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Home > About SPJ > Documentation > Resolutions

Documentation
Resolutions

Submitted to the Excellence in Journalism Conference in San Antonio, Texas, for passage on September 7, 2019

1. Remembering Former SPJ President John Ensslin
2. Allowing Federal Employees to Freely Talk With the Press
3. Calling for More Security for Journalists in Mexico
4. In Support of Malheur Enterprise
5. Salute to Newspaper Carriers
6. Reviewing SPJ’s Convention Sponsorship Policy
7. Rejecting Koch Industries’ Sponsorship
8. Ending Media Sponsorship of SPJ Conferences
9. Suspending SPJ’s Participation in Excellence in Journalism
10. Complaints of Violations of the SPJ Ethics Code
11. Renaming SPJ the ‘Society for Professional Journalism’
12. Thanks to SPJ’s 2018-19 departing board members
13. Thanking SPJ Staff for a Successful EIJ 2019


Resolution No. 1: Remembering Former SPJ President John Ensslin

Submitted by: Director At-Large Lauren Bartlett, Region 3 director Michael Koretzky

Cosponsors: SPJ Foundation, New Jersey Pro, Colorado Pro, Keystone Pro, Deadline Club, Connecticut Pro, William Paterson University Chapter, Arkansas Pro, Secretary-Treasurer Matt Hall, Director At-Large Mike Reilly, Director At-Large Yvette Walker, Director At-Large Michael Savino, Region 1 Coordinator Jane Primerano, Region 9 Coordinator Ed Otte, Region 10 Director Don Meyers, Region 12 Director Kelly Kissell, Journalism Education Committee Chairwoman Rebecca Tallent, Former President Rebecca Baker.

Resolutions Committee Recommendation: favorable

DELEGATE ACTION: PASSED

WHEREAS the Society of Professional Journalists lost one of its most respected — and yes, best-loved — leaders when John Ensslin died in August at 65 years old;

WHEREAS John was such an ink-in-the-veins journalist, he would’ve cringed if this resolution had said he “passed away”;

WHEREAS John was SPJ president for the 2011-12 year, serving with rare distinction and training a new generation of SPJ leaders;

WHEREAS John was the driving force behind the SPJ Education Committee’s publishing of “Still Captive? History, Law and the Teaching of High School Journalism” as a tool for educators;

WHEREAS John also volunteered as SPJ’s first podcast host, creating the program from scratch and interviewing SPJ leaders on a wide range of topics for many years;

WHEREAS John also served as president of the Denver Press Club and was inducted into its Hall of Fame;

WHEREAS John won many awards for his coverage, which ranged from the serious (the murder of JonBenet Ramsey) to the light-hearted (Queen Elizabeth visiting Wyoming);

WHEREAS John transitioned from New Jersey to Denver to New Jersey and back to Denver during his journalistic career, but he still found time to expand his talents to new media and train others with the knowledge he acquired;

WHEREAS John always loved baseball and made time to see games wherever he was and whenever possible, getting together with his beloved wife, Denise, family and friends because dinner, drinks and laughs made John happiest;

WHEREAS John touched the lives of everyone he met in some way and his death leaves a void not likely to be filled, and those who knew and loved him will surely say it was an honor to know him;

WHEREAS John was such a modest guy that he’d be embarrassed by this resolution and would likely dismiss it with his trademark grin — and would probably recommend edits to tighten it up before suggesting the names of other SPJers who deserve it more;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that SPJ, meeting in convention on September 7, 2019 in San Antonio or wherever they may read this, stand up right now and applaud loud enough for John Ensslin to hear it.

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Resolution No. 2: Allowing Federal Employees to Freely Talk With the Press

Submitted by: SPJ Freedom of Information Committee

Resolution Committee Recommendation: favorable

DELEGATE ACTION: PASSED

WHEREAS the ability of people to speak to each other normally, without being pressured to report conversations to the authorities or to anyone, is essential to public welfare and democracy;

WHEREAS the Society of Professional Journalists has carefully studied and repeatedly decried the cultural norm that has grown up in many arenas of prohibiting employees and others from communicating with journalists without going through or reporting to a public information officer or other authority;

WHEREAS the prohibitions against communicating with journalists and the pressures to report contacts are authoritarian and prevent source people from explaining many things that are the public’s business and certainly interlace with other current pressures on speech to weaken society and create extraordinarily dangerous situations;

