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SPJ recognizes University of Southern California- Annenberg Associate Professor for Distinguished Teaching in Journalism


SPJ recognizes University of California- Annenberg Associate Professor for Distinguished Teaching in Journalism


Contacts: Abbi Martzall, SPJ Awards Coordinator, (317) 920-4791, amartzall@spj.org
Maggie LaMar, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, mlamar@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists has chosen Robert Hernandez, associate professor of professional practice at University of Southern California- Annenberg, as the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award. His primary focus is exploring and developing the intersection of technology and journalism.

Each year, SPJ honors an outstanding journalism educator who has made an exceptional contribution to the profession and/or journalism education. Hernandez won this year with impressive nominations from students and staff from USC.

“The courses that I have taken with Professor Hernandez have been some of the most challenging, and most rewarding, learning experiences at Annenberg. They have introduced me to all the limitless possibilities of digital journalism and challenged me to continue to brainstorm new gadgets, techniques, and software to use for journalistic purposes. Professor Hernandez not only challenges his students but also encourages and supports them,” former student Anna-Catherine Brigida said of Hernandez.

He graduated from San Francisco State University in 2000. Since then, Hernandez has built an impressive resume that includes presentations, interviews and positions with news organizations.

As director of development for The Seattle Times, where he worked from 2002 until 2009, he helped shape and execute the vision for the Web site and company, leading a team of engineers and designers in creating innovative tools and applications for readers as well as staff. He also worked as a Web designer and consultant for El Salvador's largest daily newspaper site, La Prensa Gráfica, Web producer for The San Francisco Chronicle and online editor of The San Francisco Examiner.

He is also the co-founder of #wjchat, a weekly forum on Twitter that engages participants from around the world. This virtual gathering is perhaps the best example of his commitment to collaboration and crowdsourcing

Hernandez will be honored at the Excellence in Journalism 2015 conference in Orlando, Fla., Sept. 18-20.

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 on SPJ, please visit www.spj.org.


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