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Election Central
Meet the Candidates

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President-elect
Secretary-Treasurer
At-Large Director (two-year term)

Regional Coordinators:   1 - 2 - 3 - 6 - 7 - 10 - 11 - 12


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


President-Elect
Currently unopposed


Andrew M. Seaman
@andrewmseamanLinkedInWebsite

Current SPJ office(s) held: N/A

Previous SPJ experience: I first joined SPJ in 2008, when I was a rising junior at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. I created a chapter at my university that year, serving as its first president. My work led me to SPJ’s Ted Scripps Leadership Institute the following summer, when I decided to run for the national board as a student representative.

My tenure on the board was spent building up the community of student journalists and helping to create programs for colleges and universities. After leaving the board, I went to New York City for graduate school and spent a year on the board of the SPJ chapter at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Committeework was my next calling at SPJ. In addition to serving on the Generation J committee, I helped overhaul the organization’s Mark of Excellence Awards as part of the awards committee. The changes helped streamline the categories and increase competition among entries. Then, I was tapped in 2014 to help revise SPJ’s Code of Ethics as a member of the ethics committee. My contributions were recognized after its adoption with my appointment to chair of the ethics committee — a position I held for four years.

My initial task as ethics committee chairperson was spreading the word about the revised edition of the Code and explaining the changes. I also spearheaded the effort to get the Code translated into several languages — from Spanish to Russian. I overhauled SPJ’s annual Ethics Week by creating a week-long series of events and even getting advertising space on some of the most visible billboards in Times Square. Under my leadership, the ethics committee blog also became a destination for people looking for guidance and commentary on the latest journalism news and trends. In fact, the blog was often cited in print publications and cable stations. I also raised the profile of SPJ through media appearances in The Washington Post, The New York Times, HuffPost, Vanity Fair, The Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed and Variety — to name a few.

Upon leaving the ethics committee, SPJ awarded me the Wells Memorial Key, which is its highest honor.

Special skills to serve in the office sought: I’m fortunate to spend a large portion of my time researching and examining management and career trends. The reason this will be an asset as SPJ’s future president is that I know how to reach goals, manage people and help others grow in their careers. SPJ has a leadership pipeline problem and I want to use my skills to help develop a diverse and steady supply of future leaders.

Another asset that I bring to this position is institutional knowledge about SPJ and its foundation — dating back more than a decade. This institutional knowledge will help me quickly navigate the often-choppy waters of SPJ’s bureaucracy while making sure proper checks and balances are maintained.

Thanks to my time spent within the leadership of SPJ, I also have a deep understanding of the real difference the organization can make in the world. I’ve been able to counsel journalists from around the world through difficult ethical situations. Additionally, I’ve had a front-row seat to see the great defence SPJ provides when the government overreaches its bounds to suppress the freedom of the press. I treasure those experiences and will use them as fuel to continue these important battles.

Finally, people who have worked with me in the past will likely cite my fairness as one of my top qualities. My goal is to collaborate and find common ground. I know that we all make the most progress and move in the right direction when we can hear each other out — even if we disagree. I promise to make fairness one of the watchwords of my presidency.

Bio

I am a lifelong journalist. In elementary school, I chose to create a newspaper instead of heading to recess. As a high school student, I pestered my teachers enough to create an advanced journalism course to take my senior year. My dogged pursuit of the truth and improving people’s lives through information has not stopped. Currently, I am LinkedIn’s senior news editor for job searches and careers. I launched a brand of newsletters that has spawned seven international editions. My weekly U.S. edition also currently boasts more than 650,000 subscribers. I also host one of the most popular LinkedIn Live programs. Before coming to LinkedIn in 2018, I served as digital editor for Reuters, helping to oversee the news agencies social media and homepage. I moved to that position after being the organization’s senior medical journalist for many years. My time at Reuters began in 2011 after graduate school, when I worked in the Washington, D.C. bureau reporting on the Affordable Care Act and the White House. I hold an M.S. degree in journalism (with an investigative specialization) from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a B.A. in communication studies from Wilkes University. While I’m originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania, I currently reside in New York City with my partner and our two (adorable) cats.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

I have dedicated so much of my life to SPJ and its mission. My firm belief is that the health of a free press rises and falls with SPJ. I am determined to set this organization, its chapters and its members up for long-term success during my presidency. I know that I am the best person to accomplish that goal during these turbulent times, because I have a proven track record. Time and time again, I have stepped up to the proverbial plate when SPJ needed me and delivered results that exceeded expectations. When SPJ revised its Code of Ethics in 2014, the journalism ethics space was getting crowded with other players, such as ONA’s new build-your-own ethics code and RTDNA’s own revised edition. Yet, I worked with the ethics committee and SPJ headquarters to make sure our code remained the industry’s standard. Even as a student, I was asked to help overhaul the Mark of Excellence awards program to increase competition and to help ease the burden on college and universities. The result was a leaner and more-competitive Mark of Excellence awards. I will continue to work with partners within and outside SPJ to deliver results.

What is an example of a change you have made or helped make within SPJ?

My work to revise SPJ’s Code of Ethics is — without a doubt — one of the most important contributions I’ve made to the organization over the past decade. Our Code of Ethics is SPJ’s foundational document and a beacon for the journalism profession. When transparency was under attack at the Las Vegas ReviewJournal several years ago, the brave journalists in the newsroom reached for the Code of Ethics to post on their cubicles. Countless other journalists have turned to it over the years to also seek guidance during challenging moments — big and small. Helping craft the most-recent version of the document is by far one of the biggest honors of my life and a legacy I’m proud to leave at SPJ.

What is a specific change you would make within SPJ if you were elected?

SPJ — on national, regional and local levels — offer journalists so much value. Unfortunately, a lot of the programs and offerings that provide that value are disjointed. People may be involved on a local level without much knowledge about what national has to offer, for example. I want to change that by creating a membership funnel that helps lead journalists deeper and deeper into the organization and its programs. People who come to their local chapters will be introduced to SPJ’s communities and national programs. Similarly, people who come directly to national will be more directly introduced to local programs and national communities to maximize value. The more people engage with the programs, the more they will be pulled into the organization, which will ultimately help create a sustainable supply of dedicated journalists to lead SPJ for years to come.

Why is SPJ important to you?

SPJ is important to me on two levels — professionally and personally.

