By John Ensslin | October 14th, 2008
Entries are now being accepted for the Top of the Rockies Journalism Awards Program, the first-ever region-wide SPJ competition the Rocky Mountain West.
Here are some of the unique features to this contest:
Any professional who is an SPJ member in Region 9 is entitled to ONE FREE ENTRY.
This is one of the perks of membership and another reason to join SPJ. Members also get a discounted entry fee of $10 rather than the non-member fee of $15 per entry.
This year’s competition includes some interesting new categories, such as Rookie of the Year. This award will go to a young journalist for a sample of five stories done within that reporter’s first year of working for a newspaper in the region.
Proceeds from the contest will be distributed back to the pro chapters in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Entry fees from New Mexico will go toward our on-going project of starting a pro chapter there.
This year’s awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 in the auditorium of the sleek, relatively new Denver Newspaper Agency at 101 W. Colfax Ave., in Denver, home of the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News.
All entries must be postmarked no later than Nov. 18.
This contest is open to any journalist working in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah or Wyoming.
For a complete list of rules and categories, contact contest chair Cynthia Hessin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer of the Month
Linda Peterson of the Utah Headliners Chapter is our first SPJ Region 9 Volunteer of the Month.
Linda is an editor at the Valley Journals. She has been an active member of the Utah Headliners board for at least six years, serving as president, vice-president and freedom of information chair.
In that last role, she also chairs Utahns for Open Government, a group of non-journalists who advocate for open government. The group includes the Utah League of Cities and Towns, a Republican and Democratic representative, citizen writers and the Utah Attorney General.
Utah won an award this year for best small chapter because of its Freedom of Information Act work. Here’s what the award citation said:
“With the leadership of chapter FOIA chairwoman Linda Petersen, the Headliners took drastic steps to show the need for open government and worked to sponsor activities such as Sunshine Week. Other efforts included several public forums with the League of Women Voters that featured SPJ members speaking about the importance of openness in government.”
Utah Headliners president Allison Barlow Hess describes Linda as “a great advocate for SPJ and FOIA.”
We’re glad to present Linda with the award for November’s volunteer of the month. For her efforts, she gets a Sigma Delta Chi lapel pin.
If you know someone in Region 9 who goes above and beyond for SPJ, you can nominate that person for volunteer of the month by e-mailing me email@example.com.