Hall of Fame; podcasting; 2019 contest

Hello fellow SPJ members,

A New Jersey Journalism Hall of Fame, podcast workshops and a bigger, better contest were among the topics discussed when the board of the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists held its annual summer retreat recently.

We met on July 28 in the Princeton Room of the Princeton Public Library surrounded by first-edition John McPhee books. The four-hour gathering was an opportunity for our board to make some plans for the year ahead. Here are a few things we discussed:

Holding our first-ever Journalism Hall of Fame event.

We did some initial planning last year by having former chapter presidents suggest and select nominees. This year we discussed actually staging the event, quite possibly at William Paterson University in Wayne. Stay tuned.

Expanding our signature awards contest beyond the current four categories.

This year we awarded our traditional honors of the Wilson Barto “Rookie of the Year,” the Tim O’Brien award for best use of open public records and the Stuart and Beverly Awbrey Award for community journalism. We also continued with our Courage Under Fire award, although no winners were chosen this year.

Next year we hope to add awards for journalism educator of the year, best audio story, best video story and journalist of the year. Do you have any ideas about categories that we should add? If so, let me know.

Hosting two “Podcasting 3.0” workshops

We’d hold one in Philadelphia and one in New York City later this year and early next year. This would be an updated “hands-on” workshop similar to one we did three years ago at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. Both workshops would be done in collaboration with other SPJ chapters, one with the Keystone SPJ chapter in October and the other with the New York City Deadline Club in the spring.

Collaborating more with other chapters.

Watch for details on all of these events in the months ahead. And if you would like to be a part of the planning process, let me know by emailing me at johnensslin@gmail.com

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