Archive for July, 2020


SPJ June Board Meeting Update

And Your Thoughts on the Future of SPJ Regions

Here’s a brief rundown of the SPJ board meeting on Saturday, June 27, 2020. The recording isn’t posted yet, but you can find the agenda and committee reportsĀ here. UPDATE: Here’s the link to a recording of the full meeting. And you can read SPJ President Patti Newberry’s summary at her blog.

  1. The virtual conference is moving forward for Sept. 12-13. You should have an opportunity soon to give input on what it should cover. A lot has changed since people made conference proposals last year.
  2. SPJ’s finances are currently stable because of reduced expenses and steady revenue.
  3. SPJ is hiring a full-time director of education to emphasize online learning and overhaul training programs.
  4. SPJ gave out $40,000 to help journalists in need in recent months. 
  5. The new membership database is expected to launch in November. There’s interest in having a forum with chapters/members to explain its features.

Marking six months as executive director, John Shertzer gave a presentation about establishing a strategic direction for SPJ. It was thorough and thought-provoking, and it captured from a more detached perspective what SPJ does well and what could be better. I attached some screenshots to this email. This slide distills his ideas into one possible future for SPJ, which I found compelling:

For me, one of the most interesting parts was John’s discussion of the regions and regional conferences. Members said these were some of the least valuable aspects of SPJ for them. What do you think? 

  • Do you find benefits in interacting with other chapters in your area? 
  • Could this role be better filled by interest groups (such as the SPJ Freelance Community)? 
  • Could we share planning and responsibilities by collaborating with other journalism organizations in our area? 
  • How can we do more to get students interested in SPJ and keep them as young professionals? 

As we start gathering ideas for the 2021 regional conference, this is a great time to rethink the role of the regions and the regional conferences. What would be most helpful for SPJ members? What could be more relevant and exciting? 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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