Posts Tagged ‘EIJ’

COVID-19 and SPJ

I hope everyone’s doing what they can to stay healthy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you know, out of an abundance of caution, we have postponed our regional conference until Oct. 31. Let’s hope that this will be over by then, giving us a really good reason to celebrate the great journalism that is coming out of the Pacific Northwest during this trying time.

At this point, the Excellence in Journalism convention in Washington, D.C. is still a go.

This also means that we won’t have a luncheon to honor the winners of the Mark of Excellence Award in our region. They’ll get their certificates by mail, but to maintain some sense of public recognition, I plan to do a Facebook Live on the region page to read off the winners.

For chapter leaders, the deadline for annual reports is now June 10, due to the fact that all of us are preoccupied with covering COVID-19 at the same time trying to keep ourselves and families safe and healthy.

When this is all over, we’ll be able to look back at the body of work we have done keeping our communities informed on the state of the pandemic, improving the signal-to-noise ratio out there, and maybe even finding stories to give people a respite from worries of the day.

Good luck to everyone.

Excellence in Journalism Recap

Greetings Region 10!

The annual Excellence in Journalism conference wrapped up in Anaheim on September 9. Region 10 had a handful of journalists from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in attendance for the four-day conference. SPJ was joined by RTDNA (Radio Television Digital News Association), NAHJ (National Association of Hispanic Journalists), and NAJA (Native American Journalists Association). Headquarters reports that there were more than 1,800 people in attendance.

Two well-known journalists were honored at EIJ—RTDNA celebrated Lester Holt’s remarkable career with the Paul White Award. Holt had planned to accept the award in person, but duty called and he spoke to attendees from Florida, where he was covering Hurricane Irma. In addition, RTDNA presented the John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award to CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent, Jake Tapper, who gave an inspired acceptance speech defending journalism. In addition to the honors, EIJ put on dozens of excellent talks, programs, demonstrations, committee meetings, and more, plus two fascinating Super Sessions (21st-Century Reality: Covering Immigrant and Refugee Communities is for Every Journalist and Work in Progress: Pressing the President).

One of the bigger happenings at EIJ was the vote to restructure SPJ’s national board. By fall of 2019, SPJ’s national board will shrink from 23 members to nine. The streamlined board will consist of three officers, four at-large directors and two appointed directors. Read more about the the restructure process and a transition timeline found here. What does that mean for your regional director? Nothing at the moment. Once this regional director term is complete in 2019, the position becomes a “regional coordinator.” There will still be a regional coordinator caucus, and RCs will have a pipeline to the board to discuss local chapter issues. But the change should allow RCs more time to focus on their student and pro chapters.

Take a look at the nine resolutions passed by the society’s delegates at EIJ here.

Interested in attending a future EIJ conference? Start planning now—they are scheduled through 2020.

September 27–29, 2018: Baltimore, MD (Hilton Baltimore)
September 5–7, 2019: San Antonio, TX (Grand Hyatt)
September 10–12, 2020: Washington, DC (Washington Hilton)

I personally would love to see this conference come to the Northwest. Any ideas on how we can make that happen? I’ll be lobbying the search committee at HQ.


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