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Deadline Club, Virginia Pro named SPJ Chapters of the Year


For Immediate Release:

Chad Hosier, SPJ Awards Coordinator, 317-920-4791, chosier@spj.org
Ellen Kobe, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, ekobe@spj.org

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Society of Professional Journalists honored the Deadline Club and Virginia Pro chapters as Chapters of the Year today at Excellence in Journalism 2013 in Anaheim, Calif. The Society annually honors two chapters, a large chapter of 75 or more members and a small chapter of fewer than 75 members, for their commitment to SPJ’s mission and exceptional chapter programming.

Large chapter: The Deadline Club
The chapter hosted 15 programs over the past year, focusing on topics such as diversity, ethics and FOI, as well as new media tools and publishing in the digital age.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the chapter donated proceeds from its holiday party’s annual silent auction to local disaster relief. Students received three $2,500 scholarships from the chapter, and the chapter hosted a panel at CUNY, packed with top experts in big data, media ethics and the First Amendment to debate hot issues swirling around computer-assisted reporting and the Freedom of Information Act.

The Deadline Club sends a regular newsletter to more than 1,600 subscribers, keeping journalists in its area up to date on the latest training and media news. With more than 342 members, it is now the largest chapter within SPJ.

Small chapter: Virginia Pro
The chapter held a total of 10 programs last year, going the extra mile by helping local members understand journalism issues affecting their territory, actively defending freedom of information and working with campus chapters to encourage excellence in journalism.

The chapter took to the halls of the Virginia legislature, successfully opposing bills that would have ended the required newspaper publication of public notices. And, for the 51st year, the chapter awarded two cash scholarships. They also awarded grants to members of campus chapters in Virginia to cover the cost of registration to EIJ, which was a new activity for them this year.

Virginia Pro staged a daylong seminar in conjunction with the Jepson School of Leadership Studies teaching nonprofits about the information news editors and reporters. In addition, they held a public wreath-laying ceremony at the George Mason Memorial, followed by a program to honor the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights.

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 www.spj.org.


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