WHEREAS in a democracy, it is more appropriate for the public and the press to have oversight over the communications of people in power rather than the reverse;

WHEREAS proposed compromises that would allow reporters to communicate with whom they wish, but would still force employees or others to report contacts are dangerously intimidating to communication;

WHEREAS proposed compromises that would allow people in power to mandate reporting of contacts after they occur are also dangerously intimidating to communication;

WHEREAS such compromises are insidious because they often empower journalists to gather some information while being unaware of how much the source people speaking under this censorship will not mention;

WHEREAS in spite of journalistic skills, triumphs, prowess, breakthroughs and impressive stories and in spite of the fact some sources do leak, journalists cannot know what they miss when people are under pressure to not communicate or pressure to report contacts with journalists;

WHEREAS journalists’ obligation to do all they can to seek the full truth includes fighting against barriers to understanding the full truth and reporting those barriers to the public;

WHEREAS the public has a right to be dubious about information coming from public or private organizations where employees are silenced in terms of communicating to the press or where they cannot speak without guards;

WHEREAS the SPJ stresses to people in public and private leadership that these restrictions routinely hide information from the leaders themselves; from the professionals and others who focus on the subjects being discussed; and from the rest of the public; and

WHEREAS Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) have introduced into Congress the Scientific Integrity Act (H.R. 1709 and S. 775) which has the intent of allowing federal scientists to speak to the media as well as publish scientific findings, participate in scientific organizations and communicate in other ways;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention on September 7, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas calls on Rep. Tonko, Sen. Schatz and others in Congress to ensure any such legislation supports the right of unimpeded communication with journalists for all federal employees and not just for scientists;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any such legislation ensure that all federal employees have the right to communicate with the press without reporting contacts with the authorities or anyone, before or after the contacts; and that reporters making requests to an agency be able to speak to the requested persons and not be confined to spokespersons.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SPJ calls on Congress and the Executive Branch to complete a thorough examination on why free speech has become so undermined for millions of people that legislation is needed to allow free speech, without reporting to authorities and on what those restrictions do to the nation’s functioning.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that SPJ calls on people in leadership in all arenas, including sports, education, police operations, state and local government, science and others, to work to eliminate these restrictions, because they create ignorance in all of us and induce corrosion that impacts everyone.

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Resolution No. 3: Calling for More Security for Journalists in Mexico

Submitted by: International Community

Cosponsors: San Diego Chapter, Oregon Chapter, NorCal Chapter, Freelance Community, Member Ruth E. Thaler-Carter,

Resolutions Committee Recommendation: favorable

DELEGATE ACTION: PASSED

WHEREAS, Mexico is a signatory to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19, which states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”;

WHEREAS, Mexico is also a signatory to the 1994 Declaration of Chapultepec, which states in its preamble, "Wherever the media can function unhindered and determine their own direction and manner of serving the public, there is a blossoming of the ability to seek information, to disseminate it without restraints, to question it without fear, and to promote the free exchange of ideas and opinions. But wherever freedom of the press is curtailed, for whatever reasons, the other freedoms vanish”;

WHEREAS, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 10 Mexican journalists have been murdered in calendar year 2019 as of August 24, making Mexico the deadliest country for journalists in the Western Hemisphere;

WHEREAS, according to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, CNDH) 151 journalists have been murdered in Mexico from 2000 to date — the most in Latin America —, of which at least 90 percent remain in impunity;

WHEREAS, several media organizations in Mexico have been forced to suspend their operations because of threats of violence, most recently the newspaper El Monitor de Parral in Chihuahua, which was firebombed on July 30, 2019, depriving the citizens of that city of a means of information;

WHEREAS, Freedom House, in its most recent annual report in 2017, rated the Mexican press as “not free” because of violence against journalists, placing Mexico in the same unenviable category as such countries as China, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela, and

WHEREAS, in its 2017 report, Freedom House stated that “Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists and media workers. Most murders and other violent attacks are not punished, leading to an expectation of impunity, and journalists face extreme editorial pressure—including credible threats of violence—from criminal organizations and corrupt authorities. Governmental mechanisms to protect journalists are hampered by bureaucratic rivalries, lack of resources, and inadequate training,” and

WHEREAS, the assurances of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to provide greater protection for journalists have failed to halt the bloodshed, and

