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SDX Foundation Honors Longtime Board Member Paul M. Davis


Thursday, Oct. 4, 2001
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Paul K. McMasters, SDX Foundation Board President, pmcmasters@freedomforum.org
Sarah A. Shrode, SPJ Director of Communications, 425/452-4846 or sshrode@spj.org

DOUBLETREE HOTEL, BELLEVUE, Wash. – The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation honored board member Paul M. Davis on Thursday, Oct. 4, with a special plaque and presentation as Davis ended his longtime service to the Foundation.

“Paul’s contributions to both the Society and the Foundation have been monumental,” said Paul K. McMasters, SDX Foundation president and First Amendment ombudsman at The Freedom Forum in Arlington, Va. “His booming voice, good sense and institutional memory are assets we simply won’t be able to replace.”

Davis is president and founder of The Paul Davis Company, a consultant to U.S. and international media groups and director of special projects for FACS in Pasadena, Calif. The plaque was presented during the joint SPJ Board and SDX Foundation Board meeting at the 2001 Society of Professional Journalists National Convention.

Davis is a past president of SPJ (1988-89); a recipient of the Wells Memorial Key (1997), the Society’s highest honor; former general chairman of the 1987 SPJ National Convention in Chicago; and a member of the SPJ Jane Pauley Task Force on Mass Communication Education. Davis helped produce the first decade of the Sol Taishoff professional development programs and co-authored the Jane Pauley task force’s report on the preparedness of college graduates to be hired as broadcast journalists. He is a member of the SPJ Pro Chapters in Chicago and Los Angeles and has served on the SDX Foundation Board since 1985, when he first was elected to the SPJ Board.

“Paul’s parliamentarian expertise often stopped SPJ and SDX deviating from bylaws and Roberts’ rules,” said Howard S. Dubin, SDX Foundation treasurer and president of Manufacturers’ News Inc. in Evanston, Ill. “His broadcaster’s resonant voice challenged and focused discussions. His problem-solving and crossword puzzle-solving during board meetings will be sorely missed.”

Davis’ service to the media profession includes: president of the Radio & Television News Directors Association in 1979; a founding member of the First Amendment Congress and the congress’ vice chair for eight years (1979-1987); president of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association in 1966; membership on the World Press Freedom Committee; membership on the RTNDF Committee on Diversity; past chair (1983-1988) of the United Press International
Broadcast Advisory Board; membership on the UPI Editorial Review Committee; more than 10 years’ of membership on the Board of Governors of the Chicago Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, receiving the prestigious NATAS Governor’s Award in 1994; membership on the Task Force on the Profession in the Millennium of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC); 10 years of membership of the American Bar Association Media-Law Committee; and past chairman of the Illinois State Bar Association Media-Law Committee.

Davis’ professional career includes senior vice president of FACs, the Foundation for American Communications in Los Angeles; news director and broadcast consultant for Tribune Broadcasting’s Boston acquisition, WLVI-TV; 13 years as news director at WGN-TV, Chicago, which also served a North American cable audience by satellite; and three years as news director of WGN Radio, overseeing the development of separate award-winning radio and TV news departments. During his tenure, WGN-TV won awards and honors, including Emmys from the Chicago Television Academy and Lisagor awards from the SPJ Chicago Headline Club. During his years with WGN he created an hour-long highly rated Midday News and started Chicago’s first Weekend Morning News. In 1990, he established a Washington Bureau for the Tribune stations (Tribnet) and was its first president.

Founded in 1961, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. Its goal is to support the educational programs of the Society of Professional Journalists and to serve the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism.

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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