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SPJ Awards Wells Memorial Key to Steve Geimann


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Sarah A. Shrode, SPJ Director of Communications, 425/452-4846 or sshrode@spj.org

DOUBLETREE HOTEL, BELLEVUE, Wash. – The Society of Professional Journalists honored Steve Geimann on Saturday with its highest honor, the Wells Memorial Key.

Geimann, telecom and media policy editor at Bloomberg News in Washington, D.C., accepted the award at the President’s Installation Banquet during the 2001 SPJ National Convention. The Wells Memorial Key recognizes meritorious service to the Society and the journalism profession.

“Steve Geimann is simply one of the most dedicated SPJ members I’ve had the privilege of being associated with,” said outgoing SPJ President Ray Marcano, an assistant managing editor at the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News. “He’s always willing to do what he can for the causes that matter so much to us. His generosity at LDF banquets is legendary. His overall service has been exemplary, and I’m proud to able to give to one of my contemporaries the Society’s highest honor.”

Geimann is a member of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Board, a past SPJ national president (1996-97) and a past chairman of the national SPJ Ethics Committee. He serves as SPJ’s representative on the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, which reviews and evaluates journalism and public relations curriculum at more than 100 universities.

The New York City native and Syracuse University graduate has been a reporter, editor, manager and news executive for more than 25 years, working in newspapers, broadcasting, a trade publication and two wire services. His career includes 11 years at United Press International, five years as senior editor at Communications Daily, eight years as a reporter at Gannett Co., Inc.’s newspapers in Binghamton, N.Y., and work for several radio stations in Binghamton and Syracuse.

Geimann also led a three-year task force created by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications to consider changes in technology and the effect on journalism and other communications professions.

“When you need 100 percent commitment to an SPJ task, Steve will always give 150 percent,” said Reginald Stuart, past SPJ national president and the 1992 Wells Memorial Key recipient. “His plate is always filled with volunteer work to do on behalf of fellow journalists, whether the task is small and behind the scenes or large and front and center.

“Steve personifies commitment and dedication to the First Amendment, to journalism ethics, meaningful diversity and that all important responsibility of helping journalists, whether of the Society or not,” Stuart added. “The Society is stronger, indeed journalism is stronger, thanks to the ideas, efforts and personal sacrifices of Steve Geimann. Hopefully this honor signals to him how much his presence and work have been, are and will be appreciated.”

The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. The organization is the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. 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.


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