#SPJProud

And now, a word from our sponsor…
Today I donated in SPJ’s Day of Giving to the Terry Harper Fellowship, of which I was a proud recipient in 2010.
It was the first year for the Harper scholarship, which funded my attendance at the Excellence in Journalism conference, by the end of which I had been nominated to the national Ethics Committee. EIJ is not the least expensive enrichment experience you will ever see, but it is an amazingly helpful and productive experience, and I have been honored to attend several times in the years since 2010. My participation on the Ethics Committee has been one of the most valuable and meaningful experiences in my professional career, and I am honored to continue to serve on the committee and locally.
Now I am president of the St. Louis Pro chapter, working on our projects to support journalists and the First Amendment here in St. Louis and to spread awareness about the work that we do among the public. We are small but mighty, and the volunteers on your chapter board work diligently to find new programming ideas and support journalists and the First Amendment here in St. Louis.
It’s safe to say none of the work I have done through SPJ would be possible without generosity like the Harper Fellowship, or the support of my employers. I cannot overstate the importance of either, or the value of my participation in SPJ.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s the top ten reasons to support SPJ, in today’s mail (yes, they quoted me, too):
  • SPJ supports truthful, compassionate, independent, transparent journalism.
  • “There are about 41,440 reasons to be SPJ Proud, but one is that SPJ is an incredible asset to my student journalists.” -Brandon Szuminsky, Waynesburg University.
  • The SDX Foundation awards a $75,000 Pulliam Fellowship to an outstanding editorial writer or columnist to help broaden his or her journalistic horizons and knowledge of the world. Sometimes, that leads to Pulitzer-Prize winning work (See No. 8).
  • SPJ committed $10K to back journalists seeking a database of all public purchases in New Orleans.
  • The SDX Foundation annually supplies grants to support journalism projects like the Drone Tour, which traveled to 10 universities in the south to teach students about ethical drone use.
  • “Journalism is essential to democracy and society. It’s about giving people the information they need to self-govern. Without journalism, we might as well call it in. Without journalism, we are at the will of those in power.” -Dave Cuillier, Past SPJ President.
  • SPJ and the SDX Foundation supports diversity in the newsroom.
  • “I think it’s important for journalists to support each other, and to be able to get together in a space where they can brainstorm, network, share information and get away from the daily grind and think about their own careers and the future of journalism.” – Farah Stockman, Pulliam Editorial Fellow & Pulitzer-prize winner
  • “SPJ serves a vital function to support journalists in their difficult work, but also to educate the public about journalism and its place in our society.” -Elizabeth Donald, member since 2009.
  • ┬áTogether, because of journalism, we make our communities better.
I hope my fellow journalists will join me in supporting SPJ. Donate to the funds, join the organization, attend the conferences, find out the amazing resources available to you online and in person. I guarantee you will find it worth your time and energy.
And if you are not a journalist, I hope you will consider supporting us as well: the same First Amendment that protects us protects you, especially the Legal Defense Fund and the First Amendment Forever Fund. In addition to donations to our nonprofit arm, non-journalists can become supporting members for as little as $20.
We are #SPJProud.
– Elizabeth Donald, president of St. Louis Pro
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