Submitted by the Resolutions Committee to the National Convention of the Society of Professional Journalists in Indianapolis, Ind., for passage on August 29, 2009
Resolution No. 1
Honoring Efforts by Indigenous Staff in War Zones
Whereas, the American public depends on journalists to provide accurate, independent and timely coverage about United States involvement in wars, and
Whereas, such war coverage is one of the most challenging assignments for all journalists, and
Whereas, coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been rendered even more difficult by differences in language, religion and culture as well as the ever present danger of being targeted as a westerner or a journalist in wars without the traditional front lines and
Whereas, Iraqi and Afghan citizens have come forward to work with American news organizations, and
Whereas, these individuals have provided invaluable service as reporters, photographers, interpreters, translators, drivers and fixers, and
Whereas, these individuals have performed other functions essential to the work done by American journalists and provided access where none would have been possible otherwise, and
Whereas, many of these indigenous staffers daily risk their lives and the security of their families, exposing themselves to the hostility of warring factions within their own countries and the risks inherent in working in a war zone that includes their own neighborhoods and villages, and
Whereas, at least 11 of these individuals have lost their lives in the furtherance of journalism during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with even more being driven into exile, and
Whereas, these individuals do their jobs without the protections American journalists enjoy as U.S. citizens, and
Whereas, for their own safety, many of these individuals must remain anonymous and hide their important accomplishments even from their own families and friends, and
Whereas, journalists who have relied on these courageous Iraqis and Afghans have described them as heroes to journalism and
Whereas, the coverage of these wars would be difficult, if not impossible, but for the work of these individuals, who have served the American public interest as well as those of their countries.
Now, Therefore Be It Resolved that the Society of Professional Journalists meeting in convention and celebrating its 100th anniversary in Indianapolis praises and thanks these individuals for their efforts on behalf of journalism, and
Be It Further Resolved that Society staff ask U.S. news organizations to transmit copies of this resolution to their past and present indigenous staff, both in war zones and in exile.
Be It Further Resolved that the American people should take note of the contributions of these individuals.
Resolution No. 2
Thanks to President David Aeikens
Whereas, David Aeikens exemplified throughout his tenure as president the tenets established by the founders of SPJ 100 years ago: truth, talent and energy, and
Whereas, Aeikens has stoutly defended the value of journalism in the face of increasing challenges to it and defended the press freedom guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and
Whereas, Aeikens worked to assure the Society of Professional Journalists remained the pre-eminent national journalism organization, and
Whereas, Aeikens an accomplished golfer drove the Society forward during rough times and never allowed his love for SPJ to fade in order to find a fair way to meet the needs of its members and the Society, and
Whereas, Aeikens used his pragmatic and contemplative Midwestern signature to guide the Society carefully into the unchartered waters of the constantly changing world of the news media, and
Whereas, Aeikens gave selflessly of his time and talents for the benefit of the Society and its members, and
Whereas, Aeikens is the only recent leader to emerge from Minnesota who is not a comedian or a wrestler, and
Therefore, be it resolved that the Society of Professional Journalists, in convention assembled in Indianapolis, Ind., for its Centennial Celebration commends President David Aeikens for his dedication, hard work and sacrifice, and expresses its gratitude for a job well done.
Sponsored by the Resolutions Committee
Resolution No. 3
Thanks to SPJ Headquarters staff
Whereas, the Society of Professional Journalists' headquarters staff has devoted years of planning to the staging of this annual convention, and
Whereas, managing a convention such as this involves long hours and little sleep, and
Whereas, this years final preparations occurred against the backdrop of Executive Director Terry Harpers declining health and eventual death, and
Whereas, staff members have helped produce a convention program that has attracted a larger number of attendees than the previous convention, and
Whereas, staff have carried out their duties with great skill, good cheer and selfless dedication; and
Whereas, staff have looked fabulous in their khaki slacks and black shirts,
Therefore, be it resolved that the Society of Professional Journalists, in convention assembled in Indianapolis, Ind. for its Centennial Celebration, expresses its sincere appreciation for the dedication of the SPJ headquarters staff.
Sponsored by the Resolutions Committee
Resolution No. 4
Thanks to the Indiana Pro Chapter
Whereas, returning to our Indiana birthplace was a goal of the Society in its Centennial year, and
Whereas, a host chapter can make a difference in welcoming SPJ to a convention city, and
Whereas, SPJ has felt welcomed and appreciated in Indianapolis.
Therefore, the Board of Directors congratulates and thanks the Indiana Pro Chapter for its help on the 2009 Centennial Convention and directs staff to notify the chapter of this resolution.