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Home > About SPJ > Committees > International Journalism

International Journalism Committee

The International Journalism Committee works to improve and protect international journalism and encourage the free practice of journalism in all countries.

International Journalism Committee Chair

Ricardo Sandoval
Assistant City Editor
Sacramento Bee
Bio (click to expand) picture Ricardo Sandoval is Assistant City Editor at the Sacramento Bee newspaper. He supervises the paper’s environment, science and regional development teams of reporters. Before joining The Bee, Sandoval was a foreign correspondent, based in Mexico City, for the Dallas Morning News and Knight Ridder Newspapers. Sandoval was born in Mexico and raised in San Diego, California. He graduated with a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in Northern California. His career has spanned three decades and has included award-winning coverage of California agriculture, immigration, the savings and loan scandal and the deregulation of public utility companies. His list of awards includes the Overseas Press Club, the InterAmerican Press Club, the Gerald Loeb prize for business journalism and two honors from the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Sandoval co-authored — with his wife, journalist Susan Ferriss — the biography “The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers Movement” published in 1997 by Harcourt.

Ronnie Lovler, vice chair
Bio (click to expand) picture Ronnie Lovler is associate director of the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism at San Francisco State University. She is also senior writer for the nonprofit, and its public-interest news service, “News You Might Have Missed”. In addition to serving as international committee chair, Ronnie is a member of the executive board of the northern California chapter of SPJ. Ronnie taught journalism at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida before moving to San Francisco.

Ronnie’s journalism career spans several decades. She served as bureau chief and correspondent for CNN in Latin America for almost 10 years. During her time at CNN, she reported from every country in Latin America. She also worked for CBS News, The Weather Channel and The Associated Press, as well as The San Juan Star in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She was part of a team of observers headed by President Jimmy Carter monitoring electoral processes in Nicaragua (2001) and Venezuela (2004). During the 2005 U.S. hurricane season, Ms. Lovler worked with the American Red Cross as a volunteer crisis communicator and public information officer. She received her undergraduate degree from Ohio State University and her graduate degree in communications at the University of Florida.

International Journalism Committee Members

Ann Augherton
200 N. Glebe Rd.
Suite 607
Arlington, VA 22203
Fax: 703/524-2782
Bio (click to expand) picture Ann Augherton is the managing editor of the Arlington Catholic HERALD (Va.), the Virginia Press AssociationŐs largest weekly newspaper. Since taking the position in 1991, circulation has continued to grow to the current 61,000, and the newspaper has won several national awards from the Catholic Press Association.

Augherton herself has won writing awards and her freelance, articles and photographs have appeared in several publications and Catholic News Service.

Although a lifelong resident of the Washington area, she has traveled extensively on international assignments in Europe, the developing world, Asia and most recently to the Middle East.

Augherton was an SPJ member while earning her degree in journalism at George Washington University. She returned as a professional member several years ago. Since then she has served in several positions with SPJŐs D.C. Pro Board, including two terms as president, and is currently in her second term on the national board as Region 2 Director.

David Burns
Assistant Professor
College of Communication and Media Sciences
Zayed University
Dubai, UAE
Bio (click to expand) picture Dr. David Burns teaches journalism in a global classroom. For nearly twenty years, he has taught the journalistic and mass communications changes that have accompanied the ‘Information Revolution.’

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in television-radio from Ithaca College. His Master’s thesis at the University of Georgia centered on predicting the success of technological innovations and ideas using Everett Rogers’s diffusion of innovation theory. His University of Maryland doctoral dissertation is a historical account of Poland’s mass media changes leading up to and after Poland’s political transition from communism to a free market democracy.

Besides his academic credentials, Burns has worked for CNN and NBC News, in both permanent and freelance capacities, as a videotape editor and field camera operator in the United States and abroad. While living in Poland and Jordan, he also worked as a technology correspondent for the IDG Wire Service and wrote a regular technology column for Capital, a Polish business and finance weekly newspaper.

He has taught journalism courses and workshops to students and working journalists in the United States, Poland, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Afghanistan.

Butler Cain
Bio (click to expand) picture Butler Cain is an assistant professor of communication at West Texas A&M University. He received a Ph.D. in media history from The University of Alabama. Before moving to Texas, he lived and taught in Seoul, South Korea. Butler also spent a decade as news director of Alabama Public Radio in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and owns a media consulting business specializing in journalism education. He has been a member of SPJ since 1997.

