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2008 Wells Key Awarded to Bill McCloskey


For Immediate Release:

Scott Leadingham, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (509) 859-2818, sleadingham@spj.org

ATLANTA – The Society of Professional Journalists, one of the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism-advocacy organizations, is pleased to honor Bill McCloskey as the 2008 Wells Memorial Key recipient. It is the highest honor bestowed upon an SPJ member.

A member of the Washington, D.C. Pro Chapter of SPJ, McCloskey serves on the Society’s board of directors. His service to SPJ has included national parliamentarian, 10 years as chair of the bylaws committee and director of SPJ Region 2, which covers the Mid-Atlantic region. Because of his strong advocacy for the mission of SPJ and his countless hours of volunteer work, fourteen past presidents supported McCloskey’s nomination for the award.

“Bill is a guy who will do anything our Society needs,” said past president David Carlson. “We know that he has helped us become who we are today.”

Outgoing president Clint Brewer reflected a very similar sentiment regarding McCloskey’s service.

“Bill has stuck with and supported SPJ in good times and bad. The underlying message his colleagues get from his countless hours of volunteer work is that he is consistently focused on what is best for SPJ,” Brewer said.

Before joining BellSouth Corporation as Director of Media Relations in 1987, Bill worked for 11 years with The Associated Press in Washington.

McCloskey’s professional career started in 1961, when, as a high school junior, he took a summer newsroom job at Metromedia's WIP Radio in Philadelphia. He remained with Metromedia until he was drafted into the Army upon graduation from Villanova University in 1966.

Following his tour of duty, he was assigned by Metromedia to set up a news department for WASH-FM in Washington, D.C. From 1968 until 1975, he worked as news director, network correspondent, and TV news producer and writer for Metromedia.

He chairs the Radio and Television News Director’s Association Foundation’s annual fund-raising dinner and has been recognized three times with SPJ’s “President’s Award” for distinguished service to the Society.

The Wells Memorial Key is given to a member for outstanding service to the Society during the preceding year or over a period of years. The SPJ executive committee selects all recipients; nominations are open.

The Wells Key was first presented in 1913. The award was named in honor of Chester B. Wells, Sigma Delta Chi’s second national president. Wells died in office in 1913 at the age of 26. Wells’ brief time in office was marked by an inspiring dedication to the work and ideals of Sigma Delta Chi, and after his death, members decided to award a jeweled key each year in his memory to a member who had performed meritorious service to the Society.

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. For more information about SPJ, visit www.spj.org.


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