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SPJ honors three as Fellows of the Society of Professional Journalists

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Society of Professional Journalists today honored Linda Deutsch, Philip Meyer and Bill Kovach as Fellows of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Fellow of the Society is the highest honor SPJ bestows upon a journalist and is awarded for extraordinary contribution to the profession. Up to three Fellows may be named annually. Fellows are asked to speak at future SPJ functions.

Deutsch, Meyer and Kovach will be recognized tonight, during the President’s Installation Banquet at the 2005 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference. The banquet will take place at the Aladdin Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Linda Deutsch is a correspondent with the Associated Press and has covered the top legal stories of our times, including Charles Manson, Angela Davis, Patty Hearst, John DeLorean, William Kennedy Smith, Ted Kacyzinsky, Rodney King, O.J. Simpson, the Menendez brothers and Michael Jackson.

“Open any newspaper, listen to any radio report, watch any newscast or read any Web site and you learn how valuable AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch has become to the news we use,” said Sue Manning, day supervisor of AP’s Los Angeles Bureau.

She is known for her vivid descriptions of the courtroom and her ability to bring them to life. She is “an amazing reporter, able to take a complicated trial and put in into terms that the nation can understand and appreciate the drama,” said Bob Thomas, who has worked with Deutsch over the years.

Philip Meyer is the Knight Chair in Journalism Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Journalism and Mass Communication program. He is a former national correspondent and research director at Knight Ridder.

“He has spent half of his career practicing journalism and the other half trying to improve it through teaching and research,” according to the Media Center at the American Press Institute.

Meyer has authored several books, including The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age, Precision Journalism: A Reporter’s Introduction to Social Science Methods 4th Edition, Journalism Quarterly and several others. He has also contributed numerous articles to scholarly journals including the Newspaper Research Journal, Journalism Educator, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, and the Journal of Media Ethics are just among the few.

Bill Kovach is the founder and director of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, an organization of “reporters, editors, producers, publishers, owners and academics worried about the future of the profession” according to its Web site.

He has been a journalist and writer for over 40 years, spending half of those years at the New York Times. He also served for two years as the New York Times’ Washington bureau Chief.

Kovach has co-written several books, including The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect and Warp Speed: America in the age of Mixed Media.

“A free people and a free press rise and fall together,” said Kovach under the Editorial Code-Suggestion and Comment section of the Association of Independent and Electronic Media. “Therefore the purpose of a free press is to provide the people with the information they need in order to govern themselves. For this reason the first loyalty of the journalist is to the public.”

Fellow nominations are open to members of the journalism profession. Nominations should be accompanied by letters of recommendation that address the nominee’s contributions and/or service to the profession and why the nominee is deserving of its national recognition.

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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