Ramakrishna Challa
Assistant professor, journalism
Andhra University, Visakhapatnam
Bio (click to expand) picture Ramakrishna Challa is an assistant professor of journalism at Andhra University, Visakhapatnam in India. He is a career journalist having worked in a leading English daily, Deccan Chronicle, as a reporter and sub-editor for more than 6 years. During his stint as a Reporter (1987-92), he covered the visits of great personalities like Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa and Dalai Lama. He is the founder member of Vizag Journalists’s Forum (VJF Press Club). He was actively involved in Working Journalists’ activities by serving as Vice-Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists.

He earned his master’s and Ph.D degrees in journalism from Andhra University. Besides several articles on various subjects, he has published a book on “Historical Perspective of Press Freedom in India”. He joined the Andhra University as Press Relations Officer in 1993. While working as PRO, he also served as part-time faculty member of journalism and mass communication at Andhra University. He joined as a full time Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2006. He also was a visiting faculty member of journalism and mass communication at Acharya Nagarjuna University and Central University of Orissa for few years. He is teaching History of Media, Media Laws, Press freedom, Media Ethics, Public Relations and International Communication to the postgraduate students at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication of Andhra University. He is also guiding Ph.D. students.

He attended the Atlanta Convention of SPJ in 2008. He delivered a lecture on “Fundamental Human Rights put to the test of Globalization” in France in 2006. In the same year, he also visited Canada and bagged the Best PR Award at the Association of Commonwealth Universities’ Conference on PR, Marketing and Communications. During his visit to US in 2008, Challa delivered a lecture on “Political Communication-Indian Perspective” at Columbus State University.

Challa was inducted into SPJ in 2007. Challa is a columnist for Bay News. He is also an Associate Editor of Andhra University News Bulletin and Indian Science Congress News Bulletin. He is a native of Visakhapatnam with wife Manjula, son, Abhishek and daughter Sushmita.

John D. Hopkins
9192 SW 128th Lane
Miami, FL 33176
Bio (click to expand) picture John D. Hopkins is a retired news editor with a keen interest in international relations and conflict resolution. He spent the past 17 years editing for the national and foreign pages of The Miami Herald, and earlier wrote or edited for the Associated Press and for newspapers in Florida, Indiana and Virginia.

He is vice president for membership in SPJ’s South Florida Pro Chapter, and a former chapter president. While chairman of the society’s International Journalism Committee, he oversaw the publication of a guide to the Geneva Conventions, organized programs to build young people’s interest in global news and spoke in Miami and abroad on free speech and journalism ethics.

Alan Kania
Bio (click to expand) Alan attended Boston University and Emerson College, where he got his bachelor of science in mass communications in 1971. His newspaper photojournalism experience expanded to magazine stories in national and international publications.

After moving to Colorado in 1975, he edited several newspapers in Grand Junction before moving to Denver in 1978. He has worked in a variety of media and marketing positions.

He is the author of three books on Colorado history and has several more in the final-edit form. He also taught journalism subjects for two years at Metropolitan State College as well as serving as an adjunct professor at Denver University.

Currently he is actively involved with the International Communications Forum. The ICF is devoted to media ethics and freedoms of expression and information. It believes that these need to be accompanied by a high sense of responsibility and respect for every audience. He currently serves on the executive board of directors of ICF-America, a nonprofit chapter of the European group.

He also serves a patron for the Swaziland Institute of Mass Communications in southern Africa and serves on his third term on the board of directors of the oldest press club in the United States the Denver Press Club.

Timothy J. Kenny
Bio (click to expand) picture Timothy Kenny, an associate professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut, is a former foreign editor, non-profit foundation executive and Fulbright scholar.

Prior to joining UConn's journalism faculty in fall 2004, Kenny worked as an international media consultant in the United States and abroad.

From May 2002 to March 2003 Kenny was based in Pristina, Kosovo, as senior media advisor and trainer for professional journalists. He established two Kosovo journalism associations, taught broadcast writing and helped develop a local wire service.

Before working overseas as a consultant, Kenny was director of research and news history at the Newseum, the world's only interactive museum of news, based in Washington, D.C.

He worked for 23 years as a newsman, the last 12 at USA Today. As the national daily's foreign editor Kenny traveled widely in Central and Eastern Europe from 1989-93, reporting from Russia and throughout the region, including Bosnia and Croatia during the conflicts there.

