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Home > SPJ News > SUNY student awarded First Amendment Award

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SUNY student awarded First Amendment Award



For Immediate Release:

Andrew M. Scott, Communications Coordinator, (317) 927-8000, ext. 215,
Lauren Rochester, Awards Coordinator, (317) 927-8000, ext. 210,

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to award State University of New York, College at Brockport student William Matthias with the Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award. The award honors a student SPJ member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the First Amendment through the field of journalism.

Matthias is recognized for his commitment to the First Amendment for holding the college’s student government accountable for egregious actions – despite apparent intimidation by the organization’s lawyer. During his investigation, Matthias was falsely accused of libel with the demand for his resignation as the editor of The Stylus, the college’s student newspaper.

“Bill is the kind of journalism student that teachers are lucky to get once in a lifetime,” Stylus faculty adviser Marsha Ducey said in her nomination letter. “He wants to be the watchdog and hold those in power accountable for their actions. He thinks long and hard about the ethics of his actions, questions and stories.”

Matthias will be recognized for his dedication during the joint SPJ/RTDNA Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference, Sept. 25-27, in New Orleans.

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, please visit


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