Greetings from Denver!
Thanks so much for your support of this great organization. You help accomplish tremendous good for journalism.
I know. I know. It’s easy to grumble about all SPJ doesn’t do. It’s easy to focus on the trials and not the victories. It’s a snap to dwell on the criticism, not the praise. But I really want you to take a look at what SPJ has done in only the last three months. Even this impressive list just scratches the surface. It doesn’t include details about any of the fabulous work done by SPJ’s local chapters.
And just take a look at SPJ’s Web site. Our members are making impressive contributions. This week, hear a special message from the one and only Walter Cronkite. Review journalism ethics case studies and thoughtful analyses compiled by our National Ethics Committee. Learn how to protect your professional and personal privacy from invasions such as those tied to the Hewlett-Packard spy scandal. Be inspired to practice journalism abroad by veteran TV newsman Kai Jackson, who recounts his life-changing trip to Ghana.
Then, vow to make your own mark on SPJ. Vow to help someone you don’t know be a better journalist in 2007. Several national committee leaders and I have collaborated to develop action plans designed to give you a meaningful opportunity to support SPJ’s core missions. I’m no fan of discussions that drag on for years with no tangible results. These plans provide focus and purpose. They aim to ensure that you’ll see the fruits of your labor — and that the time you give this organization will be respected. These plans include one-time, quick-hit tasks you almost could do with your eyes closed. They also include projects that might take two or three months to complete, giving you an opportunity to network and widen your circle of friends in journalism. The bottom line: You can be as involved as you have the time and energy to be and know that your contribution will have a meaningful impact.
Every contribution matters, and SPJ cannot have too many volunteers (Or members! Ask someone you know to join our team today). Please consider these committee action plans carefully, and contact the chairperson of the group you’re most interested in assisting.
Also know that I welcome hearing from you anytime. Please contact me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, I very much appreciate you and hope in 2007 that you’ll enjoy tremendous personal and professional satisfaction. We’ll resume publishing on January 11, 2007!
May your holidays be merry and bright.
National President, Society of Professional Journalists
Assistant Business Editor, The Denver Post