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SPJ President Walsh statement on journalism and the election



Nov. 9, 2016

Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The following statement may be attributed to Society of Professional Journalists National President Lynn Walsh:

“The Society of Professional Journalists believes public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy.

Yesterday, people from across the United States voted for their next president. They voted after being informed about the candidates and their positions by journalists.

We want you to know the Society is prepared and ready to work with President-elect Donald J. Trump and his administration to ensure journalists continue to function free and without fear of prosecution -- as intended by our Founding Fathers.

However, you may, understandably, be concerned about the future. We saw a campaign trail littered with attacks against ‘the media’ and journalists from both sides. President-elect Trump’s past comments and actions about and toward the press foreshadows a potentially dangerous reality.

Even though a lot has been said and threats have been made, the Society, as it has for more than a century, will continue to work tirelessly to improve and protect journalism no matter what obstacles and challenges may stand in the way. For the American people, we vow to keep fighting to protect their right to know what elected officials are doing.

So, what's next? The Society needs the help of journalists and everyday Americans to lead this charge. SPJ needs you, to stand with us in the fight for information, an open government, a free press and free speech.

Most importantly, journalists and news organizations need to continue responsible and ethical reporting, informing the public about their communities, our nation and the world. Americans – regardless of political allegiance – need to engage and invest in responsible and ethical reporting in order for it to thrive.

If you want to send a message that journalists will fight on; that ethical, accurate and fair journalism is here to stay; that access to government information will continue, we want your support.

As a journalist, you can join SPJ as a member. As a member of the public you can tell the world the foundations of democracy are of the utmost importance to you, and become an SPJ Supporter.

Additionally, the SPJ Legal Defense Fund, is set aside to assist journalists across the country tangled in legal battles while fighting for the public's right to know. Or you can support the First Amendment Forever Fund, to help fight, advocate and lobby for press freedom.

If we believe in these things, we must work to protect them. The Society has worked and thrived through the past 18 presidential administrations and will continue to do so.

We will be here for all journalists and all of America."

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund, or give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.


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