2019 was a year of great highs and lows. We were ecstatic when our national organization recognized the Red Bank home of muckraking journalist T. Thomas Fortune as an SPJ national historic site in journalism; we were devastated by the loss of John Ensslin, a dear friend, outstanding journalist and our immediate past chapter president — who had the added pedigree of having served as president of our national organization.
We were proud to lend our voices to legislative efforts that successfully convinced a state Senate Committee to say yes to a bill that would have boosted press rights for high school and college journalists in New Jersey — and disappointed when that bill (known as New Jersey New Voices) could not get a hearing before an equivalent committee in the state Assembly, effectively knocking things back to square one.
Finally, we would be remiss not to mention other accomplishments of 2019, including our on-going First Amendment advocacy, our efforts to document the legacy of Garden State journalism through our NJ SPJ Journalism Hall of Fame and the skills-based workshops we organized to help our friends and colleagues keep up with trends in our industry.
A heart-felt thank you to all our members and supporters. We’ve got big plans for 2020, so stay tuned!
To learn more about our chapter and what we’ve done over the years, see our website’s “About page” and scroll down until you see our list of activities.