WHEREAS, the current climate of violence and intimidation directed against Mexican journalists and journalists from all nations working in Mexico has had a chilling effect on freedom of the press and the free flow of information in a democratic society, as set forth in the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of Chapultepec,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in San Antonio, Texas, on September 7, 2019, expresses its condolences to and its fraternal solidarity with its colleagues in Mexico who have been and who remain victims of this violence;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists calls upon the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to greatly enhance the protection it has already promised to prevent further acts of violence against journalists, and calls upon the Obrador administration to use all the resources at its disposal to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of violence against journalists, thus sending a signal that impunity is no longer an expectation for those who commit these acts.

BE IT LASTLY RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be sent to the appropriate U.S. House and Senate oversight committees, the U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security with a letter calling for the U.S. government to rapidly approve applications of asylum from Mexican journalists seeking protection from the violence in their home country.

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Resolution No. 4: In Support of Malheur Enterprise

Submitted by: Region 10 Director Donald W. Meyers

Resolutions Committee Recommendation: favorable

DELEGATE ACTION: PASSED

WHEREAS, the Malheur Enterprise, under the leadership of Editor Les Zaitz, has been covering the actions of the Malheur County economic development department and its director, Oregon State Rep. Greg Smith, holding the department to account;

WHEREAS the Enterprise’s coverage, upholding the highest standards of SPJ’s Code of Ethics, has angered Smith, who claims that he and his employees are being “harassed” solely because journalists are asking questions about their official actions and seeking to hold them accountable to the public;

WHEREAS Smith has not merely complained about what he perceives as negative coverage but has taken steps toward silencing the Enterprise, starting with an attempt to have the paper investigated by the sheriff’s office for “telephonic harassment;”

WHEREAS the county sheriff found the allegation baseless, so Smith changed tactics and is encouraging local businesses to boycott the Enterprise and cripple it, a highly ironic act for a man whose job is supposedly to promote local business; and

WHEREAS such conduct is typical of totalitarian regimes and is particularly abhorrent when practiced by someone who has taken an oath to support and follow both the U.S. and Oregon state constitutions, which both contain provisions guaranteeing freedom of the press as a check on government abuse;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, sitting in convention on September 7, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas, strongly condemns Smith’s actions against the Malheur Enterprise and urges him to cease further attacks aimed at silencing the Malheur Enterprise by legal or economic threats.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists extends its wholehearted support to Les Zaitz and his staff for boldly seeking truth and reporting it, acting independently and serving their community by keeping government accountable.

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Resolution No. 5: Salute to Newspaper Carriers

SUBMITTED BY: Sonny Albarado, Arkansas Pro Chapter, on behalf of Reginald Stuart, former national SPJ president, mentor to hundreds and former newspaper carrier

RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: favorable

DELEGATE ACTION: PASSED

WHEREAS many journalists began their association with newspapers by delivering their hometown papers;

WHEREAS publishers continue to reap significant revenue from their printed newspapers; and

WHEREAS without carriers, newspapers would not get to the homes and businesses of subscribers in a timely manner; and

WHEREAS, despite the digital revolution, newspaper carriers across the United States still battle rain, snow, heat and cold in the early hours before dawn to deliver the printed news to readers; and

WHEREAS, despite low pay, no benefits and insecure working conditions, most carriers diligently perform their duties; and

WHEREAS carriers’ work leaves them vulnerable to disabling injury, robbery, carjacking and even murder; and

WHEREAS the Columbia Journalism Review reported in 2018 that of at least 45 carrier deaths identified since 1970, murder or violence had been the cause of death of 23 carriers; and

WHEREAS in 2019, a Pennsylvania carrier died after being shot, a Washington state carrier was gravely injured in a shooting, a California carrier died after his car rolled over him, and an Arkansas carrier drowned after her SUV was swept off an apartment parking lot by a flash flood;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in San Antonio, Texas, September 7, 2019, recognizes and honors newspaper carriers and the essential role they play in service to journalism.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Society mourns the loss in 2019 of carriers Gregory Smith, 69, of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, who died after an assailant shot him and Debra Stevens, 47, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, whose last 24 minutes of life were recorded in a 911 call as floodwaters overtook her truck.

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Resolution No. 6: Reviewing SPJ’s Convention Sponsorship Policy.