I have seen the difference SPJ makes within journalism — and ultimately the world. We step in when others can’t or won’t to fight against unethical journalism and abusive governments. We shine a light on the public’s business to make sure it is conducted in the open. We hold people in power — and ourselves accountable. I shudder to think what our existence would look like without SPJ.

On a personal level, SPJ helped me find myself and my people. I am who I am today because of this organization. When I thought I was a bit of a weirdo in high school for examining how news and information reached the masses, SPJ showed me that there are many other people who care about those issues. When I worried that I wouldn’t be accepted in journalism as a gay person, leaders within SPJ showed me I could be my authentic self and thrive in thise profession. SPJ has given me so much and I still feel like I have so much more to give back to it.


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Secretary-Treasurer
Choose one

Jump to candidate:
Jonathan Make
Danielle McLean


Jonathan Make
@makejdmBlog

Current SPJ office(s) held: Immediate past president, SPJ DC

Previous SPJ experience: For the last two years, I have helped to run an informal grassroots group of SPJ leaders from across the country. We have advocated for transparency in national SPJ board decision-making. Most recently, many of our members successfully backed holding a hybrid SPJ 21. In past years, we helped local chapters throughout the country receive past-owed dues from the national headquarters.

During the period in which I am a candidate (and/or a board member), I will be stepping back from those grassroots duties so that the group can be run by someone independent of the board. This group is meant to in part help to oversee the board. I hope it will hold me accountable as a board member should I become your secretary-treasurer.

Special skills to serve in the office sought:
– A track record of being a collegial, collaborative, cooperative and constructive leader in my newsroom, in my community and on various volunteer boards, including SPJ DC.

– I am not afraid to stand up for my principles and those of good journalism and best organizational and board governance practices. I don’t mind going against the grain if the principle is an important one and if I have done my homework first to learn about the issue.

– I have been engaged with the local and national levels of SPJ for about a decade, attending board meetings and annual conferences and participating in many local events. I have taken the Scripps Howard leadership training. I believe that all of this gives me some institutional perspective on the history of SPJ and what makes it great and areas where it can improve.

– I believe that my social media and communications skills can help SPJ get the word out about all that it does. So that you, the member, can have many ways to find out what’s happening and to participate.

Bio

For approximately a half-dozen years until 2020, I was on the SPJ DC Pro Chapter board. I have held various positions including president for two years. I was also on the Sigma Delta Chi DC board.

I judge SPJ DC and national SPJ/SDX annual journalism awards, among many others. I helped to organize many journalism events and moderated panel discussions of journalists. I occasionally speak with broadcast and other media in my SPJ and professional roles. I blog, tweet, take photographs and generate posts to many types of social media, as part of my SPJ and professional responsibilities. I have participated in the Scripps Howard leadership training and received the SPJ Dubin award in 2019.

I am a longtime journalist, working for the past 16 years at a newsletter publishing company in Washington, DC, where I am currently executive editor. Our publication Communications Daily is known for watchdog journalism, and has won many journalism awards including from SPJ. I am our newsroom expert in the Freedom of Information Act as well about journalism and ethics issues.

Earlier in my career, I worked at Bloomberg and freelanced for daily metro newspapers. My graduate degree is in media and public affairs and my undergraduate degree is in international studies. I spend my spare time with my wife, who is also a journalist, and with our son. We volunteer in our community and in our congregation.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

I am running an untraditional campaign in that part of my pitch is that I may NOT be the best candidate. I encourage you to vote for a member of the current SPJ board if any directors choose to run for this position. I think they would be a more effective secretary-treasurer than me.

In the absence of such a candidate, I believe I would make a positive difference on the board and for you, an SPJ member. I have a long track record of working collegially and effectively with various volunteer boards, including with SPJ DC. I am keen to get input BEFORE making decisions. As a journalist, I am comfortable with dissent and with hearing from different points of views and then incorporating that into my decision-making.

In my election-bid video, I try to speak more about my qualities and why my candidacy is an untraditional one. You can read the text from that video on my Medium blog.

What is an example of a change you have made or helped make within SPJ?

At the local level, I have helped to attract younger members to our organization and have coordinated with local journalism students and their programs on events and on other things. I have worked cooperatively with other journalism organizations on areas where their interests may overlap with those of SPJ.

On the national level, the grassroots group that I helped to start has succeeded in getting additional transparency from the organization. We helped to end the release of information after business hours and assisted in getting all SPJ members notice of board meetings longer in advance. Most recently, members of our grassroots group, along with many other SPJ leaders, helped to get the national board to agree to hold a hybrid conference instead of one that was virtual-only.

What is a specific change you would make within SPJ if you were elected?

I am not running for secretary-treasurer because I hope to advance specific changes. Part of leadership, I believe, is keeping an open mind and learning the facts before making a decision.

What I do promise to do is everything I can to encourage civility and constructive dialogue among members of the board and with all of our many different stakeholders, most importantly members. I promise to advocate for what is in the best interest of the organization and profession as a whole, not based on what is in my own interests. I hope to continue the current SPJ focus on diversity and retaining and broadening the membership.

Why is SPJ important to you?

SPJ represents for me the best of what journalism strives for, and journalism is a touchstone of my life and has been my only career. SPJ’s ethics, its journalism awards, its educational programming and its leadership opportunities help members to be better journalists. I would like to play any role that will help advance these things.

When I was asked if I was interested in running for secretary-treasurer, I said I would be happy to if there were no other candidates. I am not interested in pursuing a board seat for any reason other than helping the organization. Journalists pitching in to make journalism a better profession and to help to educate the public about the news media is what makes SPJ a vital organization.


Danielle McLean
@DanielleBMcLeanLinkedIn

Current SPJ office(s) held: Chair of SPJ'S Ethics Committee

Previous SPJ experience:
– President of the New England Chapter (2013- 2016)
– Attendee at the 2014 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute
– Chair of SPJ's Freedom of Information Committee (2017- 2019)
– Recipient of 2017 Terry Harper Memorial Scholarship
– Winner of a 2018 SPJ National President’s Award

Special skills to serve in the office sought: I am a dedicated leader who has served SPJ in different capacities. I have a unique ability to find solutions to complex challenges, present the facts and context in clear and understandable ways, and guide people through the decision-making process.

Bio

I am a senior editor at Smart Cities Dive, a national online news publication that covers the most impactful news and trends shaping smart cities.

