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SPJ introduces Day of Giving Back for journalists in need


Patricia Gallagher Newberry, SPJ National President, 513-702-4065, pattinewberryspj@gmail.com
Ashlynn Neumeyer, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-361-4133, aneumeyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists is repurposing its annual Day of Giving to be a Day of Giving Back to aid journalists in need of financial assistance.

On April 30, instead of raising funds to support SPJ programs as it usually does on Day of Giving, SPJ will ask supporters to help provide financial relief for journalists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through the creation of the Journalists’ Emergency Fund.

Donations will provide emergency support of up to $500 to cover rent, food and other ongoing expenses for affected journalists as we continue to battle through the pandemic. All gifts to the emergency fund are tax deductible. Follow and share the campaign on social media using #SPJGivesBack.

Journalists will be able to apply online and each application will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Because funds are often needed immediately, decisions will be made as quickly as possible upon receipt of the application.

“SPJ stands with its members and with journalists everywhere during this most trying of times. If you are able, we'd appreciate what you can do to help journalists,” SPJ National President Patricia Gallagher Newberry said. “If journalists weren’t there, covering this story and witnessing this moment, we as citizens would not know nearly as much as we do about COVID-19 and how to protect ourselves. As watchdogs over those in power, journalists are a vital part of American life. We want to help them however we can in getting through this especially difficult time.”

Many journalists are finding themselves furloughed, laid off and left to wonder how they will make ends meet. Some are wondering what, if anything, will be left of their careers. This at a time when journalists not only inform decisions in our daily lives, but help us stay in touch with the outside world. Journalists give us information that can keep us safe and — especially during a pandemic such as this — save lives.

“When a pandemic sweeps across the country, and millions are isolated in homes or hospital beds, that’s when you need the news,” Special Correspondent for National Public Radio News Renee Montagne said. “Staying in touch with the outside world can be a matter of life and death. Vital information, tips on coping, a story that brings a smile or a public remembrance that offers the solace of honoring those who are lost. Journalists, in real time, uncover corruption and shine a light on heroes.”

Irwin Gratz, president of the SPJ Foundation, said, “For 40 years, I’ve seen so many groups of people help each other in times of crisis. This time journalists too are being swept up into this crisis. We need to help them.”

Since 1909, SPJ has supported and advocated for journalists. With your help, SPJ intends to aid these individuals in a way that is impactful and meaningful.

Make a significant difference in the life of a journalist by donating today.

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 SPJ Foundation.

The SPJ Foundation is a public foundation dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. The SPJ Foundation supports educational and professional needs of journalists and journalism students. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Give to the SPJ Foundation.


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