In all, Kenny has filed stories from more than 30 countries, including Northern Ireland, Central America and in the Middle East. He has also worked as a legislative and political reporter for United Press International and was an editor and reporter at daily and weekly newspapers in Oregon and Michigan.

Kenny taught journalism as a Fulbright Scholar in 1991-92 at the University of Bucharest, Romania, where he established the first student newspaper. He has also taught journalism as a consultant in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and returned to Romania on a Fulbright in summer 2005.

His op-ed pieces have appeared recently in the Los Angeles Times, the Hartford Courant, The Wall Street Journal/Europe, the Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor , the Providence Journal and, among other publications.

Len Lazarick
Bio (click to expand) picture Len Lazarick has been a professional writer and editor for three decades covering government, politics, business and education, and he has a particularly strong interest in China.

In March 2006, he helped launch the new Baltimore Examiner daily newspaper as its State House bureau chief, covering state government and politics.

Before that, for eight years he was a copy editor on the National Desk of The Washington Post. He was also news editor of The Business Monthly in Columbia, Md., covering the dynamic business community in Howard County and the BWI Business District.

Len’s involvement in China began more than a decade ago. From 1993 to 1996 with a Towson University journalism professor, he co-managed two long-term USIA-funded exchange programs involving Chinese and U.S. journalists and has visited many of the leading news organizations in China through the All China Journalists Association (ACJA). In 2003, he also coordinated the journalism programming in Washington for a group of 14 editors and reporters from the Jiefang Daily Group in Shanghai through the University of Maryland College Park. He has arranged U.S. media visits for Chinese journalists on behalf of ACJA and a visit by two Jiefang Daily editors in December 2004.

In December 2005, Len received his master’s degree in East Asian History from the University of Maryland College Park. His master’s thesis was on Beijing’s English language magazines in the 1950s.

Len is an active member of the Maryland-China Business Council, where he has served on the board.

Until 1997, Len was an editor at Patuxent Publishing Co., helping to build the largest chain of newspapers in the Baltimore region. He was State House bureau chief for five years and for eight years, he was managing editor of the eight Patuxent Publishing newspapers serving Baltimore County and Baltimore City. He has also spent a year as an editor at the International Herald Tribune in Paris.

Len has also been an associate producer at Maryland Public Television, has been the executive producer and host of a public affairs show on cable TV in Baltimore County, and been a political analyst on radio. He also serves as editor of Trustee Quarterly, the magazine of the national Association of Community College Trustees in Washington, D.C.

He is on the Advisory Board for Mass Communications at Towson University; he is past president and board member of the Maryland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and serves on the International Committee of national SPJ.

Konnie LeMay
Bio (click to expand) picture Konnie LeMay, a Duluth, Minnesota, native, earned a degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism.

She currently is editor of Lake Superior Magazine and has worked more than two decades in journalism including as a freelance journalist/editor under her own company, KonTexts; as managing editor of Indian Country Today newspaper, then out of out of Rapid City, South Dakota., and reporting and editing at the daily newspapers in Superior, Wisconsin; Grand Forks, North Dakota; and Bemijdi, Minnesota.

She also worked in public relations for the U.S.D.A. Human Nutrition Research Laboratory in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Under a Rotary International journalism scholarship, she spent one year working with three regional daily newspapers in France.

In 1997, she completed a fellowship through the Great Lakes Natural Resources and Journalism Institue in 2001 and also a fellowship on Great Lakes Environmental Issues through the Environmental Journalism Program at the Michigan State University School of Journalism.

June Nicholson
Associate Professor
School of Mass Communications
Virginia Commonwealth University
901 W. Main Street
Richmond, VA 23284-2034
Bio (click to expand) picture June O. Nicholson is associate director and an associate professor in the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. She chaired national SPJ’s Journalism Education Committee from 2000-2007 and has been a member of several other national SPJ committees over the past two decades. She is co-developer of the SPJ newsroom training module on covering diverse communities. Nicholson is a former president of the Virginia professional chapter of SPJ and a current board member.

At VCU, Nicholson teaches government, enterprise and project reporting and coverage of specialized beats such as science, health, education, urban affairs and the environment. She also teaches a course on International Media Coverage: The Middle East. She has been a lead faculty member in developing opportunities in the VCU chool of Mass Communications for expanding international initiatives. Before joining the VCU faculty, she was a reporter and editor for some 14 years in North Carolina and Virginia. Nicholson holds a master’s degree in public affairs journalism from The American University in Washington, D.C., and a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“I am a member of SPJ because I believe the organization plays a vital role in protecting the First Amendment, free speech and freedom of information in this country.”

