Society of Professional Journalists
|Society of Professional Journalists|
Logo, Society of Professional Journalists
|Headquarters||3909 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana|
|Leader||Hagit Limor, President|
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), formerly known as Sigma Delta Chi, is one of the oldest organizations representing journalists in the United States. It was established in April 1909 at DePauw University, and its charter was designed by William Meharry Glenn. The ten founding members of Sigma Delta Chi included Gilbert C. Clippinger, Charles A. Fisher, William M. Glenn, Marion H. Hedges, L. Aldis Hutchens, Edward H. Lockwood, LeRoy H. Millikan, Eugene C. Pulliam, Paul M. Riddick, and Lawrence H. Sloan.
The stated mission of the SPJ is to promote and defend the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of the press; encourage high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism; and promote and support diversity in journalism.
SPJ has nearly 300 chapters across the United States that bring educational programming to local areas and offer regular contact with other media professionals. Its membership base is more than 9,000 members of the media.
SPJ initiatives include a Legal Defense Fund that wages court battles to secure First Amendment rights; the Project Sunshine campaign, to improve the ability of journalists and the public to obtain access to government records; the magazine Quill; and the annual Sigma Delta Chi Awards, which honour excellence in journalism.
It has also drawn up a Code of Ethics that aims to ensure that journalists adhere to high standards of behavior and decision-making while performing their work.
The organization helped foster the creation of the American Reporter, the first electronic internet-only newspaper.
Its president of the SPJ in 2008-2009 was Dave Aeikens. From 1939-1940, the president was the university professor Elmo Scott Watson, then at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Watson was particularly known for his work on the history of the American West.
In 2009, The Society of Professional Journalists had revenue of $1.4 million. It spent $1.6 million. The same year, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation had a revenue of 934,731 and expenditures of $766,690.
Sigma Delta Chi received $312,500 in grants in 2009.
Deadline Club 
The New York chapter of the SPJ, called the Deadline Club, gives out an annual Deadline Club Award to New York-area journalists. Journalist Russ Baker received this award in 2005.
- Glenn, William Meharry (1949). The Sigma Delta Chi Story (1909-1949). Retrieved August 21, 2010.
- 2009 SPJ Annual Report, letter from the presidents
- "William Meharry Glenn". Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
- "Sigma Delta Chi, Honorary Journalism Fraternity, Founded at DePauw". DePauw University. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
- Society of Professional Journalists - "Our Mission"
- Frank H. Maynard, Cowboy's Lament: A Life on the Open Range (Lubbock, Texas: Texas Tech University Press, 2010), p. 29, ISBN 978-0-89672-705-2
- 2009 SPJ annual report, page 10
- 2009 SPJ annual report, page 6
- Society of Professional Journalists
- Deadline Club (New York chapter of SPJ)
- Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists
- Council of National Journalism Organizations
- "Fast Facts" on SPJ
- Code of Ethics