We need you in 2020

2020 promises to be productive for SPJ.

It’s a new year, with a new(ish) board, a new executive director and new energy for new (and old!) tasks.

But as in all things SPJ, we’ll need your help to make the most of the year ahead.

Most pressing, at this date: Ideas for our annual Big Show – the Excellence in Journalism conference.

As you likely know, EIJ2020 is set for Sept. 10-12 in Washington, D.C. The hotel is long booked (the Hilton at 1919 Connecticut Ave. N.W.); the website is up (but, of course, mostly empty); staff and volunteers (both at SPJ and our partner group, RTDNA) are already at work.

Now – we need great programming to fill three days.

That’s where you come in. Between now and the Jan. 26 deadline – that’s this coming Sunday night! – we need a flood of great program ideas. What kind of workshop (usually, half days) would make you and your friends in journalism sign up? What kind of one-hour breakout session would help you in your day-to-day life? What speaker would knock your socks off? What, in short, would it take to get you to Washington? That’s the kind of idea we’d love you to propose. If you can make it happen – that is, serve as producer of your own idea, lining up guests/experts as needed, great! If you just want to suggest the idea and leave the production work to someone else, we’ll take that too!

Check out the tips on the Call for Programs page – and send in your best ideas! (Questions? Be in touch with me or anyone else on the EIJ2020 Programming Committee: Matt Hall, AmyJo Brown, Mike Reilley, Daisy Contreras or Dee Ann Divis.)

What else is on the near-term horizon for SPJ leaders?

  • Ten folks, with staff support, are hard at work on the Strategic Planning Task Force. President-Elect Matt Hall, who is chairing that effort, is aiming to put recommendations before the full board during our April meeting. Joining that effort is me, Mike Reilley, Yvette Walker, April Bethea, Kimberly Chin, Victor Hernandez, Alex Tarquinio and Taylor Mirfendereski. You can get up to speed on the Task Force page.
  • Another nine SPJers have returned to the topic of EIJ sponsors, as the EIJ Sponsorship Task Force. Task Force Chair Nerissa Young, SPJ adviser at Ohio University, has moved that group along quickly, with a draft of its recommendations now in the works. You’ll see that soon, thanks to the efforts of Young, Matt Hall, Rob Elder, Joel Bellman, Colin DeVries, Andy Schotz, Becky Tallent, Maria Ortiz-Briones and Rebecca David.
  • Our Membership Committee, with Colin DeVries as chair, is working on two projects with HQ, soon to be announced.
  • Most of our 12 regions will have spring conferences, with planning well underway. You’ll find what you need about those on our SPJ Regional Coordinators page.

Finally, you’ll hear more about most of those initiatives during Board of Directors meetings this year. Please consider this your invitation to sit in and share your input during regular public comment periods.

The first meeting of the year will be Saturday, Feb. 1, noon to 3 p.m. ET, with the agenda going up soon on the SPJ.org “documentation” page. Please count on joining us online, via the Zoom conferencing site.

After that, we’ll meet in person April 17-19 in Indianapolis; and June 27, in Washington, D.C., the day after the annual SDX Awards event there.

Each of the meetings will be streamed live, with recordings posted on the SPJ site after the fact.

There’s much work ahead for 2020 — and we’d be happy to have any help you might offer.

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.

comments powered by Disqus


Twitter Facebook Google Plus RSS Instagram Pinterest Pinterest LinkedIn

© Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789 | Contact SPJ Headquarters | Employment Opportunities | Advertise with SPJ