SPJ delegates reject name change

NEW ORLEANS – Delegates to the Society of Professional Journalists’ annual convention last week voted against renaming the organization.

By a vote of 57-44, delegates rejected a proposal to rename the 6,800-member group the “Society for Professional Journalism.” The proposal has received an increasing number of votes since it was first suggested several years ago.

Proponents said such a name change would more accurately reflect the membership because not all members are journalists, and would better advocate for the profession. Opponents said the focus of the organization should be on those who practice journalism.

Delegates also backed a proposal to create a new “supporting member” category.  Delegates also:

  • Urged President Obama to abandon restrictions on access to government information and officials.
  • Backed enhanced protections for student journalists.
  • Backed transparency in media ownership.
  • Endorsed the right to report on political campaigns.
  • Tabled a proposal opposing mandatory “trigger warnings” on college campuses.


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SPJ Madison hosts “After Deadline” Meet Up at Ale Asylum on June 21

Celebrate summer – and journalism – at the Society of Professional Journalists’ inaugural “After Deadline” event Tuesday, June 21, at Ale Asylum in Madison.

The Madison SPJ chapter is hosting this gathering, to be held by SPJ chapters across the country. Meet your colleagues, take pride in your profession and enjoy a Wisconsin summer on the patio of one of Wisconsin’s hottest breweries. Free SPJ giveaways, too.

Join us from 6-9 pm. We’ll meet on the patio at Ale Asylum, 2002 Pankratz St., Madison (near the Dane County Regional Airport on the city’s north side). We’ll move inside during inclement weather.

This is an informal gathering. Nothing more to do than show up and be ready to socialize.

Questions? Contact Joe Radske, 262-366-1259, or Mark Pitsch, 608-252-6145.

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From Podcasting 101 to Hands-On Audio Editing


Podcasting 101 with (left to right): Terry Bell, Larry Hansen, Dylan Brogan

“Flying cars didn’t happen but your iPod automatically hooks up with your car radio,” said Isthmus staff writer Dylan Brogan, explaining the increasing popularity of audio podcasts. Continue reading

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SPJ Madison, Madison College host Podcasting Training

MADISON — Are you an avid podcast listener? Or does the medium have you stumped? Join us for the Madison pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2016 Spring Training to learn the skills and tools you need to compete in the world of podcasting and explore ways to make it work in your newsroom. Continue reading

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Remembering James Baughman


Professor James Baughman, of the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism and Mass Communications, passed away on Saturday, March 26, 2016. Professor Baughman was a supporter of SPJ, and participated in some of our meetings. We will miss his enthusiasm for the mission of journalism. Continue reading

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Reporting on Religion Conference

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Our March 14, 2016 conference on reporting on religion was well attended and we would like to thank all who participated, in particular our headliner David Gregory. We would also like to thank our sponsors:The University of Wisconsin Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions, and the Upper|House (an initiative of the Stephen & Laurel Brown Foundation) in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Continue reading

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Bob Dreps named Wisconsin Watchdog

Attorney Robert J. Dreps, a champion of open government who has represented news organizations in groundbreaking cases for three decades, has been named the 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog Award.

Dreps, who last month was inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame, is retiring from full-time practice at the Madison office of Godfrey & Kahn. Continue reading

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