Society of Professional Journalists

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"Sigma Delta Chi" redirects here. For the sorority, see Sigma Delta Chi (sorority).
Society of Professional Journalists
Society of Professional Journalists logo.jpg
Logo, Society of Professional Journalists
Formation 1909
Headquarters 3909 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana
Official language English
President Dana Neuts [1]
Key people Paul Fletcher - President Elect
Website http://spj.org

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,[2][3] and its charter was designed by William Meharry Glenn.[4] 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.[5]

Overview[edit]

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) presented Voice of America's Bill Workinger the prestigious Dateline Award for local journalism at a ceremony at the National Press Club on June 11, 2013. The photo depicts Tiger Woods winning the 2012 AT&T National.

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.[6]

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 inspire journalists to 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 2008-09 was Dave Aeikens.[3] From 1939 to 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.[7]

Budget[edit]

In 2009, The Society of Professional Journalists had revenue of $1.4 million. It spent $1.6 million.[8] The same year, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation had a revenue of 934,731 and expenditures of $766,690.[8]

Sigma Delta Chi received $312,500 in grants in 2009.[9]

Recent Activity[edit]

On August 25, 2014, The Society of Professional Journalists had awarded nine of its professional chapters with the Circle of Excellence, a collection of awards that recognizes outstanding work in five areas: First Amendment/freedom of information, professional development, chapter communications, diversity and campus relations. In a sign that the organization is adapting to the ever changing social media world, one award stood out. The East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists won the coveted award for communication by creating an emergency internet #hashtag system.
The program works when during hazardous weather all news stations, government organizations, and citizens of the community tweet out emergency and non emergency pictures and information using the hashtag #knoxwx. Thus streamlining information on social media.[10] The program was originated by Dan Andrews of the Knoxville Focus [11]

On 08/16/2014 SPJ President Dana Neuts formally announced the creation of a blog.[12] This is significant because for many years the society did not recognize blogs as SPJ worthy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.spj.org/spjboard.asp
  2. ^ Glenn, William Meharry (1949). The Sigma Delta Chi Story (1909-1949). Retrieved August 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b 2009 SPJ Annual Report, letter from the presidents
  4. ^ "William Meharry Glenn". Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Sigma Delta Chi, Honorary Journalism Fraternity, Founded at DePauw". DePauw University. Retrieved August 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ Society of Professional Journalists - "Our Mission"
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ a b 2009 SPJ annual report, page 10
  9. ^ 2009 SPJ annual report, page 6
  10. ^ http://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=1273
  11. ^ http://etspj.org/new-universal-hashtag-for-local-news/
  12. ^ http://blogs.spjnetwork.org/president/2014/09/15/last-weeks-highlights/

External links[edit]