Submitted by: Region 3 Director Michael Koretzky, Region 2 Director Andy Schotz, Director At Large Lauren Bartlett, Vice President for Campus Chapter Affairs Sue Kopen-Katcef, The Chicago Headline Club

Committee recommendation: favorable

DELEGATE ACTION: PASSED

WHEREAS some SPJ members have disagreed with SPJ’s policy of accepting sponsorship money from controversial sources;

WHEREAS SPJ’s sponsorship policy has some members concerned about the organization’s professional reputation;

WHEREAS SPJ’s board of directors has reasserted its policy of considering sponsorships to not constitute endorsements, despite some impressions they are; and

WHEREAS SPJ’s membership hasn’t had sufficient opportunity to suggest detailed alternative policies;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention on September 7, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas, calls on the Board of Directors to appoint a joint task force of chapter leaders and unaffiliated members to study this issue and recommend changes to SPJ’s sponsorship policy. And those recommendations will be considered by the board and shared with all SPJ members at least 120 days before EIJ 2020, with an opportunity for feedback and suggestions. A proposal will be brought before the delegates at the next closing business meeting.

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that this task force will consist of at least one current SPJ officer, who cannot be the chair, and all meetings will be open to SPJ members, with recordings of the meeting available on the SPJ website.

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Resolution No. 7: Rejecting Koch Industries’ Sponsorship

Submitted by: The Chicago Headline Club

Resolutions Committee Recommendation: Neutral

DELEGATE ACTION: TABLED

WHEREAS in 2003 SPJ opened its conference sponsorship policy to accept non-media organizations that also opened the door to conflict of interest and perceptions of conflict of interest; and,

WHEREAS sponsors of the 2018 and 2019 Excellence in Journalism conference have included the Charles Koch Institute; and,

WHEREAS the Charles Koch Institute is part of the Koch family’s large web of secretive organizations and their organizations have used aggressive campaigns — such as running kochfacts.com until 2017 — trying to discredit journalists reporting on their corporate activities; and,

WHEREAS the Koch family continues to fund organizations that distort journalism and destroy public faith in journalism's independence and nonpartisanship. And SPJ's 2018 sponsorship policy continues to allow such groups to sponsor panels and have a presence on the convention floor at EIJ; and,

WHEREAS the Koch Institute's sponsorship spurred SPJ's supreme body to pass a resolution at the EIJ convention in Baltimore in 2018 "rejecting dollars from entities whose actions are at odds with SPJ’s journalistic mission and using the SPJ Code of Ethics as a guide to vet donations";

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention on September 7, 2019, in San Antonio, calls on the Board of Directors to act in accordance with delegates’ wishes to reject any future sponsorship funds from groups controlled by the Kochs, or any other organizations that are at odds with SPJ's mission of promoting ethical journalism and transparency.

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Resolution No. 8: Ending Media Sponsorship of SPJ Conferences

Submitted by: Colin DeVries, SPJ Membership Committee Chair

Resolution Committee Recommendation: Neutral

DELEGATE ACTION: TABLED

WHEREAS Excellence in Journalism (EIJ) began in 2011 as a joint journalism conference venture co-hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA);

WHEREAS EIJ's early success led to the addition of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association as conference co-hosts in other years, though not consistently each year;

WHEREAS each association co-host of EIJ is dependent on sponsorship funds to defray costs and keep conference admission to a minimum;

WHEREAS in 2003 SPJ approved acceptance of non-media sponsorships of its annual convention with emphasis and understanding such sponsorship agreements would not affect the society's ethical standards related to independence, conflicts of interest, gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment;

WHEREAS in 2018 and 2019 controversies among SPJ membership have been associated with media sponsorship of EIJ, namely Sinclair in 2018 and Fox News in 2019;

WHEREAS acceptance of these controversial media sponsorships has allowed the perception among members and prospective members that SPJ values sponsorship funding over journalism ethics standards;

WHEREAS one of the tenets of the SPJ Code of Ethics is to "expose unethical conduct in journalism, including within their organizations";

WHEREAS sponsorship is a privilege and not a right;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention on September 7, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas, call on the Board of Directors to no longer accept media sponsorship related to events, conferences, or conventions to avoid further controversy and damage to the reputation of the society;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this policy applies equally to all media organizations who would be potential sponsors but would not affect participation of media organizations wishing to participate in a conference job fair or recruitment event.

