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Home > SPJ News > Society of Professional Journalists to perform a unique, new public service

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Society of Professional Journalists to perform a unique, new public service

For Immediate Release:
12/12/2006


Contact:
Christine Tatum, President, (303) 881-8702
Terry Harper, Executive Director, (317) 927 -8000

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists, one of the nation’s largest and oldest journalism advocacy organizations, has developed a unique, new educational service to help people understand the tenets of responsible journalism and the profound importance of a free press.

SPJ’s Journalism Education Series, a first-of-its-kind initiative, will launch early next year under the auspices of the Society’s new Speakers Bureau. The series and the bureau aim to inform the general public about some of the core principles of good journalism, the standards under which respectable news organizations operate and the challenges journalists often confront when gathering the news. The series will focus on SPJ’s core missions, including the free flow of public information, journalism ethics and the importance of diversity in the news-gathering process.

SPJ will select experienced journalists and experts in media ethics and media law to devise the series’ curriculum and instruct all series participants.

Market Wire, a newswire in North America that distributes company press releases and material news, will be the SPJ Speakers Bureau’s first client and the first to present SPJ’s new Journalism Education Series.

Within the newswire industry, SPJ will work exclusively with Market Wire for one year. Market Wire plans to present the Journalism Education Series to professionals working in investor, media and public relations. At the same time, SPJ also plans to deliver the series – the development of which is made possible in part because of Market Wire’s initial investment – to an array of community and civic groups.

“SPJ has created a dynamic and educational program and speakers bureau that will help people understand how newsrooms generally work and how responsible and respectable journalists do their jobs,” said SPJ President Christine Tatum, an assistant business editor at The Denver Post. “Such insight and instruction stand to make newsgathering more transparent to the general public and encourage more people to engage with news organizations everywhere.

“I am pleased that Market Wire has decided to present SPJ’s Journalism Education Series to its customers, many of whom work in public and investor relations,” Tatum said. “It is vitally important for everyone who claims to be gathering information for the benefit of a well-informed public to know the difference between fact and fiction, between lies of omission and commission, between information that is genuinely helpful to the public and information that is solely self-serving.”

“Market Wire actively seeks counsel from journalists nationwide,” said Paolina Milana, Market Wire’s vice president of marketing and media relations. “We believe it is important for professionals working in public, media and investor relations to understand and respect the core principles of sound journalism. Newswires can serve as a neutral ground where professionals with longstanding – and easily understandable – distrust of each other meet to learn more about those principles. Our objective is to facilitate that dialogue.”

About Society of Professional Journalists

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, visit www.spj.org.

About Market Wire

Market Wire, a CCNMatthews Company, is a full-service distributor of corporate press releases. The company boasts one of the largest media distribution footprints in North America with the most secure and cost-effective distribution of real-time news to thousands of media outlets including AP, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, Reuters, Yahoo!, and MSNBC.

Committed to world-class client service, industry-leading distribution, technology innovation and market-leading strategic relationships, Market Wire serves PR and IR professionals with key workflow solutions including Easy PR/IR, SEO, ListLogix, and more.
A full listing of the company's products and specific distribution points can be found at www.marketwire.com.

SPJ's new Speakers Bureau and Journalism Education Series: Vote Tallies

SPJ’s proposal for a speaker’s bureau was passed Nov. 15 by the Society’s full board. The final tally was 18-1.

Those voting in favor
Clint Brewer, President-Elect
Dave Aeikens, Secretary-Treasurer
Mead Loop, Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs
David Carlson, Immediate Past President
Sally Lehrman, Director At-Large
Molly McDonough, Director At-Large
Sue Kopen-Katcef, Campus Advisor
Neil Ralston, Campus Advisor
Erin Smith, Student Representative
Carolyn James, Region 1 Director
Ann Augherton, Region 2 Director
Holly Fisher, Region 3 Director
Richard Roth, Region 5 Director
Gordon Govier, Region 6 Director
Ron Sylvester, Region 7 Director
Travis Poling, Region 8 Director
Nathan Isaacs, Region 10 Director
Sonny Albarado, Region 12 Director

Those voting against
Kevin Smith, Region 4 Director

Note: Region 11 Director Paul McAfee recused himself from the vote because of a conflict of interest.

SPJ’s proposal for the Market Wire Media Education Series was passed Nov. 15 by the Society’s full board. The final tally was 15-4.

Those voting in favor
Clint Brewer, President-Elect
Dave Aeikens, Secretary-Treasurer
Mead Loop, Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs
Molly McDonough, Director At-Large
Sue Kopen-Katcef, Campus Advisor
Neil Ralston, Campus Advisor
Erin Smith, Student Representative
Carolyn James, Region 1 Director
Holly Fisher, Region 3 Director
Richard Roth, Region 5 Director
Gordon Govier, Region 6 Director
Ron Sylvester, Region 7 Director
Travis Poling, Region 8 Director
Nathan Isaacs, Region 10 Director
Sonny Albarado, Region 12 Director

Those voting against
David Carlson, Immediate Past President
Sally Lehrman, Director At-Large
Ann Augherton, Region 2 Director
Kevin Smith, Region 4 Director

Note: Region 11 Director Paul McAfee recused himself from the vote because of a conflict of interest.

-END-

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Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
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