SPJ’s 6.21 Day of Giving: Journalism Needs You!

At a time when journalists are called “enemy of the people,” fired for doing their jobs and forced to compromise their ethics, it’s crucial to take a step back and remind ourselves of the important and meaningful work that journalists are doing all over the country. Go online, open a newspaper, or turn on your TV set or radio and you’ll find journalists seeking truth and reporting it – the first tenet of SPJ’s Code of Ethics – challenging spin and false statements by government authorities, and revealing the impact of public policies on some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

It’s the kind of work that has become a beacon for journalists throughout the world. In May, I attended a World Press Freedom event hosted by Nepali-American media in the Washington D.C. area. They are covering the news of Nepali communities in the area and helping journalists in Nepal cover the news under unfavorable circumstances. As I write this, the SPJ Code of Ethics is being translated into Nepali, and will join Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish as languages that share these tenets of ethical journalism.

The incredible work that journalists do takes center stage, literally, each spring as SPJ recognizes excellence in news reporting at its Sigma Delta Chi awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., through awards banquets hosted by SPJ chapters, and during Mark of Excellence awards ceremonies for outstanding student journalism.

Try not feeling inspired or energized after attending the SDX awards. This year, we recognized stories that exposed racial bias and unfair treatment in the war on drugs, uncovered the price of homelessness in one American city and revealed the hidden scourge of domestic violence in one of the wealthiest communities in the country. The work SPJ honored had undeniable impact, from national stories about Harvey Weinstein that prompted his arrest to local stories about sexual misconduct at a state capitol that led to systematic change in government policy.

There were international stories such as the “Paradise Papers” investigation revealing offshore tax havens of the global elite and regional stories such as the questionable financing of a casino project that voters halted after journalists did their jobs.

This is the kind of work that the Society of Professional Journalists honors once a year but supports every single day by training journalists, funding large-scale projects and paying for legal battles. It’s also why SPJ needs your support. This Thursday, June 21, is SPJ’s Day of Giving, when we raise money and awareness for all the good work that the Society does. Go to spj.org/dayofgiving.asp and get involved. Journalism needs you!

Defending the First Amendment and promoting open government are more crucial now than ever. Join SPJ's fight for the public’s right to know — either as an SPJ Supporter or a professional, student or retired journalist.

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