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Resolution No. 9: Suspending SPJ’s Participation in Excellence in Journalism

Submitted by: Colin DeVries, SPJ Membership Committee Chair

Resolutions Committee Recommendation: Negative

DELEGATE ACTION: TABLED

WHEREAS Excellence in Journalism (EIJ) began in 2011 as a joint journalism conference venture co-hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA);

WHEREAS EIJ's early success led to the addition of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association as conference co-hosts in other years, though not consistently each year;

WHEREAS prior to EIJ in 2011, SPJ held its own independent annual convention for members and nonmember journalists that was smaller, had fewer costs, lower admission prices, and fostered a focus on what was important to the Society and journalism practice with limited distraction;

WHEREAS the reputation of SPJ is extrinsically linked with EIJ, where the society's annual convention of delegates takes place;

WHEREAS in 2018 and 2019 there have been controversies among SPJ membership and nonmember journalists regarding EIJ sponsorship, namely involving Sinclair, Fox News, and the Charles Koch Institute;

WHEREAS an attempt following EIJ 2018 to create a vetting process for sponsorships did not prevent controversial sponsorships again for EIJ 2019; and

WHEREAS the perception among members and prospective members is that SPJ values sponsorship funding over journalism ethics standards and the integrity and future success of the organization hinges on the society's own actions and reputation;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention on September 7, 2019, in San Antonio, Texas, call on the SPJ Board of Directors to suspend future participation by the Society in Excellence in Journalism following the expiration of any current contractual agreements.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SPJ will return to hosting an independent annual convention as it had prior to 2011.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SPJ's annual convention will remain open to nonmember journalists.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SPJ leadership and convention organizers will seek to keep costs associated with venue, accommodation, accessories, and giveaways to a minimum to make the event as affordable for its attendees as possible.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that during the next proposed independent annual convention, SPJ will draft and ratify by referendum of its membership an updated sponsorship policy incorporating feedback from SPJ membership at-large and adhering to the entirety of the SPJ Code of Ethics.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED future conference co-hosts would be required to adhere to SPJ's adopted sponsorship policy in order to participate in a joint conference event similar to EIJ.

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Resolution No. 10: Complaints of Violations of the SPJ Ethics Code

Submitted by: Ben Trefny, SPJ Northern California

Resolutions Committee: Negative

DELEGATE ACTION: FAILED

WHEREAS the general public gets its information in increasingly different ways from a wide variety of outlets; and,

WHEREAS misinformation and misleading information can very easily be spread;

WHEREAS it can be increasingly unclear to identify what constitutes journalism;

WHEREAS the fourth estate is under fire by the President of the United States;

WHEREAS the public’s trust in journalism continues to drop;

WHEREAS the preamble to SPJ’s code of ethics states that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy, and that ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention on September 7, 2019, in San Antonio, Texas, will encourage ongoing peer review of journalistic organizations and solicit feedback from member organizations regarding violations of the SPJ code of ethics. If a critical mass of complaints are filed against a news organization, the Society calls on the ethics committee to conduct a review of that organization. If the committee finds that a news organization has violated the SPJ code of ethics, SPJ will contact that organization's administration, detailing the findings. If violations continue, as identified by peer review and investigation by SPJ, then SPJ will issue public statements detailing the findings of ethical violations against the news organization.

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Resolution No. 11: Renaming SPJ the ‘Society for Professional Journalism’

Submitted by: Arkansas Pro Chapter

Resolutions committee recommendation: Neutral

DELEGATE ACTION: FAILED

WHEREAS the Society of Professional Journalists has long been dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty;

WHEREAS to ensure that the concept of self-government outlined by the U.S. Constitution remains a reality into future centuries, the American people must be well informed in order to make decisions regarding their lives, and their local and national communities;

WHEREAS it is the role of journalists to provide this information in an accurate, comprehensive, timely and understandable manner;

WHEREAS the mission of the Society of Professional Journalists is to promote this flow of information; maintain constant vigilance in protection of the First Amendment to guarantee freedom of speech and of the press; stimulate high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism; foster excellence among journalists; inspire successive generations of talented individuals to become dedicated journalists; encourage diversity in journalism; be the pre-eminent, broad-based membership organization for journalists; and encourage a climate in which journalism can be practiced freely;