Lee Ann Peck
Assistant Professor
School of Communication
Journalism and Mass Communications
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO 80639
Bio (click to expand) picture Lee Anne Peck has taught English, journalism, and communications courses since 1988. Currently she teaches journalism courses at the University of Northern Colorado. Before UNC, she was an assistant professor of international communications at Franklin College Switzerland, Lugano. Over the years, she has advised three student newspapers.

Peck's professional experience began in 1976 as a correspondent for the Moline Daily Dispatch. After graduating with her bachelor's degree, she edited and then managed the regional Choice Magazine of the Front Range. In the mid-1980s, she edited and wrote for publications in Indiana and Delaware; she has worked for the Fort Collins Coloradoan as an editor, a columnist and writing coach and for the Rocky Mountain News as a copy editor. Peck has also worked at the Tampa Tribune's online product, Tampa Bay Online, and for Microsoft's online publication, Denver Sidewalk. Peck began free-lance work in the late 1970s and continues to do free-lance editing, writing, and public relations work.

Her research focuses on all aspects of media ethics. She has received a Fulbright to teach at the University of Croatia in Dubrovnik for spring semester 2007.

Stephani Shelton
Sunnybank Productions/
The Fred Group, Ltd.
344B Kinnelon Rd.
Kinnelon, NJ 07405
Fax: 973/283-0410
Bio (click to expand) picture I have an unusual mix of organizational, conceptual and creative skills gathered from my varied work history. For the past three years I’ve been working (full time and free lance) as a business news writer/producer in the all-digital, non-linear environment of CNBC. In October, 2003 I researched, wrote and produced a series of 8 long pieces on Pope John Paul’s legacy for WWOR-Ch 9 (updated 4/05). I have also produced a variety of projects for larger media companies — budgeting productions, hiring field and studio crews, setting up satellite feeds, shooting and editing all over the U.S. and in Europe. I have some TV news assignment desk experience. My video production company (The Fred Group Ltd. specializes in corporate projects.

My recent TV news reporting/anchoring experience in the metro NYC area includes WWOR (UPN 9), WNBC (CH 4) and WPIX-TV (CH 11). Also CNBC Radio, the Dow Jones Radio Networks (business news),and WCBS-AM (Newsradio 880). I have a background in business, medical and health news and have produced and reported for Reuters Television, various syndicated business programs, Medstar and Ivanhoe Broadcast News. I’ve created and produced major medical/pharmaceutical VNR campaigns across the U.S. and in Europe for On The Scene Productions and the Orbis Broadcast Group. I’ve produced and written for Medical Detectives, a Medstar/Learning Channel weekly series. I also teach radio and TV reporting and corporate presentation skills. I have worked for Reuters Financial Television, and with Virgil Scudder & Associates and Hill and Knowlton, among others.

I spent ten years at CBS News as a correspondent, mostly radio anchoring, producing and reporting. During that time, in addition to special event, election, and general hard news coverage, I produced, wrote, edited and voiced a number of half-hour documentaries as part of a monthly CBS News/radio series. I also produced, wrote and edited several 13 part, half hour series for Westinghouse Radio, one of which - EVERYTHING'S FALLING APART - won a Peabody.

My extensive TV experience has included investigative reporting as well as conceptualizing and producing a number of extended "sweeps" series. At Financial News Network I produced and hosted a series of half-hour international business shows and also ran the New York unit for Jack Anderson's Washington-based "Insiders”. I managed the New Jersey Bureau for WPIX for a year. I have planned and executed complex live national and local election feeds.

I have a special interest in Central and Eastern Europe. Journalist training assignments include Serbia (IBB/VOA), Albania (USAID/IREX), and VOA and USIA workshops for Bosnians & Poles (here) and Serbs (in then former Yugoslavia). I have spent much time in Prague, where I did some informal consulting for Czech TV and for the start-up of Nova, the independent TV channel. I also worked with American advisors to the Czech Finance Ministry on a planned 12 part TV series on Entrepreneurship. I speak and read a little Czech, Serbian and French.

Bruce C. Swaffield
Bio (click to expand) picture Bruce C. Swaffield is a professor of graduate studies in journalism at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He holds a B.S. from Kent State University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Miami. In addition to working as a professional journalist for many years in South Florida, Swaffield has been teaching journalism and writing since 1983.
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