By Sonny Albarado | May 28th, 2009
LITTLE ROCK — Directors of the Green Eyeshade Awards have canceled plans for this year’s awards banquet and presentation because the news media’s economic problems made it difficult to guarantee attendance.
Winners will be announced in a separate release by June 15.
“Canceling this celebration of journalistic excellence was a difficult decision,” said Sonny Albarado, director of Region 12 of the Society of Professional Journalists and co-director of the Green Eyeshade Awards.
“With so many of us facing budgetary cutbacks, both personally and professionally, it seemed an undue burden to put on folks,” added Darcie Lunsford, SPJ’s Region 3 director and Green Eyeshade Awards co-director. “The GES region covers such a wide swath of the southern United States that most of us would have had to travel to get to a banquet. We hope to reinstate our traditional banquets next year.”
The Green Eyeshade Awards is an annual regional competition that recognizes outstanding journalism in 11 southeastern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
The Green Eyeshade Awards were started by the Atlanta Professional Chapter of SPJ and are now administered by regional directors for the Society of Professional Journalists. Last year’s awards presentation was held in Atlanta in conjunction with the Atlanta Press Club’s annual gala.
The society, the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, works to improve and protect journalism. It is dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.
Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.