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SPJ Chapter of the Year recipients announced


Tara Puckey, SPJ Membership Strategist, 317-920-4784, tpuckey@spj.org
Maggie LaMar, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, mlamar@spj.org

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Society of Professional Journalists honored the SPJ San Diego Pro and East Tennessee Pro chapters as Chapters of the Year today at Excellence in Journalism 2015 in Orlando, Fla. 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 of the Year: San Diego Pro
The SPJ San Diego Pro chapter is recognized for its hard work in recruiting and retaining members. It also partnered with the San Diego Diplomacy Council which allowed the chapter to have more diverse programming.

San Diego Pro held a successful Awards Contest Banquet this past year with more than 120 journalists in attendance. Some of the programs for 2014 included a resume workshop, mixers with five other journalism clubs and a cryptography party. It also held programs such as “Witness to Wildfires: Looking Through a Rear-View Mirror” and “Stop and I’ll shoot: The prevalence of police body cameras,” with professionals in the community to provide better understanding of key issues and learn how to better report them.

The two finalists for Large Chapter of the Year are the Press Club of Long Island and the Colorado Pro chapter.

Small Chapter of the Year: East Tennessee Pro
The East Tennessee Pro chapter is recognized for going above and beyond to improve its chapter and journalism in the area. It teamed up with the University of Tennessee School of Journalism & Electronic Media as contributing sponsors for the Ida B and Beyond Conference opening reception and keynote speech by Mia Bay, the director for the Center for Race & Ethnicity at Rutgers University.

The chapter’s commitment to service was made apparent by its five service projects, including “Front Page Follies,” a comedy skit poking fun at the news industry. The East Tennessee Pro chapter offers scholarships to provide a foundation for future journalists.

The two finalists for Small Chapter of the Year are the Houston Pro chapter and the Georgia Pro chapter.

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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