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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > The best journalism of 2012 & standing up for students

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SPJ Leads | 4/25/2013
The best journalism of 2012 & standing up for students

By Christine DiGangi, SPJ Communications Department



The Society of Professional Journalists proudly honors the winners of the 2012 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism.

Judges selected 84 winners from nearly 1,700 entries from print, broadcast and online outlets, as well as newsletters and research content.

We have listed the winners and linked to their entries online. You can also browse our awards board on Pinterest. Congratulations to all the winners! It brings us great joy to honor such exceptional journalism.


Mark of Excellence Award winners from Region 2 received recognition for outstanding student journalism over the weekend.

Congratulations to all the honorees, and good luck to the first-place winners as they go on to the national competition!

Lists of MOE Award winners for regions 1-4, 6, 9-12 can be found on SPJ News. Regions 5 and 7 will be announced Monday, and Region 8 winners will be posted the week after that.


SPJ will accept applications for the Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award and the Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship for Editorial Writing through June 22.

A bit more about these awards:

First Amendment Award: Recognizes, with a $10,000 award, accomplishments on behalf of First Amendment freedoms by an individual, group of individuals or an organization. Read more.

Fellowship for Editorial Writing: Awards $75,000 to an editorial writer to help broaden his or her journalistic horizons and knowledge of the world. Provided by the SDX Foundation, the annual award can be used to cover the cost of study, research and/or travel in any field. Read more.
These awards are presented by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, SPJ's supporting foundation. If you have any questions, please contact Director of Awards Lauren Rochester at


This week, SPJ sent a letter from President Sonny Albarado to the president of Central New Mexico Community College regarding the shut-down and reinstatement of its student newspaper, The CNM Chronicle.

Administrators at the college reversed their decision to suspend the paper after it published a controversial sex issue. Read the letter from Albarado commending their decision to return the paper to the students.


SPJ joined an amicus brief filed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press supporting The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union in a Freedom of Information appeal.

The case centers on the Executive Branch classification process, specifically regarding targeting killing of suspected terrorists and lethal force against American citizens. To read more about this case and the amicus brief, see the release on SPJ News.


The deadline to apply for the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute in Memphis, Tenn., is in about two weeks.

Scripps is an incredible opportunity to learn about yourself as a leader, not only in the context of SPJ, but also in your work environment. At Scripps, you meet other leaders and learn how to make your SPJ chapter a top group in the organization.

It's valuable. It's fun. It's your chance to shine --- apply today.


The Tinker Tour launched this week! What's that, you say? You're unfamiliar with the Tinker Tour?

Get to know it: Free speech champion Mary Beth Tinker wants to tour America to talk to students about free speech and civics education. She and student speech attorney Mike Hiestand launched a crowdsourcing campaign at to raise money for a bus (or RV) at:

Read more about Mary Beth and her landmark 1969 Supreme Court case, which determined students in public schools have First Amendment rights, and support the tour.


Last week's item "WELLS KEY CELEBRATION" incorrectly listed the chapter hosting the event. The Madison Pro chapter will honor Chester B. Wells at a 100th anniversary celebration of the Wells Memorial Key May 31 to June 1. The details are available online.


Our friends at the Online News Association would like your input on their 2013 conference, which is in October. They have a nifty suggestion box where you can submit program ideas until April 30. Have at it!


What is the first bullet point on the SPJ Code of Ethics?

Answer: "Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error." More from The Code.

And the winner is ... Lindsay Welbers of the Chicago Headline Club. Well done, Lindsay! It seemed an ethics refresher was necessary last week.

On we go to happier times...


CareerCast released its Best Jobs of 2013 list this week, with newspaper reporter receiving the worst ranking --- 200. What job was No. 199?

Submit your answer to Christine DiGangi.

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