I am the chairperson of the Society of Professional Journalists' Ethics Committee. I previously served as chairperson of SPJ’s Freedom of Information Committee in which I helped oversee the launch of The Whistleblower Project, an ambitious Sunshine Week collaboration between numerous organizations that advocated for the importance of whistleblowers. And I am a proud trans woman who plays competitive women's hockey in the DC- Maryland region.

I am a former staff reporter at The Chronicle of Higher Education, where I covered federal and state higher ed policies and a former award-winning investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News and later ThinkProgress. While freelancing, I was published in The Washington Post's The Lily and hosted a podcast called The Biden Transition Podcast.

Earlier in my career, I covered a number of Massachusetts city halls for several newspapers near my hometown, including the Somerville Journal, The Milford Daily News, and The Boston Globe.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

SPJ needs a strong leader. It needs someone who can work with a lot of people from different backgrounds who passionately defend their viewpoints, to figure out the best, most practical solution. I have a long history of listening to people from a diversity of different backgrounds at all levels of the Society, taking in their feedback and making informed decisions. People do not always agree with my decisions but they will know why I made them and know that it was made through thought and logic.

My strength as a veteran federal policy and investigative reporter has been my ability to dig into the government and regulations and figure out how and why they’re not working the way they were intended.

Just because a program has been put in place to help chapters grow, just because there is an intention to take the Society to new heights does not mean that it will actually happen. Sometimes progress requires major structural changes. But most of the time, change requires just taking a step back and figuring out why things are not necessarily working the way they were intended and using the resources you have to resolve it. I have made a career doing that very work through journalism.

And when changes are needed, when SPJ wants to bring in new members who can grow as leaders, wants to grow a chapter or take on an ambitious new project, I’m a person who has a long history of doing that as well.

What is an example of a change you have made or helped make within SPJ?

When I first joined SPJ, I was immediately appointed president of the struggling New England chapter. The chapter was really only being held together by two or three active members and held very little public presence. But months after becoming president, we worked tirelessly to find speakers, sponsors, and venues for the Region 1 conference at Boston University. The event was by all accounts an astonishing success. Months later, we recruited new passionate members to the board and found creative new ways to make our mark, including holding a public records reform rally, in which dozens of journalists picketed in front of the Massachusetts State House in the blistering cold. Several of the members I brought in have helped turn the chapter into a tour de force and one of SPJ’s biggest success stories of the past decade.

When I became SPJ’s Freedom of Information Committee Chair in 2017, whistleblowers were under attack by politicians throughout the country and there were very few journalism organizations actively supporting them. I decided to devote the committee’s resources that year into backing them. The FOI Committee formed a partnership with the Government Accountability Project and several other organizations to launch the Whistleblower Project: a comprehensive website that told the stories of whistleblowers, their importance to democracy and a free press, and the laws that are needed to support them. The project has received widespread praise from whistleblowers, lawyers and advocates and made an important case for government transparency.

What is a specific change you would make within SPJ if you were elected?

SPJ’s Code of Ethics states journalists should, “Boldly tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience” and to “Seek sources whose voices we seldom hear.” To do this, journalists from a diversity of races, nationalities, genders, disabilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and experiences are needed to help newsrooms identify those underrepresented sources and tell their stories.

But SPJ’s leadership needs to reflect our expectations of newsrooms. We need to not only recruit new members from diverse backgrounds, but we need to support them and allow them to grow into leadership roles within the Society. As a trans woman, I understand how challenging and intimidating it can be for members of marginalized communities to take on leadership roles within the Society. We need to let our members know that SPJ is an organization that will accept them.

When it comes to the Society’s ability to grow, the most impactful changes we could make are not always drastic overhauls, rather using the resources we have to make our processes better. I would like the finance committee to take a more active role in helping SPJ staff identify new ways to generate new revenue. This could include further collaboration with the Foundation, it could come from our continuing efforts to grow our membership, or it could come up with creative revenue generators such as more sponsored virtual events.

I firmly believe that to grow our membership, we need to do a better job supporting our local chapters. We have an amazing staff in place working under very strong leadership. They are eager to get to work. Let’s identify the things that need to improve to attract new members without reinventing the wheel. How can we get new members registering through our website to more easily identify their chapter and know to sign up for it? How can we better promote the discounts and resources SPJ has to offer and make it more accessible? How can SPJ help support under-resourced chapters that are trying to promote a panel, workshop, or networking event?

Sometimes we don’t need to build a new road or bridge to improve our infrastructure, we just need to do minor maintenance to the ones we already have.

Why is SPJ important to you?

I owe the Society of Professional Journalists my career. It has taught me to become a better, more ethical journalist, it has allowed me to build a massive network of support, and given me an opportunity to give back to the industry I love. More than ever, our industry needs SPJ. The young reporters trying to make an impact in this challenging climate need SPJ. The truth and democracy needs SPJ. I want to continue giving back.


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At-Large Director
(Two-year term)

Choose two

Jump to candidate:
Dan Axelrod
Emily Bloch
Daniela Ibarra
Ruth Nasrullah
Alex Veeneman


Dan Axelrod
@dan_axelrodLinkedIn

Current SPJ office(s) held: Member

Previous SPJ experience:
• Past Keystone Pro Chapter President
   –Marketed and staged lectures, workshops and statewide contest. Organized
five lectures that attracted 500 people. Recruited 12 members in a year
Recognized for running one of the top small U.S. SPJ chapters. Helped run
successful statewide contest
• Past Chairman, Digital Media Committee.
   –Authored strategic report "Will SPJ Remain Relevant in the Digital Age?”
   –Wrote SPJ’s congressional testimony for FCC and FTC committee hearings
   –Assisted SPJ website redesign
   –Oversaw creation of popular instructional digital media booklets
• SPJ Ted Scripps Leadership Institute Graduate, June 2009
• Past Quill columnist and freelancer
• First joined SPJ in 1999

Special skills to serve in the office sought:
• Teaching. Journalism professor (56 credits of teaching experience), including at the University of Florida
• Writing and reporting (14 years of experience as professional newspaper reporter, including nine full time)
• Public relations (two-plus years of experience)
• Life-long passion for studying journalism (Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the University of Florida, five published scholarly papers)
• Award-winning research/investigative skills. 15 prizes from state press associations for investigative and feature reporting, three national fellowships and grants for media studies and a scholarly legal writing prize.
• Knowledge of SPJ. Past experience with SPJ as chapter president and committee chair.
• Mentoring. Love helping college journalism students land internships, freelance gigs and jobs. Have spent entire career advising and coaching students, writing recommendation letters, overseeing capstone projects, reviewing portfolios, helping them create résumés and grad school admissions essays and mock interviewing them. Did all of that and more at the University of Florida, while also overseeing student media, and a million-dollar budget, as a board member for the Independent Florida Alligator, America’s largest student-run paper.

