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Home > SPJ News > SPJ’s Digital, Freelance Community election results announced

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SPJ’s Digital, Freelance Community election results announced


1/26/2015


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 26, 2015

Contacts:
Dana Neuts, SPJ President, 360-920-1737 (PDT), dneuts@spj.org
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org
Alex Veeneman, SPJ Community Coordinator, 815-782-2023, alex.veeneman01@gmail.com

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the results of the election of 10 SPJ members who will lead the Freelance and Digital Communities, effective Feb. 1.

After receiving nominations in December, the first elections for any of SPJ’s communities were held earlier this month. Those elected will be the driving force to serve SPJ members who have an interest in freelance and digital journalism.

“Since the formation of the communities is relatively new to SPJ, I was excited to see so many nominees for the community leadership positions. We had a great pool of candidates,” said SPJ President Dana Neuts. “These elected roles are important to the success of the communities, and I’m confident these enthusiastic, proactive volunteers will serve SPJ well.”

Terms for these positions will end during Excellence in Journalism in Orlando, Sept. 18-20. Elections for all of the communities – including the new International, Student and Generation J Communities – will take place during EIJ15. All future terms will be for one year, and elections will take place at the same time as the elections for the SPJ board of directors’ positions.

SPJ’s elected community leaders:

Digital Community

Chair – Alex Veeneman
Veeneman has seen SPJ Digital grow to become an essential resource for journalists – from those at the beginning of their career to other who are long-time journalists, in his service as interim chair of the community. He is looking forward to leading this community and showing others how SPJ Digital can help journalists and SPJ members. Veeneman also serves as the community coordinator, assisting Neuts in managing and supporting the communities.

Facebook Coordinator – Michelle Sandlin
Sandlin writes two weekly “On the Move” columns and a blog, “On the Move – Exploring Houston Relocation with Michelle Sandlin,” for the Houston Chronicle. She is a contributing writer for the Houston Business Journal, The Business Journals, Worldwide ERC’s MOBILITY magazine and several other publications and corporate blogs.

Twitter Coordinator – Beth O’Malley
O’Malley has been handling the SPJ Digital account on an interim basis and has developed several goals for the coming year, including developing a Twitter chat for SPJ Digital, posting more links to articles and writing more articles about social media and tips that will be helpful to SPJ Digital members.

LinkedIn Coordinator, Google+ Coordinator and NetWorked Blog Managing Editor – Brandi Broxson
Broxson has a strong background in the digital journalism industry, including serving as web editor and editor for a philanthropic publication. Recently, a blog post she wrote about top sites/newsletters for journalists to bookmark was shared by NPR and received numerous retweets. She has previous experience with SPJ Digital, serving as Google+ coordinator last year, and is excited to building upon that experience.

Freelance Community

Chair – Anna Pratt
Pratt, who writes community-oriented features for the Star Tribune north and west metro sections, has covered many different beats over the years, including education, development, neighborhood news, arts, civil/human rights, immigration, business and more for various news outlets.

Vice Chair – Michelle Donahue
Donahue says freelance journalism is her perfect job because it affords her the balance needed between home and career. She ran for this office so she can better do her part to maintain high-quality journalism in America.

Events Coordinator – Amy Ritchart
A journalism professor at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., Ritchart has worked as a reporter and editor in multimedia newsrooms and independently as a freelance journalist, columnist and blogger.

Resources Coordinator – Hazel Becker
A freelance journalist since 1970, Becker also worked for what is now known as Bloomberg BNA. Hazel joined SPJ in 1972 and took an active role after retirement. Since 2009 she has worked closely with fellow DC Pro Chapter members and is now working on improving online resources for freelance journalists on SPJ’s website.

At-large Director – Michael Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald has served two years as chair of the Freelance Committee and is also treasurer for the New England Pro Chapter. He led the transition of SPJ’s Freelance Committee to a Community and says the change will make SPJ a better resource for all types of freelance journalists.

At-large Director – Michelle Sandlin
Sandlin writes two weekly “On the Move” columns and a blog, “On the Move – Exploring Houston Relocation with Michelle Sandlin,” for the Houston Chronicle. She is a contributing writer for the Houston Business Journal, The Business Journals, Worldwide ERC’s MOBILITY magazine and several other publications and corporate blogs.

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 spj.org.

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