large directors and two appointed directors. Read more about the the restructure process and a transition timeline found here. What does that mean for your regional director? Nothing at the moment. Once this regional director term is complete in 2019, the position becomes a “regional coordinator.” There will still be a regional coordinator caucus, and RCs will have a pipeline to the board to discuss local chapter issues. But the change should allow RCs more time to focus on their student and pro chapters.

Take a look at the nine resolutions passed by the society’s delegates at EIJ here.

Interested in attending a future EIJ conference? Start planning now—they are scheduled through 2020.

September 27–29, 2018: Baltimore, MD (Hilton Baltimore)
September 5–7, 2019: San Antonio, TX (Grand Hyatt)
September 10–12, 2020: Washington, DC (Washington Hilton)

I personally would love to see this conference come to the Northwest. Any ideas on how we can make that happen? I’ll be lobbying the search committee at HQ.

Excellence in Journalism 2011: Recap

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

Wells Memorial Key:  Al Cross
Regional Director of the Year:  Brian Eckert

– 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.

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