MADISON — March 16 is the 261st anniversary of the birth of James Madison, our Capital City’s namesake and the man known as the “Father of the Constitution.” Madison was instrumental in development of the Constitution, and he authored the Bill of Rights, which enshrined the key liberty of press freedom.
Madison, the fourth U.S. president, correctly recognized the importance of a free press to a vibrant democracy. To celebrate his birthday, the Madison pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is declaring March 16 “Thank a Journalist Day.” We urge Madison-area residents to thank the journalists they know for doing the important work of providing information to the public.
SPJ will say its own thank you to local journalists by dropping off “I’m a Journalist” buttons to area newsrooms this week and by hosting a gathering at Tipsy Cow, 102 King St., Madison, on Thursday, March 15, at 7 pm. All journalists are welcome, and buttons will be available.
“It’s been a remarkable year in journalism in Madison and in Wisconsin. The Society of Professional Journalists believes it is proper to thank and recognize the work of journalists who are a vital component of our democracy,” said SPJ President Mark Pitsch.
Thank a Journalist Day comes during Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of open government and freedom of information, which coincides with the anniversary of Madison’s birth.
SPJ is also promoting the work of journalists through the use of the Twitter hashtag #thankajournalist all week.
Pitsch and other officers of the Madison pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will be available during Sunshine Week for interviews. Other SPJ officers are Joe Radske, vice president, 274-1234, Rebecca Wasieleski, secretary-treasurer, 920-568-8321, Gordon Govier, past president, 443-3688, Terry Shelton, past president, 338-5091.