Bio

Dan holds a University of Florida Ph.D. in mass communications, has 14 years of professional newspaper reporting experience (including nine full-time), and two-plus years of PR experience. Plus, he’s taught 56 credits of college journalism and communications courses, including at the University of Florida, Marist and in the SUNY system. Dan has won 15 awards for investigative reporting and feature writing from press associations in New York, New England and Pennsylvania, three national fellowships and grants for media studies and a scholarly legal writing prize. As a reporter, some of Dan’s top stories have uncovered a juvenile cancer cluster and a nursing home chain's unsafe conditions, which spurred state investigations; forced a Rye (NY) Town leader to resign for financial mismanagement; uncovered a tragic cosmetics factory fire's preventable cause; inspired a new high school's construction; and led to a bill to reform New York’s industrial development agencies.

In 2011, Dan was a awarded a fellowship to earn his Ph.D. at Florida, where he taught media ethics, feature writing and multimedia reporting, while completing his dissertation on how the Rocky Mountain News’ 2009 closure affected Denver. In his spare time, Dan teaches college journalism and communications classes in the SUNY system, he’s a yoga instructor (RYT 200) and he studies journalism. He’s currently working on a book (forthcoming University of Nebraska Press) based on his Denver case study about the societal ramifications of a newspaper's demise. For his research, Dan conducted a 223-person survey of ordinary Coloradans, plus in-depth interviews with state and local leaders, from community association presidents to Colorado’s last five governors. He specializes in studying the attenuation of newspapers due to corporatization, consolidation, conglomeratization and financialization, media economics and the mass media's political economy, First Amendment theory, media history, platform convergence and media credibility. Dan is past president of SPJ's Keystone (Pa.) Pro Chapter, which SPJ honored as one of America's best small chapters and SPJ's former Digital Media Committee chairman.

For SPJ, he authored the 2010 strategic report “Will SPJ Can Remain Relevant in the Digital Age?” He’s a past graduate of the SPJ Ted Scripps Leadership Institute, and he’s written for Quill magazine, including a cover story and several columns. In February 2021, Dan became a senior account executive for Shea Communications, a Midtown Manhattan public relations firm, after four years serving as Gannett’s Hudson Valley business reporter (reporting for the Journal News, the Times Herald-Record and the Poughkeepsie Journal). Among other accounts, he’s in charge of press for a multi-billion-dollar JLL real estate project, and he assists with throwing the Nathan’s Famous 2021 July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island. Dan also had an earlier PR stint, after being laid off from a Pennsylvania newspaper in 2009, following his first five years as a full-time reporter. Back then, he spent two years as a PR specialist for Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania for he which he organized events, drafted news releases, oversaw the internal communications system and ghostwrote for senior leaders.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

I passionately believe in making the world a better place through journalism, like SPJ. Few callings are as high. (The only thing I ever wanted to do more than be a reporter was teach people how to be reporters). I love reporting so much that I went back to it after I earned a Ph.D. in journalism. I was editor-in-chief of my high school and college papers, and it was at college where I fell in love with SPJ more than 20 years ago. Back then, I learned that SPJ was worth being in because its members believe in our collective power to better our field and ourselves as reporters, educators, journalism students, teachers and communications professionals. But we don’t all have the time to be an SPJ leader. So, now that I have the time and the experience, I’m humbly hoping you’ll give me the chance to help our organization and our field

What is an example of a change you have made or helped make within SPJ?

I'm extremely proud of my service to SPJ, whether it was advising the organization regarding an overhaul of its website, writing a strategic report on how the society can stay relevant in the digital age, recruiting a dozen members, authoring Congressional and Federal Trade Commission testimony on behalf of SPJ regarding the attenuation of journalism, or leading what was (back then) a vibrant digital media committee in 2009-010, while running a successful statewide chapter.

What is a specific change you would make within SPJ if you were elected?

As an SPJ board member, I would focus on treating every SPJ leader, member and staffer with dignity, kindness and respect. I'd emphasize team building. I would shed the egoic self. I would not care about titles or badge collecting. I'd feel honored to work with some of the smartest, most accomplished, well-meaning people in the field to better and defend journalism. I’d do my part to help make meetings about listening to and considering ideas with kindness and open mindedness and taking action on initiatives that improve the organization, while still respecting and upholding SPJ’s proud history and status as a leading voice in the field and an ethical standard-bearer.

Why is SPJ important to you?

SPJ is the oldest, largest professional journalism association in America for a reason — because SPJ is a unifying force for good in the field and a standard bearer for professional, ethical journalism. Journalists aren't natural joiners, but there's strength in numbers. And SPJ unites journalists, journalism educators and other communications professionals across races, colors, creeds, platforms, experience levels and geographies. Only journalism, Thomas Dewey wrote, “can furnish knowledge as a precondition of public judgments” through its “daily and unremitting assembly and interpretation of ‘news,’” and its subsequent presentation in a widely accessible format with mass appeal. More simply put, journalism is no mere commodity. It’s immeasurable extra-market worth lies in its ability to make us human (no other species can tell stories) and to help us flourish (by giving people the information needed to be free and self-governing and helping them make the daily decisions that better their lives). I'm proud to be a member of SPJ, an organization that seeks to protect and enhance journalism. And I'd be honored to help lead it.


Emily Bloch
@emdrumsWebsite

Current SPJ office(s) held: Membership Committee Chair; SPJ Florida President

Previous SPJ experience:
– Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award Winner (2020)
– Large Chapter of the Year Award Winner as SPJ Florida President (2020)
– Recipient of Terry Harper Memorial Scholarship (2019)
– Community Coordinator (2018)
– SPJ Florida Vice President of Membership (2018)
– Executive Director Search Committee Member (2018)

Special skills to serve in the office sought: In my years serving SPJ, I've helped develop and scale national projects (Fake News Game Show, Race & Gender Hotline, etc.), led an award winning state chapter and brought new — particularly younger — eyes to the organization.

