SPJ: salads, sloths, snails

In 50 days, you can grow your own salad.


Most varieties of lettuce and the smallest varieties of tomatoes (like cherry or grape) and carrots (like Thumbelina or Paris Market) mature in 50 days – as do onions, if you plant them from bulb sets.

Radishes takes as little as three weeks. Want to add goat cheese? You can make it yourself, and it’ll age perfectly within 2-3 weeks. Arugala? Ready to eat after 30-40 days in the ground.

But in 50 days, SPJ can’t even set the table to talk about a name change.

On Aug. 26, SPJ’s delegates – the 104-year-old organization’s “supreme legislative body” – planted the idea of becoming the Society for Professional Journalism. They ordered the board of directors to discuss it.

The next day, SPJ president Dave Cuillier announced…

I am creating a task force to look into it further and provide recommendations to the executive committee and then the full board, which could make a recommendation to the delegates at a future convention.

Wow, that sounds like a long time to harvest. Better get started, right?

But the task force has yet to meet. Last Wednesday, former SPJ president (and make no mistake, all-around great guy) John Ennslin emailed me his formal introduction as chairman of the task force. And yesterday, I learned from Cuillier who else is on it…

Fellow national board members Carl Corry, Paul Davis, Sue Katcef, and David Sheets, along with past president Hagit Limor and former Membership Committee chairwoman Holly Edgell.

Fine folks all. But as of today, nothing has germinated. Which isn’t a surprise, because…

SPJ moves slower than a three-toed sloth with a broken foot and a Xanax addiction.


From salads to sloths. I do enjoy mixing my metaphors.

Since SPJ moves with bradypodidae-like speed at a national level, I’m hoping its chapters possess a little more agility.

I’m asking each SPJ chapter to debate changing the name and mission of their parent organization. Last Thursday, SPJ Florida did just that at its bimonthly board meeting. Chapter president Jason Parsley says he’ll put it to a board vote at the next meeting.

If you or your chapter wants to do the same, email me and I’ll assist in any way you desire. And I’ll list your chapter and its results on this blog.

I don’t care if you vote to support or oppose a name change. As long as you take a stand quicker than SPJ’s national leadership, which is slower than a snail crawling across a stack of pancakes soaked in maple syrup.

There I go again.

If you fancy yourself an amusingly descriptive writer, send me your slowest SPJ metaphors and I’ll cheesily illustrate them. You can remain anonymous in this blog, but I’ll send you a $10 Amazon gift certificate if I use your words. And don’t worry, I protect my sources.

SPJ is an important organization, but until it starts moving at the same pace as the industry it represents, it’ll never be a compelling one. And I’m not just talking about a name change. I’m talking about everything.


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