Archive for August, 2021


Vote for Vaccaro in SPJ Region 1 Coordinator Election

I’m running for re-election for the SPJ Region 1 Coordinator position.

Learn more about me on SPJ Election Central!

SPJ Bio Notes

*Vaccaro has been the SPJ Region 1 Coordinator since January 2021, and served as the Assistant Region 1 Coordinator from 2015-2020.

*Additionally he was the SPJ Region 1 Mark of Excellence Chair from 2015-2020.

*He has been a board member for the Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) since 2010 and served as President of PCLI from 2014-2018.

*He has served as the awards chair for PCLI since 2010, helped found the Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame in 2014 and founded PCLI’s historic studies committee in 2017 to put historic markers at locations of historical journalism significance.

*He was also co-chair of three Region 1 Conferences in the last seven years.

*As president of PCLI, the chapter was recognized as National Chapter of the Year in 2016, and runner-up in 2014 and 2015, as well as Circle of Excellence Award winners for freedom of information in 2014 and 2017 and college outreach in 2015.

*In 2014 he resurrected the student chapter of SPJ at Hofstra University and has served as advisor since. 

Based on some questions that SPJ asked as part of the meet the candidate night and emails …

Which of the four statements of SPJ’s strategic plan is most important to you and why?

“We are producers of journalism’s future.” I’m focused every day on getting the current and future generation of journalists ready for what’s next. As a media executive, professor and SPJ regional coordinator, I work hard to help journalists adapt and grow. It’s vital to create pathways of journalism education for all levels of storytellers, novice and experienced. Without a sustainable future for journalism that mixes a blend of education about innovation we’ll never grow as an industry. I believe in SPJ’s ability to educate and create professional development opportunities in newsrooms, on college campuses and through multi platform technology to inspire and educate. It’s all still very much a blank canvas, but with the right partnerships, curriculum and collaboration, producing journalism’s future is a very real and powerful part of the overall strategic plan both nationally and regionally. Always focus on growing today to thrive tomorrow and never stop.”

How would you help grow SPJ membership?

“More development of college chapters. There are so many colleges and universities with no SPJ footprint and no understanding on how to develop a chapter. This is an untapped area still in many regions and especially in Region 1. Over the last eight months I’ve developed the contacts at more than one dozen schools in the northeast with hopes of helping them add chapters one-by-one over the next year. We are also in talks to develop an SPJ High School Summer Journalism Institute for Summer 2022 and reaching an even younger audience of future stars and SPJ members. Let’s do the work today to grow the leaders of tomorrow.”

Share one last message about your candidacy to the members.

“In less than a year I’ve made an immediate impact in the regional coordinator role and I’m just getting started. I’ve stabilized trust, communication and leadership in Region 1, coordinated with national, raised the promotion and marketing of our pro and student chapters and laid the groundwork and vision for more immediate and long term change in the Northeast. I’m looking to provide consistency in the region, while evolving SPJ on a grassroots level. The first eight months have been successful, so let’s expand on that for another year-plus. I believe in supporting organizations that are bigger than me. I find value in collaborating with other SPJ members around the country to share ideas and help advocate for journalists and journalism collectively. To do that locally was a joy, to do that regionally is a privilege and to do that as part of a national team of leaders has been empowering. Onwards.”

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