I first joined the group as a student member, while attending college at Florida Atlantic University. I ran (and lost) a student representative seat, but went on to become the vice president of programming for my state chapter instead. In that role, I pushed a narrative for other students that SPJ taught me more than I ever learned in a classroom. It's my time participating in obituary writing contests and zombie interviewing events that I was able to apply to my day job (though I've yet to interview an actual zombie to-date).

My time with the organization has been spent building innovative, exciting programs that draw attention, membership and funding to the group.

As membership chair this past term, our group is working on new initiatives to drive student membership including a membership bundle with the Associated Collegiate Press and a pilot membership perk program, Paper Money, which will incentivize memberships with ad revenue assistance for student newspapers.

As the two-term president of SPJ Florida, I've helped our chapter not only win the national chapter of the year recognition, but have offered our successful statewide programs to national as free programming-in-a-box for fellow chapters.

Finally, while leading a Fake News initiative — where our chapter publicized an attempt to trademark the infamous term as a campaign for media literacy, I raised the organization's profile with an op-ed on the efforts for Teen Vogue, as well as international press coverage.

In response to these actions and more, SPJ awarded me with the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award last year.

Bio

I'm a Florida-based multimedia journalist focusing on youth and internet culture and its intersections with diversity and politics.

I’m currently The Florida Times-Union‘s education reporter, covering Jacksonville schools, politics and local government. My coverage has included the monumental renaming of six local schools with Confederate ties.

Along with writing, I double as a social media engagement specialist for my newspaper, leading the organization’s Instagram campaigns and a Subreddit page devoted to local news that I built from the ground up. I contribute regularly to publications including Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan and USA TODAY. Recently, I wrote about the inequities women in the craft beer industry face for The Washington Post’s The Lily.

I’m the current president of the Society of Professional Journalists Florida Pro Chapter. Through the organization, I lead a chapter known for organizing grant-funded programs for journalists across the state as well as media literacy training for non-journalists. Work under my leadership includes the now national Race & Gender Hotline. Currently, I'm also. cohort member of the 2020-21 UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative.

I previously served as the associate editor for Flamingo Magazine, a statewide lifestyle magazine and regularly contribute to other luxury magazines. Before that, I worked as a community news reporter for the Sun Sentinel — a top 50 daily newspaper — covering Broward County. Along with the rest of the Sentinel staff, I contributed to the paper’s Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

SPJ has an age-old pattern of ideas getting stalled out by bureaucracy and red tape — I'm undeterred by either of those things and have the track record to prove it.

I want to expand on the work I already do, scaling up local programs and initiatives nationally, just on a larger platform and with more resources. I think it's important that an at-large candidate understands both what it's like to be a chapter leader, as well as the nuance and intricacy that comes along with being a national board member.

What is an example of a change you have made or helped make within SPJ?

I have worked to scale up multiple Society of Professional Journalists Foundation-funded programs and initiatives from the chapter level to national including the Fake News Game Show and The Race and Gender Hotline. Additional programs following a similar pipeline that are coming soon include Paper Money and the newly launched Florida Student News Watch — a pipeline program for student journalists to work with education reporters at their local paper.

What is a specific change you would make within SPJ if you were elected?

We need to work to make becoming a member easier, not harder. SPJ (and its leadership) need to represent an inclusive space that will support marginalized groups unwaveringly. Additionally, student memberships need to clearly convey their value from a local and national standpoint. This is something the membership and student chapter guidelines task force have already been working to simplify. I think membership perk campaigns, like what we're working on for students right now for instance, will play a large role in this. But to thrive, they will need financial support.

Why is SPJ important to you?

SPJ taught me more than a classroom ever did. It's helped launch and foster my journalism career from the beginning.

The organization has supported my big ideas, lauded them and backed them up financially. Committee members have been there for me through high and low-points, including awards and layoffs. I know how impactful this group can be when the right people are in the driver's seat(s).

I only want to offer the same support for incoming members I've been offered. And I'd like to make it a little easier.


Daniela Ibarra
@DanielaIbarraTV

Current SPJ office(s) held:
– SPJ Diversity & Inclusion Committee member
– SPJ21 Conference Planning Committee member
– 2021 SPJ Student Leadership Institute

Previous SPJ experience:
– SPJ Fort Worth Career Day participant
– Diversity & Inclusion Committee member
– 2021 National Conference Planning Committee Member

Special skills to serve in the office sought:
– 2017 - Student Representative, National Association of Hispanic Journalists. I served one year representing more than 400 student members with NAHJ. I helped the board craft projects and issues that would help students succeed in their chosen platform in journalism.
– 2020 - IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors) Conference Fellow

Bio

I am currently a television reporter/MMJ at KTUL, the ABC affiliate in Tulsa, OK.

My introduction to the news business was unique. I grew up in a military family. My parents, immigrants from Ecuador, came to this country in the 1980s.

I graduated from high school in San Antonio and then headed to the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, Texas. I received my B.A. in Broadcast & Digital Journalism and my M.A. in Media & Industry Studies.

During my time at UNT, I was very involved in college journalism programs. By 2017 while studying for my M.A., I was the news director of UNT's campus television station. I oversaw a news team of more than 100 student reporters, producers, editors, photographers, and anchors. Our team won several Student Production awards from the Lone Star Emmy chapter.

While I was going to college, I was also the President of the campus chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), and by 2017 I was elected as the student representative for the national board.

I got my first job as a television reporter right after I got out of college at KTXS in West Texas and have enjoyed every part of it. When I'm not working, I volunteer, mentoring students, and play with my pups, Jaxson and Markle.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

I'm two years into my profession journalism career, which means I have a fresh perspective of what other journalists coming into the business need and want. I know the importance of having every voice represented in the newsroom and at the table. I believe diversity matters, whether it's race, age, gender, culture, or economic status.

What is an example of a change you have made or helped make within SPJ?

I hope I can continue opening doors for people of diverse backgrounds. We have been missing some newsrooms around the country, and I hope the new generation of journalists can make a difference with my help. This is why I joined the SPJ Diversity & Inclusion Committee. We have a Diversity Leadership Program that I am helping plan for the 2021 conference.

What is a specific change you would make within SPJ if you were elected?

We need more students around the country to get to know the Society of Professional Journalists. I'm a member of NAHJ and IRE, and I know that SPJ has many different programs and projects that could help students.

If elected as At-Large, I would work on helping bring students and first-year professionals into our fold and find a way to create a bridge between the new generation of members and SPJ's veteran members.

