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2017 SPJ Pro Chapters of the Year named at Opening Business Session


Chrystal Parvin, SPJ Membership Coordinator, (317) 361-4132, cparvin@spj.org
Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, agutierrez@spj.org

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Society of Professional Journalists annually selects professional chapters to honor for their commitment to SPJ’s mission and the profession of journalism.

Large Chapter of the Year is open to chapters with 75 or more members and Small Chapter of the Year is open to chapters with fewer than 75 members.

Large Chapter of the Year

The Florida Pro chapter is honored as the Large Chapter of the Year for the second consecutive year for their dedication to education and continued commitment to the mission of the Society.

Florida hosted five major programs that, judges said, went beyond simple panel discussions. It offered national grants to other chapters and journalists who wanted to host events. The Drone Tour covered five states and received a matching SDX grant. The Femme Freelance Fest – hosted by and for women – ranged on topics from contracts to copyright, and happened before the end of the fiscal year. The chapter matched 80 freelancers with 16 employers. The Fake News Game Show was accepted as a featured program at the nation’s largest college media convention in Dallas this October.

Florida was also the only chapter to have multiple sessions accepted at EIJ and launched the Student Chapter Development network to support and help create campus chapters in Florida. To put it simply, this chapter did a lot, and did it well.

The finalist for Large Chapter of the year is Minnesota Pro.

Small Chapter of the Year

The Cincinnati Pro Chapter was named the Small Chapter of the Year for the second year in a row for its dedication to involvement, awards and diversity events.

This is the third time the Cincinnati chapter has won this designation in the past four years because it continues to offer robust and relevant programming for members.

Cincinnati Pro made an effort to get involved in the community. The chapter hosted three post-election events that attracted 160 people, including 12 high school students. It hosted a debate between three candidates running for Cincinnati mayor, with an audience of 125 people.

The chapter also worked to provide training and support for members. Cincinnati Pro hosted sessions with journalists to teach them how to use the new Cincinnati Police Department online records request portal. It also hosted 10 “Lunch with the Pros” sessions by sending working journalists to the University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University, in addition to supporting two UC internship programs and a Kentucky Press Association event for students. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Cincinnati Pro chapter.

The finalists for Small Chapter of the Year are Bluegrass Pro and Las Vegas Pro.

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