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Nine SPJ chapters recognized for exceptional efforts, chapter of the year finalists announced



Tara Puckey, SPJ Chapter Coordinator, (317) 920-4784, tpuckey@spj.org
Taylor Carlier, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, tcarlier@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Society of Professional Journalists has distinguished nine of its professional chapters as the Circle of Excellence, a collection of awards that recognizes outstanding work in five areas: First Amendment/freedom of information, professional development, chapter communications, diversity and campus relations.

Awards are given to two chapters in each category: one large chapter, of 75 or more members, and one small chapter, of fewer than 75 members. Here is a list of the honorees:

Campus Relations
Large: The Fort Worth Professional Chapter for awarding $20,000 worth of scholarships to college students and for its work with local colleges.
Small: The Madison Professional Chapter for helping to reactivate the UW-Madison Chapter.

Large: The Minnesota Professional Chapter for posting job listings and videos of events on its website.
Small: The East Tennessee Professional Chapter for creating an emergency communications hashtag.

Large: The Florida Professional Chapter for its partnership with other diverse journalism organizations, such as the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Small: No chapters were nominated for this honor.

Freedom of Information
Large: The Press Club of Long Island for its FOI public involvement and challenging of the police.
Small: The Utah Professional Chapter for breaking the indefinite seal of search warrants in Utah, its fight against misuse of FERPA as it pertained to a school surveillance video and its persistence for media to able to cover an important event in Utah that media was banned from.

Professional Development
Large: The Colorado Professional Chapter for putting on 30 programs.
Small: The Rio Grande Professional Chapter for organizing a large-scale event that brought together students and professionals to discuss and learn about issues surrounding their local police department.

SPJ has also selected six finalists for the Chapter of the Year award. 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.

Florida Pro
Minnesota Pro
Press Club of Long Island

Cincinnati Pro
East Tennessee Pro
Utah Pro

The chapters will be recognized and the chapter of the year winners will be announced during the Professional Chapters Leaders Sessions at Excellence in Journalism 2014, an annual conference co-hosted by SPJ and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

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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