WHEREAS in order to more fully accomplish this mission the Society ought to be welcoming as members to those who commit acts of journalism and educators in that endeavor, as well as those who work in related fields and supporters who wish to sustain the practice of professional journalism;

WHEREAS a name that invites membership by a larger community of supporters would strengthen SPJ’s efforts for media literacy, lobbying power and make sure SPJ’s toolbox is available to anyone who can benefit from our resources;

WHEREAS the Society has intentionally supported the most broad definition of a journalist as someone who simply commits acts of journalism;

WHEREAS changing the Society's name to the Society for Professional Journalism would more accurately reflect its current membership and goal of recruiting a wider range of journalists and those who avidly support professional journalism; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists meeting in convention on September 7, 2019, in San Antonio, Texas, calls for the Board of Directors to begin the process of branding itself the Society for Professional Journalism and use this name moving forward.

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Resolution No. 12: Thanks to SPJ’s 2018-19 departing board members

SUBMITTED BY: Patricia Gallagher Newberry, 2019-20 president

RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: favorable

DELEGATE ACTION: PASSED

WHEREAS At-Large Board members Lauren Bartlett, Michael Savino, Yvette Walker, Ivette Davila-Richards and Victor Hernandez served the board with distinction during their 2018-2019 terms;

WHEREAS Campus Adviser At-Large Jeff South concludes two years as a valuable board member and Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs Sue Kopen Katcef ends 11 years of distinguished service to the board and many more to the Society;

WHEREAS Regional Directors Andy Schotz, Michael Koretzky, Joe Radske, Don Meyers, Deb Krol and Kelly Kissel served the board with great energy and zeal during their combined 20 (or so) years on the board; and

WHEREAS President J. Alex Tarquinio served the Society in the past year with extraordinary commitment to her duties, which included wide travel; multiple speaking engagements; frequent Freedom of the Prez blog posts and statements of support for free press rights; advancement of SPJ’s partnerships, particularly with her May summit of nonprofit media groups; management of SPJ’s role in this Excellence of Journalism conference; and essential involvement of SPJ’s day-to-day operations during a time of great change in our headquarters staff;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Society of Professional Journalists meeting in convention in San Antonio offers sincere and lasting thanks to Lauren Bartlett, Michael Savino, Yvette Walker, Ivette Davila-Richards and Victor Hernandez for their contributions.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Society of Professional Journalists offers Jeff South and Sue Kopen Katcef most deserved gratitude for their years of dedication to SPJ.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Society of Professional Journalists also offers Andy Schotz, Michael Koretzky, Joe Radske, Don Meyers, Deb Krol and Kelly Kissel deep and sincere gratitude for their tremendous work on board and other initiatives, along with luck for those awaiting the outcome of elective races for other SPJ positions.

AND, LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED the Society offers most-deserved thanks and congratulations to J. Alex Tarquinio for serving as SPJ’s board president for the past year and defacto acting executive director since May, and for expending endless energy and displaying deep dedication to the work of protecting and promoting journalism and the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Resolution No. 13: Thanking SPJ Staff for a Successful EIJ 2019

SUBMITTED BY: SPJ Resolutions Committee

RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: favorable

DELEGATE ACTION: PASSED

WHEREAS the headquarters staff of the Society of Professional Journalists makes it possible for SPJ to provide strong professional development programs, defend the public's right to know through First Amendment advocacy and guide journalists to act ethically;

WHEREAS the SPJ headquarters staff has undergone a significant amount of change, with new and talented faces joining the roster;

WHEREAS the staff hasn’t missed a beat, even as the Society searches for its next executive director;

WHEREAS staff has seamlessly worked side by side with our partners, including the Radio Television Digital News Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, to plan for EIJ 2019;

WHEREAS the dedicated but sleep-deprived staff are willing to take on any task, big or small, often fueled by multiple cups of coffee and energy drinks;

WHEREAS the SPJ staff has also done a fabulous job helping SPJ and its members celebrate the Society’s 110th anniversary;

WHEREAS EIJ19 has been a wonderful event in the beautiful Texas city of San Antonio; and

WHEREAS EIJ19 would not have been so successful had it not been for the SPJ staff's high level of skill, ingenuity and nimbleness;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists meeting in convention on September 7, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas, thanks the SPJ staff for a job well done — a performance worthy of a standing ovation.

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