As a television reporter, I also want to show other TV and radio broadcasters that SPJ is not only for print journalists, but open to all platforms, including broadcasting. There is still a belief among the new generation that SPJ is for older, more established journalists. Let's change that attitude.

Why is SPJ important to you?

SPJ is known as a journalism organization that defends journalists who are challenged on the job. It's an organization that has proven that all people of all backgrounds belong. That's why I want to help lead an organization rich in history that continues to meet the needs of all journalists.


Ruth Nasrullah
@ruthnasrullahWebsite

Current SPJ office(s) held: President, Houston Pro chapter

Previous SPJ experience: I have been an SPJ member since 2010. I have served five terms as president of the Houston Pro chapter and one as vice president. I chaired the region 8 annual conference committee in 2014, the year it was hosted in Houston. I have served as a Mark of Excellence Awards judge.

Special skills to serve in the office sought: I would bring to the at-large position expertise in public speaking, team management, event planning, conflict avoidance/management, and mentoring.

Bio

I have worked as a freelance journalist since 2003, focusing on religion and spirituality, trails and travel, social justice and politics, civil rights, and public speaking. I recently began focusing on nature and the environment, and was selected for the Solutions Journalism Network’s mentorship program to pursue work exploring the decline of the pollinator population and measures being taken to stop or slow the decline. I have written for American Muslim Today, Azizah, the Houston Chronicle, Islamic Horizons, Juicy, The Lily, MuslimMatters, The Trek, and Toastmaster. I received my master’s degree in journalism from Emerson College and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College. I served in a volunteer capacity as communications director for Houston Women March On’s 2020 Women’s March. Before the COVID-related restrictions took effect, I volunteered with Team Brownsville, providing humanitarian aid to asylum seekers on the southern border. I also lead workshops on writing skills, the most recent being a workshop on writing about religion, held at the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow. My next two presentations will be at the HippoCamp literary conference in August 2021, and at the Appalachian Trail Long Distance Hiker Association’s annual Gathering, where I will lead a workshop on “Creative Writing for Hikers.” I am married and have one adult daughter and two adult stepsons. Read more about me at ruthnasrullah.com.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

As at-large director I would anticipate being called upon to manage, organize, and/or lead special projects or committees. I have served on numerous organizational committees and chaired several. As President of the Houston Pro chapter I have been responsible for organizing monthly programs. It’s not just work I’m good at or experienced at; I love it. And doing it for SPJ will make it all the more satisfying.

What is an example of a change you have made or helped make within SPJ?

When I took the position of president with the Houston chapter, the bylaws were outdated and needed cleaning up. After some research, I re-visited Houston’s document to bring it up to speed.

What is a specific change you would make within SPJ if you were elected?

I would like to see more minority or marginalized groups added to the Race & Gender Hotline, or have a separate, similar hotline set up. I feel especially strongly about this having studied media coverage of Islam and Muslims and thus seeing inaccuracies in reference to Muslims' faith or political ideology that are sometimes made.

Why is SPJ important to you?

SPJ fosters a sense of belonging, of collegiality, and of learning. Since I came to journalism a little late in life, I felt a need for the support of a peer organization, and in SPJ I found the networking I needed professionally and personally. As a freelancer, SPJ offers a community with resources and great colleagues. When I think of my journalism career without the opportunities SPJ affords, it seems lonely and daunting.


Alex Veeneman
@alex_veeneman

Current SPJ office(s) held: Member, Ethics and Awards Committees

Previous SPJ experience:
– Member, Awards Committee — August 2018-present
– Member, Ethics Committee — October 2016-present
– At-Large Officer, Freelance Community — June 2018-January 2019; January 2020-July 2020
– Community Coordinator — December 2014-March 2017
– Awards judge — 2015-present

Special skills to serve in the office sought: I am an organized, dedicated volunteer with SPJ who is prompt and courteous. I ensure that people have what they need, and if I don't know the answer, I will stop at nothing to ensure that you have an answer. This is YOUR SPJ, and I want SPJ to work with you and for you.

Bio

Alex Veeneman is a freelance journalist whose work has been published in Forbes, Medium, Kettle Magazine in the UK, and the digital publications of Twin Cities PBS (Rewire, Next Avenue and TPTOriginals.org). A member of SPJ since May 2014, his roles at SPJ include service as Community Coordinator, a member of committees and a convention moderator, most recently at EIJ19 in San Antonio, Texas.

Veeneman currently is a member of the national Awards and Ethics committees.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

At the forefront of my work is SPJ is connecting people and helping them enhance the profession — and helping SPJ work for them. People get involved in SPJ because they believe in the profession and the people. The work I have done in my seven years as an SPJ member is at the core of what I would bring to the table as At-Large Director. I want to be an advocate for every SPJ member — whether you freelance or work full time, are early in your career or trying to find your next steps.

This is YOUR SPJ, and I want SPJ to work with you and for you.

What is an example of a change you have made or helped make within SPJ?

I was instrumental in helping establish SPJ's network of communities, working to help serve members based on mutual interests. That network is imperative in helping connect members and help them in their work. I also served as Community Coordinator from December 2014 to March 2017, helping to oversee this work. I have also contributed to the work of SPJ's Ethics Committee through e-books and written articles, and SPJ's Awards Committee as a member helping with policy and recommendations of awards.

What is a specific change you would make within SPJ if you were elected?

This pandemic has taught us that this is no time to be complacent. Doing nothing changes nothing. We can only have an impact if we work together. I will be a voice for pushing for several things:

1. Create more national continuing education opportunities outside of conferences to help connect members outside of their chapters and geographical areas.

2. Start work to have a role for SPJ when it comes to helping journalists' mental health

3. Enhance SPJ's work to promote ethical journalism

4. Increased investment in opportunities for students and early career journalists

Why is SPJ important to you?

People get involved with SPJ because they care about the profession and the people who work in it. SPJ is more than just an organization that you are a member of. SPJ is an organization that can support and broaden your professional horizons, and can be your guide to a rewarding career in journalism. SPJ works to make sure that journalists remain active and supported, no matter what route they take, where they are geographically or what medium they focus on.

That work is necessary now more than ever, and I will do all that I can to make sure that continues — for if we are to ensure that the audience we serve is at their best, we need to be at ours, and if SPJ doesn't do that, who will?


