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SPJ President Christine Tatum announces personal awards


Christine Tatum, the Society of Professional Journalists' 2006-07 national president, presented several SPJ President's Awards during the Society's national convention, held Oct. 4-7 in Washington, D.C.

"I am incredibly proud of the work SPJ has accomplished this year. It is the result of tremendous effort and dedication," she said. "But a president is not active, partcipatory and effective without significant assistance, knowledgeable counsel and great personal encouragement from many people.

"The recipients of this year's President's Awards have shaped profoundly who I am personally and professionally -- and how I view the very noble cause of journalism advocacy."

This year's recipients are:

Tom Henderson, editorial writer for The Lewiston (Idaho) Morning Tribune and SPJ Region 10 director.

Citation: In recognition of outstanding volunteer service to the Society

Tatum said:

"I have worked with Tom Henderson for years to produce SPJ Leads, a weekly e-mail newsletter distrubted to SPJ members. This work is no small commitment, and Tom has been consistently gracious, good-humored and faithful in his service. He undoubtedly loves SPJ, and he has supported the Society during what has been a very difficult year for him personally. Tom is a single father of a son with autism. Duties at home prevented him from attending SPJ's 2007 national conference, but in typical fashion, he asked, 'When everyone returns home and gets settled, will you please ask them to let me know how can I be of continued service?"'

Editorial Staff, The Denver Post
Citation: For supporting and cheering on a colleague as she led SPJ, and for being a shining example of what is good and right about journalism

Tatum said:

"My editors and colleagues at The Denver Post have been most gracious about supporting my travels far and wide in the last year to champion the First Amendment and to fight for the improvement and protection of journalism. Such encouragement is rare among the nation's newsrooms, which are often myopically focused on daily deadllines rather than on the preservation and advancement of rights that help journalists do their jobs."

Ed Williams, The (Greensboro, N.C.) News & Record
Citation: In recognition of the exemplary editing and professional training he has provided legions of young journalists

Tatum said:

"Ed Williams gave me my professional start -- and he took a risk to do so. I was the youngest reporter on a very talented editorial staff. I had a lot to learn, and Ed was an excellent teacher. I have had the privilege of working with some of the nation's top editors, and Ed easily ranks among them. I continue to lean on his instruction, which he has generously provided dozens of entry-level reporters at the News & Record -- and to thousands of young journalists through SPJ's Web site."

Robert and Cynthia Tatum of Castle Hayne, N.C.
Citation: In recognition of their unwaivering love for their daughter, who grew up to lead the Society of Professional Journalists

Tatum said:

"I am blessed to have grown up in a wonderful home. My parents believe in loving others, working hard -- and in the importance of the First Amendment."

Tatum Elizabeth Thurstone and Christian "Asa" Thurstone of Denver, Colo.
Citation: For sharing Mommy with SPJ

Tatum said:

"My children, who at this writing, are only 2 years old and 9 months old, have hit the road for SPJ, attending conferences in several states in the last year. They've also watched as Mommy has packed her bags for trips that have taken her away from home for several days. And yet, at the end of every long and difficult day or trip, Tatum and Asa have been there with open arms and big smiles."

Dr. Christian Conrad Thurstone of Denver, Colo.

Citation: In recognition of his profound love for his wife as she led SPJ, and for his unwaivering support of a free press.

"When I went to work for SPJ, so did my husband. I never could have made it through the last year without his love and patience."

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