The Mid-Atlantic Muckraker February 14th, 2019

SPJ meetings become open; sponsorship policy passed

By Andy Schotz

One significant thing about the Feb. 2 electronic meeting of the SPJ national board is that the public finally was invited to participate. (The most important item of business, though, was a new sponsorship policy, which is addressed later in this post.)

The board has been holding electronic meetings for years, and no one has given it much thought that they were inaccessible to observers. Continue reading

The Mid-Atlantic Muckraker January 30th, 2019

Virginia lawmakers kill legislation to protect student journalists

By Andy Schotz

Editor’s note: This week, Virginia lawmakers killed a measure to strengthen First Amendment rights for student journalists. Other states (including Maryland) have passed similar legislation as part of a New Voices movement. Continue reading

Freedom of the Prez December 12th, 2018

Freedom of the Prez 2018-12-12 23:26:49

By J. Alex Tarquinio

Giving the thumbs-up gesture in solidarity with Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, jailed in Myanmar one year ago today.

Dec. 12 marks the disgraceful anniversary of the detention of two courageous Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. Continue reading

Freedom of the Prez December 12th, 2018

EIJ sponsorship update

By J. Alex Tarquinio

The Society of Professional Journalists has taken an important step in the creation of a sponsorship policy for the modern era. As I wrote in this column when we launched the Sponsorship task force this fall, the Society has effectively been without a written policy since the first Excellence in Journalism conference (EIJ). Continue reading

Freedom of the Prez December 11th, 2018

#ICYMI: My take on the transatlantic divide on press freedom

By J. Alex Tarquinio

Paris — More than an ocean separates the United States from France. The contradictory world views of their leaders veered sharply into focus on the centennial of the first world war. Continue reading

The Mid-Atlantic Muckraker December 4th, 2018

New sponsorship policy approved

By Andy Schotz

When the SPJ national board held an electronic meeting on Dec. 1, most of the meeting was in executive session for four topics:

the president’s report (including updates on personnel and vacancies for two appointed board seats) Excellence in Journalism updates a sponsorship task force report an upcoming annual review of the executive director

A written part of the president’s report — on board structure, meetings, committees, priorities and more — was not in executive session and is part of the public meeting packet. Continue reading

The Mid-Atlantic Muckraker November 19th, 2018

Bad communication, an apology: examining Koch sponsorship

By Andy Schotz

Heading into this year’s national Excellence in Journalism convention, a few SPJ chapters criticized the national board and headquarters because the Charles Koch Institute was sponsoring a Freedom of Information Act session. Continue reading

Freedom of the Prez November 2nd, 2018


By J. Alex Tarquinio

UN Marks Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists With a Look Back at the Life of Chris Hondros


Chris Hondros was a stranger to fear. Continue reading

Freedom of the Prez October 24th, 2018

Mapping Out the Future of EIJ Sponsorships

By J. Alex Tarquinio

After serious deliberation, I am pleased to announce a task force to brainstorm future sponsorship policy for our national conference. This remarkable group has been selected from among the most talented and experienced members within our own organization and other media groups. Continue reading

The Mid-Atlantic Muckraker October 21st, 2018

Scrutinizing “news”: Students challenge U. of Md. information site

By Andy Schotz

A pitched debate about information is happening on the University of Maryland’s College Park campus.

The campus has a number of news sources, including an independent student newspaper, The Diamondback, which won SPJ’s overall Mark of Excellence best in show award this year. Continue reading

The Mid-Atlantic Muckraker October 21st, 2018

From EIJ — election results, SPJ/SDX board meetings, resolutions

By Andy Schotz

The following are the results from this year’s SPJ national and regional elections. Results were announced at EIJ ’18 in Baltimore.


Patti Gallagher Newberry (unopposed): 791


Matt Hall: 502 Nerissa Young: 347

At-large director (two years; two seats):

Mike Reilley: 456 Tess Fox: 441 Mercedes Vigón: 437 Robin Sherman: 180

At-large director (one year; two seats):

Yvette Walker: 728 Michael Savino: 645

Region 10 director:

Don Meyers (unopposed): 47

Region 1 coordinator:

Jane Primerano (unopposed): 148

Region 4 coordinator:

Paul Kostyu (unopposed): 58

Region 5 coordinator:

Amy Merrick (unopposed): 76

Region 7 coordinator:

Leah Wankum: 14 Katelyn Mary Skaggs: 8

Region 8 coordinator:

Kathryn Jones (unopposed): 64

Region 9 coordinator:

Ed Otte: 40 Rhett Wilkinson: 16

There were 888 votes out of a total of 6,200 possible voters, or 14.3 percent. Continue reading

Freedom of the Prez October 19th, 2018

SPJ demands Khashoggi’s killers be brought to justice

By J. Alex Tarquinio

We call on Trump to push for independent investigation in a letter to White House

Editor’s note: Shortly after this letter was mailed and sent electronically to the White House, Saudi Arabia confirmed the death of the missing journalist. Continue reading

Freedom of the Prez October 19th, 2018

President’s Installation Banquet Speech

By J. Alex Tarquinio


Remarks Given by National SPJ President J. Alex Tarquinio after being sworn in at the President’s Installation Banquet at the Excellence in Journalism Conference in Baltimore on Sept. Continue reading
The Independent Journalist September 18th, 2018

How to make your chapter more freelancer-friendly

By Hazel Becker

Guest blogger: Adina Solomon

When I started thinking about journalism as a high school student, I pictured a staff job. Who didn’t? Maybe I could write bold features for a magazine or report for a metro newspaper. Continue reading

The Mid-Atlantic Muckraker September 5th, 2018

Q&A with this year’s SPJ candidates

By Andy Schotz

SPJ’s annual election is this month. Watch for an email ballot as Excellence in Journalism ’18 opens on Sept. 27.

SPJ members will choose a president-elect, a secretary-treasurer and four at-large directors (two for two-year terms, two for one-year terms). Continue reading