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Region 1 Coordinator
Currently unopposed


Chris R. Vaccaro
@ChrisVaccaroCandidate Speech

Current SPJ office(s) held: Region 1 Coordinator, PCLI Board Member

Previous SPJ experience: Vaccaro has been the SPJ Region 1 Coordinator since January 2021, and served as the Assistant Region 1 Coordinator from 2015-2020. Additionally he was the SPJ Region 1 Mark of Excellence Chair from 2015-2020. He has been a board member for the Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) since 2010 and served as President of PCLI from 2014-2018. He has served as the awards chair for PCLI since 2010, helped found the Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame in 2014 and founded PCLI’s historic studies committee in 2017 to put historic markers at locations of historical journalism significance across the island. He was also cochair of three Region 1 Conferences in the last seven years. As president of PCLI, the chapter was recognized as National Chapter of the Year in 2016, and runner-up in 2014 and 2015, as well as Circle of Excellence Award winners for freedom of information in 2014 and 2017 and college outreach in 2015. In 2014 he resurrected the student chapter of SPJ at Hofstra University and has served as advisor since.

Special skills to serve in the office sought: Any coordinator position is about leadership. To collaborate on all projects is the only path forward. I am an empathetic leader who understands how to serve in a volunteer leadership role. I believe in working with others, understanding the landscape of the region, the issues our local chapter leaders face and the points of advocacy that can strengthen the regional and national SPJ and chapter brands.

Bio

Chris R. Vaccaro is a media executive, professor and author from Long Island. The Emmy Award and Murrow Award winner is Vice President of Digital News at Altice USA in New York. He is also the Director of Graduate Journalism at Hofstra University where he has been an adjunct assistant journalism professor for 11 years. Prior to Altice, Vaccaro was the Editor-in-Chief of The Topps Company (yes, baseball cards!), where he helped build the team’s digital division and launched mobile products. He also worked as an editor at the New York Daily News and Aol. His journalistic work has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, ESPN, Associated Press, The Athletic and more. He is also the author of six books.

On the non-profit front, aside from SPJ and the Press Club of Long Island, Vaccaro is also the Executive Director of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame on Long Island and on the board of the Italian American Baseball Foundation. Vaccaro studied journalism at Hofstra, attended Stony Brook University for his master’s in public policy and has studied leadership in executive education programs at Harvard's Kennedy School, NYU's Stern School of Business, Columbia University's Business School and MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

In less than a year I’ve made an immediate impact in the role and I’m just getting started. I’ve stabilized trust, communication and leadership in Region 1, have coordinated with national, raised the promotion and marketing of our pro and student chapters and laid the groundwork and vision for more immediate and long term change in the Northeast. I’m looking to provide consistency in the region, while evolving SPJ on a grassroots level. The first six months have been successful, so let’s expand on that for another year-plus.

What is an example of a change you have made or helped make within SPJ?

Within the first month in the position I had one-on-one conversations with all Region 1 pro chapter leaders and exchanged emails with campus advisors. From these conversations I developed a foundation of goals - I call the three legs to our R1 stool - GROWTH, ADVOCACY and COMMUNICATION.

Our goals with growth have been to develop new chapters, grow regional membership and expand our SPJ feeder system by launching new campus chapters. With advocacy, our goal is to open lines of communication with local officials and be a voice for the journalists and media organizations in our region. On communication, simply more of it between chapters, leaders and SPJ national.

In the last six months, I oversaw one of the more robust regional conferences in the country. It was multiple days with more than a dozen speakers and half a dozen panels. Guided the Region 1 Mark of Excellence Awards with a new awards chair. Promoted a student coordinator for the region. Set up bi-weekly email check-ins with all pro leaders and campus advisors, using the communication points to promote their events between each other and flag for SPJ national promotion and coverage. Relaunched the SPJ Region 1 blog, launched an SPJ mailchimp list for email communication with Region 1 members, worked with Stony Brook University to get its student chapter reinstated for fall 2021 and have already begun planning the 2022 SPJ Region 1 Conference on Long Island, as well as a possible 2022 SPJ Region 1 Summer Journalism Institute for high school students. I also developed a college chapter resource guide to inspire student leaders with ideas for new events and opportunities on their respective campuses.

Advocated the New York State Senate on Shield Laws, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on vaccinations for journalists and the Connecticut Senate on Bill 760, which aims to prohibit use of footage from accidents.

What is a specific change you would make within SPJ if you were elected?

Life is about change and growth. We’re evolving as we speak and so is Region 1. I hope to institute an SPJ Region 1 Summer Journalism Institute by Summer 2022 (thanks to a working committee we have plans to make this happen, but it’s a major collaboration with some passionate journalists involved). I’m hoping that the pro chapter leaders from Region 1 will also help SPJ national make some changes to its website membership flow. We have a number of ongoing conversations about this with key stakeholders. We will launch more student chapters. The groundwork is set with a dozen colleges/universities in the Northeast and we’re going to launch one at a time in the next year. Finally, more advocacy, more communication, more collaboration. I will spearhead it all for Region 1 and bring stakeholders together, no matter the issue or moment.

I’d also like to see better communication between chapter leaders across the country and not just the northeast. I’ve seen first hand how great it is to have email threads and zoom chats with our region, but I’d like more cross-region communication between regional coordinators and chapter leaders.

One area I’m exploring is launching regional versions of “SPJ Communities,” which we won’t do until the national versions are updated soon. I want to deputize some passionate regional leaders to help spearhead these.

I also look forward to traveling and meeting physically with all chapter leaders in the northeast this fall. Zoom has been great during the pandemic, but the in-person communication and sharing of ideas will be very beneficial for growth.

Why is SPJ important to you?

I believe in supporting organizations that are bigger than me. I find value in collaborating with other SPJ members around the country to share ideas and help advocate for journalists and journalism collectively. To do that locally was a joy, to do that regionally is a privilege and to do that as part of a national team of leaders has been empowering.


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Region 2 Coordinator
Currently unopposed

No declared candidates yet.


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Region 3 Coordinator
Currently unopposed


Michael Koretzky

Current SPJ office(s) held: Region 3 Coordinator

Previous SPJ experience: National board member (2008-2010, 2011-present). South Florida chapter president (2011) and board member (2005-2006). Have served multiples terms on the Awards and Membership committees.

Special skills to serve in the office sought: During my time as regional director/coordinator, the Georgia chapter was created a decade after the Atlanta chapter's demise. That chapter later won Small Chapter of the Year. I also oversaw the merging of three Florida chapters into one statewide chapter that has won large Chapter of the Year six times.

