Magazine article The Quill

Make a Fresh Start-Commit Yourself to Bringing in at Least One New Member

Magazine article The Quill

Make a Fresh Start-Commit Yourself to Bringing in at Least One New Member

Article excerpt

No matter how old I get, I continue to think of the calendar in terms of the "school year." You know - everything begins in September.

That's fairly close to the way the SPJ program calendar works, as our fiscal year begins Aug. 1. Nevertheless, I also think of this time of year as a time of renewal and a chance to start fresh. In just a few short weeks, the Society will have new leadership. The cycle of annual SPJ events gets under way with the national convention in Seattle/Bellevue, Wash. That's soon followed by our national and regional contests and the SPJ Writers Workshop series.

One might think that given this wellknown and well-worn cycle that we're in a programmatic and organizational rut. Nonsense.

SPJ continues to evolve as a relevant and vital bastion of journalism at its finest. When it comes to defending the freedom to report, the silence is deafening - except where SPJ is concerned. We're the only organization standing up on any regular basis for reporters' rights; the only organization that regularly puts tens of thousands of dollars into legal representation and thousands more into friend-of-the-court briefs to ensure that the First Amendment remains the bulwark of our system.

At this writing, we're leading a coalition of journalism-related organizations in a battle with the leadership of the U.S. Senate. The new majority has designs on the periodical and photographic press gallery in the Capitol. Evicting media from this gallery means that hundreds of reporters from out-of-town media would have to share already-over-- crowded space with reporters in the other press galleries.

What many of you might not realize, though, is that this work we do is a two-way street. We are almost wholly dependent upon our members to unite under the SPJ banner, working with their chapters and our national leaders to ensure the viability of this most enduring of all journalism organizations. …

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