SPJ21 Journalism Conference: September 2-4, 2021

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Home > SPJ Election Central > Run for Office

Call for Candidates

Election Central
Be more than a member.
Be a leader.


Open positions | Special Qualifications | Guidelines | How to Run | Responsibilities


Board members help define the Society. As an organization that values diversity, SPJ is looking for candidates who represent and encompass differing backgrounds based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, appearance, geography, media discipline and professional status. SPJ is branded as the nationís most broad-based journalism association, which is a statement to the professional and personal attributes of our membership.


The deadline to declare for this year's election is August 28, 2021 at Noon ET. No exceptions will be made for candidates who wish to declare after the deadline has passed.


Positions up for election in 2021 include:

Positions on SPJ's Board of Directors
– President-elect (elected every year)
– Secretary-Treasurer (elected every year)
– Two At-Large Directors (two-year position)

Positions not on SPJ's Board of Directors
– Regional Coordinators for Regions 2, 3, 6, 10, 11 and 12 (each a two-year position)
– Regional Coordinators for Regions 1 and 7 (each a one-year position)

Please note: Regional Coordinators no longer serve on SPJ's Board of Directors. For more information about this change, consult SPJ's bylaws.


Special Qualifications

SPJ’s bylaws require President and President-elect candidates to have “served as a member of the board of directors, or the board of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, or been the chair of a national committee, a professional chapter or community president who also has been or is a member of a national committee.”


Campaign Guidelines

These election campaign guidelines should be followed by all candidates for the SPJ national board of directors and regional coordinators. Candidates with questions should ask the SPJ Nominations Committee Chair or the Executive Director.

Headquarters staff will format and send to members emails compiling messages from all announced candidates three times during the election cycle for the announced candidates. The Executive Director will determine the timing of the staff campaign transmissions. The preferred timetable is four weeks, two weeks and one week before the convention.

No candidate may use the membership database for campaign or political purposes.

No board member, regional coordinator, committee chairperson, committee as a group, community chairperson, or community as a group shall endorse candidates.

Candidate speeches will be no more than three minutes in duration and will be delivered during the opening business meeting. Those speeches will be streamed live and made available on the election home page as soon as possible after they are delivered. The order in which candidates give speeches will be based on the alphabetical order of their last names.

While candidates (because of hotel contract restrictions) may not post signs in the convention hotel, fliers, buttons and other literature may be distributed.

Contact the SPJ Executive Director (or designee) to arrange for display space near the convention's registration area or trade show. All candidates will receive information about board and committee meetings before the convention.

Candidates are encouraged to attend board and committee meetings that are applicable to their prospective position. Candidates may purchase advertising space in Quill, the convention program or SPJ's convention electronic publication at rates discounted 50% off the current rate card. Contact SPJ Executive Director (or designee) for information.


How to Run

Interested candidates should indicate their intention to run by filling out this form. If candidates are unable to provide all the information at the time of declaration, they may email any followup materials to Nominations Committee Chairman Patricia Gallagher Newberry and Manager of Membership and Chapters Caroline Escobar.

In order to appear on the ballot, candidates must declare at least five days before voting opens on the first day of SPJ’s annual convention.

Candidates should declare by July 1 to ensure their candidacy will be featured on SPJ’s Election Central website.


SPJ Officer Responsibilities

Download the Board of Directors Policy Manual [PDF]
Regional Coordinators Guide

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