Bio

Currently editor of Debt.com. Previously I was a reporter for the Sun Sentinel, Florida Times-Union, and Athens Banner Herald Daily News before creating and selling two magazines, one to the Tribune Company. I later became managing editor of the world’s largest jazz magazine and a designer and copy editor for the National Enquirer, Star, and Globe tabloids. I've also advised the student newspaper at Florida Atlantic University since 1999.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

I won Regional Director of the year in 2015 because I like the in-the-trenches work. This position isn't sexy, and it's nearly anonymous. But it's also important. Success is measured in not your own progress, but that of the region's chapters and members. I've had some success in both areas.

What is an example of a change you have made or helped make within SPJ?

Among the many changes I've helped either spark or support, the one I'm most proud of is among the smallest: I created a Race & Gender Hotline that SPJ later took in-house.

What is a specific change you would make within SPJ if you were elected?

I'd change nothing. SPJ has leaders that are planning change. As a regional coordinator, my job is unglamorous but important: Implement the changes already voted on, create compelling programming to drive membership, and support chapters so they don't struggle with logistics and drown in paperwork.

Why is SPJ important to you?

It's the only broad-based journalism organization in the country. It's the only one that cares so deeply about ethics. The only one was a Legal Defense Fund that awards thousands of dollars on a dime. The only one that funds so many local and national scholarships and programs.


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Region 6 Coordinator
Currently unopposed

No declared candidates yet.


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Region 7 Coordinator
Currently unopposed

No declared candidates yet.


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Region 10 Coordinator
Currently unopposed


Donald W. Meyers
@donaldwmeyers

Current SPJ office(s) held: Region 10 Coordinator

Previous SPJ experience: Region 10 coordinator 2019- to present, Region 10 director 2018-2019, Region 9 Director 2010-2014, Utah Headliners Board member 1996-2013, Utah Headliners chapter president 2002-2004, Utah Headliners chapter vice president, 2000-2002. Graduate of 2012 Scripps Institute. Member of the SPJ National FOI Committee.

Special skills to serve in the office sought: I bring experience of working in now two regions with a variety of chapters, ranging from small and starting out to large pros. I also know how to use technology to bridge the challenges of geography.

Bio

Donald W. Meyers is a reporter/multimedia journalist at the Yakima HeraldRepublic. Prior to that, he worked at The Salt Lake Tribune, (Provo, Utah) Daily Herald, and daily and weekly newspapers in New Jersey. He first joined SPJ while a student at Brigham Young University, and has been active in Utah and Washington state. He also was a founding member of the Utah Foundation for Open Government and was one of the creators of SPJ's National Black Hole Award.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

I bring a wide variety of experience to the position from both a professional and an SPJ perspective. I have been a national board member with SPJ, as well as a chapter leader. I've also worked on a variety of news outlets, from a major metro daily to small community weeklies. I've also experienced the challenges chapter leaders face, as well as people in our industry as we navigate these trying times.

What is an example of a change you have made or helped make within SPJ?

I worked with then-president Hagit Limor and David Cuillier to create the national SPJ Black Hole Award, which is a way to spotlight egregious violators of the principles of transparency in government. Its first use was with the Utah State Legislature's gutting of the state's open-records law, which gave SPJ a way to apply pressure nationally to the legislature to overturn it.

What is a specific change you would make within SPJ if you were elected?

I would like to do a more concerted push at developing campus chapters, which is where we will get the future leaders of both SPJ and our industry. I believe that healthy campus chapters can lead to healthy pro chapters, infusing new ideas and energy into the Society.

Why is SPJ important to you?

I've been a member of SPJ for more than 30 years. After my religion and my family, it has been one of the constants in my life. It stands for what is best about our profession and encourages us to do better. I truly believe that I have got more out of SPJ than the "bill and a Quill" as some say. I see serving in SPJ as a way to pay SPJ back for what it has given me through the years, as well as to help support my fellow journalists.


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Region 11 Coordinator
Currently unopposed


Bryan Horwath

Current SPJ office(s) held: N/A

Previous SPJ experience: Bryan served as a board member for the Kansas Pro Chapter for three years, from 2016 until 2019. Following his move to Las Vegas in 2019 for a new job at the Las Vegas Sun newspaper, Bryan joined the Las Vegas SPJ chapter as a board member.

Special skills to serve in the office sought: Bryan is passionate about journalism and the SPJ cause.

Bio

Bryan grew up in Wisconsin before entering the field of journalism as a part-time sports reporter while in college. He later worked as a sports editor at a small newspaper in Minnesota before moving to news in 2010. Since that time, Bryan has covered many beats, including state and local politics, business, banking and real estate, in six different states. He's worked as the casinos and gaming reporter for the Las Vegas Sun since 2019 and has been active in SPJ since 2016.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

Simply put, I believe I'm the best candidate for the position because I'm willing to put in the time and effort to help further the SPJ cause in any way I can. America needs quality journalism now more than ever and the Society of Professional Journalists needs to continue to be the strong organization that it has been for so many years so it can continue to support the many fine journalist we have on the West Coast. I want to be a part of that effort.

What is an example of a change you have made or helped make within SPJ?

I believe I've helped to raise the profile of the Las Vegas SPJ chapter by helping to spread the word of the benefits of being an SPJ member. My fellow Las Vegas chapter board members, with their dedication to the organization and the profession, have only inspired me more these past few years to get the word out about SPJ.

What is a specific change you would make within SPJ if you were elected?

I'd like to see some type of scholarship program to pay for memberships for journalism students in college. I know the student fees don't seem like much — and in reality, they're not — but I remember what it was like to be broke in college. Even $20 or $30 can seem like a lot of money. I'd like to see some type of program where we ask supports of SPJ in respected communities to donate to this type of a scholarship program. It's important, with any cause, to attract young people. SPJ is no different.

Why is SPJ important to you?

Journalism is incredibly important for our society. I've seen how droves of people in our country in recent years have turned against our profession because of dangerous rhetoric and disturbing messages from far-right media organizations. I don't think it's political in nature to stand up against those types of baseless attacks against the thousands of remarkably smart and driven journalists working in the U.S. In the SPJ, we have an organization that supports these fine people. They need support these days. If I can help in any small way in that effort, I want to do that.


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Region 12 Coordinator
Currently unopposed

No declared candidates yet.


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Questions?

Call the Election Hotline, 317-920-4788, or send us an e-mail.

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