MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS
AUGUST 22, 2007
VIA CONFERENCE CALL
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
With President Christine Tatum presiding, the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists was called to order at noon EDT on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 via telephonic conference call originating in Indianapolis, Indiana. The stated purpose of the call was to review nominations and select the various awards to be presented at the 2007 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference in Washington, D.C. in October.
In addition to President Tatum, the following were in attendance: President-Elect Clint Brewer; Secretary-Treasurer Dave Aeikens; Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs Mead Loop; Immediate Past President David Carlson; and Region 3 Director Holly Fisher. Staff members present included Executive Director Terry Harper; Associate Executive Director Chris Vachon; and Programs Coordinator Heather Porter.
DAVID L. ESHELMAN OUTSTANDING CAMPUS ADVISER AWARD
The David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award honors individuals who have done an outstanding job serving as SPJ campus adviser and who have contributed to their chapters and the national organization over an extended period of time.
Upon proper motion and second by Loop and Brewer, respectively, Rick Brunson, University of Central Florida, was awarded the David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award.
DISTINGUISHED TEACHING IN JOURNALISM AWARD
The Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award honors an outstanding journalism educator who has made a significant contribution to the profession and/or journalism education.
Upon proper motion and second by Carlson and Aeikens, respectively, Ralph Izard, Louisiana State University and Ohio University, was awarded the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award.
FELLOWS OF THE SOCIETY
The highest honor the Society bestows upon a journalist is awarded for extraordinary contributions to the profession. Nominations are open to members of the journalism profession.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Loop, respectively, John Markoff, The New York Times, was made a 2007 Fellow of the Society.
Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and Aeikens, respectively, Muriel Dobbin, The McClatchy Company, was made a 2007 Fellow of the Society.
Upon proper motion and second by Loop and Carlson, respectively, Ken Paulson, USA Today, was made a 2007 Fellow of the Society.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Brewer, respectively, Carl Bernstein, The Washington Post, was made a 2007 Fellow of the Society.
FIRST AMENDMENT AWARD
The First Amendment Award honors individuals and organizations for extraordinarily strong efforts to preserve and strengthen the First Amendment.
Upon proper motion and second by Loop and Carlson, respectively, John Seigenthaler, Sr., First Amendment Center, was awarded a First Amendment Award.
HELEN THOMAS AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
The Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement is presented to an individual or individuals for a lifetime of contribution and service to the journalism profession.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Brewer, respectively, Chuck Stone, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, was awarded the 2007 Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement.
HOWARD S. DUBIN OUTSTANDING PRO MEMBER AWARD
The Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award salutes individual professional members who have made significant contributions to their SPJ chapter. One award may be presented to a member of a large chapter (75 or more members) and one from a smaller chapter (less than 75 members). Individuals must be nominated by their chapters board of directors.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Brewer, respectively, Claudia Peschiutta of the Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter was awarded the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award (large chapter).
No nominations were received in the small chapter category. Tatum suggested that Tom Henderson, one of the founders of the Snake River Chapter in Idaho and an active volunteer at the national level, might be a good candidate for the small chapter award.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Brewer, respectively, Tom Henderson of the Snake River Chapter was awarded the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award (small chapter), subject to the requirement of receiving a nomination by the chapters board of directors.
It is added parenthetically to these minutes that the required nomination was not forthcoming from the Snake River Chapter and so no award will be made in the small chapter category in 2007.
JULIE GALVAN OUTSTANDING GRADUATE IN JOURNALISM AWARD
At the close of the college year, each campus chapter of the Society selects one graduate in journalism who is outstanding in his/her class on the basis of character, service to the community, scholarship, proficiency in practical journalism and significant contributions to their SPJ chapter.
Upon proper motion and second by Loop and Aeikens, respectively, Ashlee Clark, Western Kentucky University, was named the 2007 Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism.
REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Regional Director of the Year Award honors individuals serving as an SPJ regional director for outstanding service to their region and the national organization during the preceding year.
Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and Loop, respectively, Ron Sylvester, Region 7 Director, was selected as the Regional Director of the Year.
The Sunshine Award recognizes individuals and groups for making important contributions in the area of open government.
Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and Aeikens, respectively, the following were awarded Sunshine Awards:
Dr. Bill Chamberlin, University of Florida
The Seattle Times, Your Courts, Your Secrets
As a faculty member at the University of Florida, Carlson abstained from the portion of the vote pertaining to Chamberlin.
SIGMA DELTA CHI AWARDS
The executive committee revisited the error that occurred with Category 37 (Documentaries All Other Markets) of the 2006 Sigma Delta Chi Awards in Journalism. It was brought to the attention of the Society in mid-July that the Category 37 winner CBS 3, Philadelphia should have been entered in Category 36 (Network/Top 25 Markets).
At its earlier meeting on August 3, 2007, the executive committee decided to allow the award to CBS 3 to stand, however, the committee wanted to consider ways to preserve the integrity of the SDX Awards and ensure that similar mistakes are not repeated. Staff and volunteers have taken steps to ensure that all future entries are verified to be in the proper categories.
Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and Aeikens, respectively, the executive committee directed the staff to coordinate a re-judging of the 2006 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Category 37 (Documentaries All Other Markets) and make an additional award in the category.
There being no further business to come before the committee, President Tatum declared the meeting adjourned at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, August 22, 2007.